November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

Summary: A look back at November 2011: The month where Google made some of its most series mistakes, gaffes and controversies.


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  • Twitter erupted with euphoria last week when Google released its Gmail application for iPhones, and within an hour or so of the launch, Google pulled the application and sounds of palms hitting foreheads was heard across the U.S.

    The trumpeted launch signalled the start of a new mobile era for the company, which had in the same week announced that it was pulling its support for the BlackBerry application.

    Google's fumbled launch made them look like they were unprepared, or rushed the rollout of the application, which had been hoped to have been released for some time. One seemingly simple bug caused the pullback of the application from millions of Apple's smartphones worldwide, and left many disappointed.

    It also left many questioning how potent Google still is on the world technology stage.


  • Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, either in a moment of blind panic to throw antitrust regulators off the scent or not, admitted during a Senate hearing that Apple's intelligent assistant for the iPhone 4S, Siri, poses a serious threat to the company's search engine.

    This made Google frankly look rather weak and downtrodden by its various competitors. It also looked as though Google was in its glass house throwing stones at Apple, after Google continues to face antitrust hearings and anti-competitive reviews.

    Search is still a massive part of Google's business, and while the search giant retains around 65 percent of the global marketshare, other competitors are chipping away at its share. And this worries Google like you could only imagine.

  • Continuing the antitrust theme, Google had more than just Siri to worry about -- which came as a by-product of Eric Schmidt's repeat performance during a Senate antitrust hearing.

    Google is accused of 'cooking' search results to favour its own products over others, and continues to struggle to justify or even prove that the company is not. Also, because of its 65 percent marketshare, Schmidt continued to face questions over Google's dominance over the search and mobile market. According to comScore, Android controls around 34 percent of the U.S. market while Apple's iOS has just over 43 percent. Surely that would be enough to prove that it was not hogging the market?

    Ultimately, the company has to remain seemingly in control and assertive, as well as competitive, without being seen to be overly competitive to the point where regulators start looking into the business practices of the company.

    Oh, wait...

Topics: Security, Apple, Google, iPhone, Mobile OS, Mobility, Operating Systems, BlackBerry

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  • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

    I said from the beginning that Chromebooks was a fail. Firstly they're competing directly with Tablets like the iPad and other Windows based Netbooks. Funny enough the Windows based netbook comes in cheaper than a Chromebook. Major fail for an operating system that basically does nothing.
    • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

      I think the key failure here was in assuming that people would be ready to accept the web paradigm so quickly. Google's of course right that most people use basically just the web, but they failed to realize that it would make people uncomfortable to not have the option of using the client-side tools if they wanted to. Most people don't use much besides a browser, but the people who realize this fact are the few people who DO use non-browser applications. Plus, the people who only use a browser are, for the most part, not tech-savvy enough to know to buy a chromebook.
      • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

        @Jalaska13 I think it is even simpler then that. Many consumers did not know what Chrome was? Those that did thought it was a Search site or they thought it was a web browser. Either way Google failed at marketing and pricing Chromebook's properly. Especially to a consumer who's main question was "What is a Chromebook" ?
      • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?


        First, these devices are more expensive than they are worth.

        Second, even if people use mostly web based tools today, the moment they need another thing, they need another device. Even the iPad offers whatever applications for the user. At that moment, the Chromebook becomes way too expensive, because of it's price/usefulness ration (usefulness approaching zero at that point, or even being negative as it weights something and needs energy etc).
    • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

      @DreyerSmit m
      For Real
    • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

      @DreyerSmit Chromebook's needed more average user awareness which they don't have. Geeks are aware of the OS and the Google Apps. But your average home user not so much. All they know Google for is search. Also the cost for what appears to most of use to be a netbook with a Browser was priced too high to be considered. Most people found a better deal with a Full Windows OS and known and familiar applications. Google biggest problem is its full of geeks and not people who know what many consumers want.
      • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

        @jscott418 I don't think better marketing was going to help Chromebooks. There was just too big a hurdle when you compared price to usability against other available devices. I am connected most of the time but have not use for a device that has to be connected to be of any use what so ever.
  • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

    "Long-time Google+ fan Robert Scoble blasted the company over its newly released brand pages, a feature that similarly resembles Pages on Facebook, allowing companies and businesses, public figures and the like to amass corporate followings."

    He just griped about some missing features that are nice from a business perspective. I'm sure they'll be added in time.

    "While some of his comments were valid, Scoble does have one hell of a following that agrees with practically everything he says. "

    Why yes, all of ZDNet's bloggers are following him. That's one hell of a following.

    "It was enough to dent Google for a day or two -- which is enough when it boils down to the nature of the web. Most things are short lived, but when a controversy kicks off, it ultimately gets turned up to eleven."

    I disagree. A day or two isn't going to kill Google, and in the long run they are features they'll add anyways. IMO this isn't as big as, say, the real names controversy.

    "Chromebooks suffer poor sales outlook; Another Googleflop?"

    They just don't fill any need out there. You simply cannot sell a product based on stripping out features people like. And it's a cardinal sin to release a product with less features at a higher price.

    Not to mention the iPad beat Google to this market anyways.
    • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

      @CobraA1 [i]They just don't fill any need out there. You simply cannot sell a product based on stripping out features people like. And it's a cardinal sin to release a product with less features at a higher price.[/i]
      Wait, I am confused here. Didn't you just list everything that people accused Apple of doing with the iPad yet they sell like crazy?
  • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

    It might have worked if they had done more of an Amazon kindle approach, subsidising the cost through google tie-in. I'd always assumed that was the intention. I went out to buy a cheap laptop this weekend, and bought the windows one, even though I knew I'd be dual booting to Ubuntu most of the time. Id rather have the windows 7 if I need it than ChromeOS and the laptop was cheaper.
    • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?


      When was the last time Google subsidized something?

      Google earns money because other people subsidize their services.
  • Still Trying...

    Still trying to kill Google I see. Yes the Chromebooks weren't going to do well at that kind of a pitch, but who really cares? Not Google.
    • You re personalizing "Google", but the shareholders are looking, and Google

      management had better care about what Google does and how it performs.

      Investors do care about what a company does, and Google is not just about what the founders think any more, and not about it's CEO.
      • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

        @adornoe@... +1
  • Not just November.....
    Read the appeal that begins the end of Google Inc. They will be bankrupted by 2020.
    • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

      @Curtis-Neeley Hmmm, I read that "appeal" and I will bet you 1,000-1 odds that it gets dismissed/verdict upheld. I am a little surprised to see that the whole suit surrounds nude images that you made of yourself that you don't want on the internet and then you use what appears to be a nude image of yourself as an avatar.
      For Real
  • Google demise

    The suits are taking over. From becoming a 'me too' on patents, they are progressing to 'also ran' behind the more mature suits in the industry.

    Time for a new upstart I think.
  • It really wasn't so bad ...

    Google throws stones from its glass house, calls Siri 'competitive threat' - that's routine business strategy; boring, but they all do it.<br><br>Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo will partner to fight Google, Facebook's advertising dominance - so what? M$ and Y! already did, and AOL is still AOL. It's not partnerships that count, it's results.<br><br>Poor sales of Chromebooks won't stop Google from promoting Chrome OS - Unlike most of Geekland and ALL of Wall Street, Google takes a long view. I agree that Chromebook came too soon; but once the cloud catches up, they'll be there waiting.<br><br>Google reneges on Gmail App for BlackBerry support - Wow! Who can blame them? Would you continue to pour cash in that direction? I sure wouldn't<br><br>Will Google's blind faith in the algorithm doom its future? No. The algorithm still produces better results for the average searcher, and better financial results for Google - what's the alternative? Pigeons and momkeys simply cannot process searches quickly enough; using a computer is the obvious choice - Wait! That's what EVERYONE does!!<br><br>Google+ Pages: The power of search is the game-changer. Early days; reserve comment <br><br>Google debuts Gmail's new design - some good, some bad; like everything else, we'll get used to it<br><br>near-mass-exodus over changes to Google Reader - I very much doubt it. Let's see some evidence. Three bloggers (who probably didn't use Reader anyway) don't count. Awful scroll control, granted - but mass exodus? ROFL!

    New, "fresher" Google rankings affect 35% of searches - and most of them for the better. Don't be swayed by the vociferous minority who are losing their MFA pages. The collateral damage is probably minimal.<br><br>And you can balance that with November was the month that confirmed that the Android partners will fight back against litigious limitations on progress.<br><br>All in all, a mixed month - but if you think that's calamitous, you've not been watching the other companies' disasters.<br><br>And we haven't yet seen the influence of Googler's recent acquisitions on their products - and on the Android market. 2012 will be very interesting.
    • Pretty much a Google fanatic, aren't you?

      You're all "googly" eyes, no matter how or where they fail.
      • RE: November 2011: The worst month in Google's history?

        @adornoe@... Not so. I'm a proud Google fan (and never denied my views), but that does not automatically make my arguments null.

        Leave the Geekosphere and tell one average person that Google is in Dire Trouble, and they'll have you certified.

        Or stay here and show me just ONE place that I'm wrong.