Sorry, this is old news (it happened while I was away), but I think it is definitely worth commenting on. A few days ago,
Google acquired Measure Map, an stats service for blogs. On the face of it it is hard to see why Google would be interested, as they already own an extremely powerful web stats service, Google Analytics, and it could be hard to see what Measure Map adds to Google. There are two answers to this question.
Firstly, I have applied for an account for Google Analytics for this blog, which I do not have yet. When I get it and start using it, I will be getting great information but far more than I actually need. The vast majority of features will be completely useless for me. As Google Analytics is completely free, Google is bearing the probably substantial cost of collecting and presenting all of the stats and providing all the features which I don't need. Therefore a cut-down service such as Measure Map provides both the features I need at a far more realistic cost for Google. As it is cut down, the UI (user interface) will also be much cleaner, and thus easier to use, which will have a good impact on the popularity of the service with non-tech bloggers.
The other reason which I cannot claim as my own, but I have seen on other blogs, is that the Measure Map service has a very good AJAX UI. That could be very valuable to Google Analytics. Although it would be very resource-intensive, imagine how cool live updating stats would be. However, it is hard to see a practical use for them! I'm sure Google are just pleased to get good AJAX engineers on board though, as it looks like the use of AJAX can only increase.