Zombie applications from Google
Over the years Google has released a steady stream of products, some of which have fallen by the wayside and left to die. The Zombie pool includes
- Google Pack: If the aim of google pack was to provide a good collection of software for everyday use it has failed in its mission. Its last and only change in product mix was in March 2007. Also the packaged versions have not been kept up to date. For example the pack stiff offers firefox 220.127.116.11 which was released on Nov 30 2007 which was 11 months ago. Offering an outdated version of web browser is quite irresponsible on google's part because they are exposing the user to security risks which has been fixed in the later versions.
- Dodgeball: Google acquired this company in 2005 and effectively left it for dead. Frustrated by this attitude of google, the founders left google in April 2007.
- Jaiku: This is another acquisition that google mishandled. If Jaiku was promoted and developed, there would probably have been no twitter or friendfeed. One of friendfeed's main attraction is lifestream. But Jaiku had this feature long before friendfeed was not even created. But Jaiku is now in closed beta
- Google Talk The previous post examines the history of google talk in detail.
- GrandCentral: Another acquisition that went bad. Google acquired GrandCentral in July 2007. The service is still in beta and no new signups/invitations are offered.
- Google Product Search (formerly froogle): The price comparison site never gained much traction and re-naming it to Product search hasn't helped its mojo either.
- Google Video: Another google service which failed to attract much market share. Its videoplayer was better than youtube's initially but those days are long gone. It has been turned into a video search service recently and most if not all videos featured on the site are now from youtube.com. In the initial days google video also offered an offline viewer called Google Video Player which has since been discontinued.
There are some other products/services which seem to be heading into the zombie pool. They are
- Google Base: Heralded as the replacement for ebay and craigslist, google base failed to take off (expect among spammers) and has started its slow death march towards the zombie pool
- Google Knol Less said the better. The wikipedia killer has so far turned out to be a damp squib.
- Lively This product has always puzzled me. For the life of me I can't figure out where does this product fit or how it benefits google. This second life wannabe has so far remained in the wannabe status. Lively has dropped dead.
Google has also discontinued a number of services and products. So before embracing the next google product it might py to think whether you can afford to live without it if google decides to pull the plug on it.