The official Google Blogsite has some interesting details - It all started as a small project led by a few engineers in Bangalore and later joined by more engineers and finance enthusiasts in Mountain View and New York. It points out that one need not remember the ticker symbol, interactive charts that enable you to zoom through different time periods, headlines mapped right on the charts and are based on Google News, which means you're seeing unbiased and relevant results from more than 4,500 English-language news sources
Om Malik writes that it is obvious that it will be a long time, and I mean long time in Internet years that is, before Google Finance really catches up to Yahoo Finance, which in fact is the gold standard. Bambi Fransisco points to various interesting features like cool chart and news mash-up. Google has taken its charts and news and integrated them so that readers can see where the stock was trading as particular news hit. She points out that people do this all the time look at news, and the time it hit, and then go to a chart and pinpoint the time. Also inclusion of blogs related to the company’s quote appears novel. On differentiation however, there are key questions, - besides an interactive chart, there is nothing innovative or certainly spectacular about the new service. Where's the related video? Where are the open application programming interfaces, or APIs, so that techies can add maps and other neat tools that Google hasn't thought of? asks Bambi Fransisco.
The launch has to be seen from multiple perspectives - Google has moved well beyond its search-engine roots and competing with different players on multiple fronts and needs vertical portals like this to attract more readership. Google is today on an overdrive to lauch new services/offerings. As I see it, the portal is actually very cleanly done. Page-to-page comparison shows that there’a a great deal more information available on a single page on Google Finance than there is on Yahoo Finance. Ofcourse over a period of time, things would improve, but do not to look away from the fact that google has done a neat job of assembling and rendering information( one will have to only see clumsy and poorly organised sites - the likes of Hoovers( paid site and focussed on corproate finance news to appreciate what Google has brought out). Granted it lags behind Yahoo finance but tomorrow or the day after could tell a different story.