Ten projects Google should kill off

Ten projects Google should kill off

Summary: Google had the strength to dump Wave after the bubble burst on the collaboration software, so here are 10 more of its projects that we reckon are ready for the chop


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  • Google killed off Google Wave, despite initial predictions that the messaging and collaboration service was going to change communication. The problem was that Wave did not garner much of a following.

    The tech giant gets a pat on the back for ditching an effort that fell flat. Here are our suggestions of a few more Google projects that should be put out of their misery:

    1. Buzz

    Google's social-media service has drawn criticism and a privacy lawsuit over its automatic inclusion people's Gmail contacts in their Buzz profile. We find it annoying and just not quite right. Like Wave, it had some early juice and then just sort of fell flat.

    Screenshot: CNET News

  • 2. Orkut

    AOL had Bebo. Google has Orkut. Perhaps there's a following in Brazil and elsewhere for the Google-owned social-networking site, but at the risk of sounding downright anti-social, we'd take out Orkut too.

Topics: Apps, Software Development

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  • You're wrong about Picasa and Google Desktop. Both do things that aren't available elsewhere.
  • I hate this new "let me tell you what website you want" feature on Google. I don't mind the word completion on the Google page, but for the love of God, stop with trying to load every website that has a word match in it before I can even get the word typed!! It is not efficient. If it doesn't stop, I'll move to a different search engine. And, to add insult to injury, Google did not recognize my email address....I had to put in a whole different one. And I HAVE GMAIL.
  • When you do a search on google using a mozilla-based browser, and you click any of the non-sponsored results, what you're clicking on is actually a google track-back link where google records what result you clicked on, and then it redirects you to the actual URL, and it does this while trying to be discreet about it (but it usually takes more time to perform this track-back trick). This started about a year or two ago. Why isin't this track-back thing on ZD-net's list of things that google should kill?
  • It's funny how the google pack offers firefox and not chrome. Ok it's not funny then.
    roger andre
  • Guys, you clearly don't understand what you're talking about. Google Buzz is excellent application and it becomes more and more successful over the last time. No other tools provides such engaging in-depth conversations; there is a wonderful community of interesting intellectual people out there.
    Is it's clear to see, Facebook works as communication tool for looking at pictures your family members or real time friends posted; due to its symmetrical "friends" model it does not encourage well enough getting know *new* people with similar interests. Twitter works its best as a "megaphone" to loudly announce interesting about links/facts you found, but it's very inconvenient for discussions.
    Buzz combines best features of both, it make you quickly discover new interesting people - you don't need to be their friends to follow them, it engages you in deep conversations.
  • @vkelman I agree!

    Buzz is awesome and if the predictions are right, it will be one of the social network strengths of the upcoming 'Google ME' product and central to linking all the Google products via the iGoogle portal. You will all see soon how cool Buzz is.

    ZDNET, how about you get off your high horse and experience Buzz as it is now - forget about the past and experience the best and most respectful forum discussions on the net today! Buzz is constantly evolving and Google is taking it very seriously.
  • Nothing to say but something is for show...........
  • Buzz? I thought that had died already. In fact, wasn't it all but stillborn?
  • What a terrible evaluation! I agree that Google tends to drop some of their ideas early and it results in unnecessary betas, and I'll grant you that Pack is silly, but you can't just deem every Google beta app useless just because you might not use one of them. As you noted in an edit, Android users make heavy use of CheckOut. I love the service personally. With Android leading the smart phone industry in sales now, I'd say that's a pretty good justification to take it off your list.

    Latitude creeped me out in theory as well, until I started using it. Not only do you have to give it permission to access your location info, you have to grant your friends permission to see your location info on an individual basis, nobody else sees it, and you can turn it off at any time. Let's say I have a brother in from out of town who doesn't know how to get to my house from the airport. I turn on Latitude, and he gets turn-by-turn directions to my house on his mobile device as he drives. If you switch it off, not even Google knows where you are (at least, no more than they can figure out already anyway).

    Picasa automatically syncs your account info with your mobile device as well, so any pictures you take from your phone's camera can be instantly uploaded and organized into galleries that you can choose to share or not share with others. But even nicer is the fact that since your phone logs in to Google, all of your Picasa albums show up in your mobile gallery app. All your pictures are available whenever you want, and you don't have to use valuable storage space keeping them on your phone.
  • I can see how not being an Android user might leave you in the dark about a couple of these things, but my point is that Google has millions of users, who all make use of Google's offerings differently. Typically speaking, I'd say there's almost always a direct correlation between someone's opinion of these apps and the amount of time he or she has spent trying it out.

    All that said, whether you like Google's apps or not, you have to admit, the integration is amazing. The only contact list I need to maintain is in GMail, and I can share events, announcements, directions, photos, files, etc. with anyone I keep in touch with, and I don't have to worry about losing data if I drop or change my phone, and everything is accessible on all of my computers and mobile devices with no local network set up necessary, no thumb drives, etc. None of the competing services you mention throughout this diatribe can do any of that in such a nicely integrated package. Use the features you want, pass on the ones you don't, but don't tell me which features we should all stop using, just so Google can pare down for you.
  • I would also like to see the search auto fill word completion on the Google page, it all too often leads you to the "Big Boys" sites before you get the real search term you are looking for, I also did a survey of some of my clients and most them agreed with me that it is biased towards the "Big Boys". the rest did not even realise it was happening and just carried on typing anyway. Google buzz is great if you use it to its full advantage and picasso is handy too.