With the relaunch of new improved Google Reader, I was thinking about the common accusation that Google throws lots of things at the wall and sees what sticks, then abandons the rest.
Reader, many people thought, was one such product. But like Video and Groups it is an example of a less succesful product that has been through many iterations. In fact, looking at the Google Labs page, I can't really find anything that has been abandoned without seeing updates or being integrated into another product except for perhaps Google Sets and Ride Finder (which will proabably end up in Transit).
So does Google really see what sticks, or does it actually keep improving all its products until they do stick?
Yes. Google really has a strategy of developing. They are not blindly throw anything at the wall, they are systematically developing bunch of services for some purpose. Web Office, Internet TV, auctions, maybe even community portal. All of that is in Google´s middle-term plan and everything is twisting around it. They develop ecosystem of technologies firstly and when enough will be done, they can integrate it together and make wonderful services. Just imagine the possibilities of current stuff if it was integrated.
Video + Picasa + Orkut + Talk + Page Creator + Blogger = MySpace killer
Base + Page Creator + Checkout + new good shopping interface = eBay killer
Writely + Spreadsheets + Gmail + Calendar + Notebook = MS Office killer in longer term
That altogether with Desktop could one day few years until now became webOS, GooOS. I absolutely believe that there is the Master Plan.
jilm, Writely + Spreadsheets + Gmail + Calendar + Notebook is more of an MS Works killer than Office. And that too for the non power users.
Oh that´s not so sure. Many people use MS Office although MS Works would be enough for them. I use OO.org and I have to say that I´ve never discovered maybe even one quarter of all functions and the robust UI is really annoying for me.
So I believe that "the non power users" means big majority of all home users. And that is a huge market.
Yep it is. The other thing I tried to say was that, MS Office has Powerpoint (Yay) and all. Unless we have some major breakthroughs in technology Desktop Applications will remain supreme for a few more years (in my opinion)
The non power users are a huge majority, but the Enterprise users are a big chunk of revenue.
jilm, MS Works is NOT enough for most people. It strikes me as one of those programs designed to be just annoying enough to force you to upgrade to Office.
My nine-year-old daughter uses MS Write. But when she tried to email me an essay she wrote, Word would not open it! It turns out that you have to specifically save a Write file as a Word file for it to be read by Word. Why aren't Write and Word automatically compatible? It's just plain stupid.
Bill Gates once told me (when I was a gainfully employed reporter) that all the companies trying to create apps to compete with Microsoft didn't understand that users need "hard-core compatibility."
Google is aiming at the mass market. But it has to come up with better versions of its programs, making them hugely compatible with Office, or they won't take off.
Good Point Richard wrt "making them hugely compatible with Office, or they won't take off."!!