Originally Posted by anonymouse
That's because Google doesn't care a bit about quality. Like Microsoft, for whom "good enough" was always the mantra (and very liberally interpreted by them), Google just wants to dump free stuff into markets that is good enough to destroy that market as one in which companies can profitably compete based on quality. The goal is to get everyone using the low quality, but free, stuff, by sucking the oxygen out of the market for everyone else, so Google can collect personal data, control access to information, serve ads and, increasingly, to steer people to other Google services where the vicious cycle repeats.
This is also why Apple is one of the few companies that is able to effectively compete against Google. Apple's philosophy is exactly opposite: create innovative high quality products that are easy to use, and that stay at least a step or two ahead of the junkware that companies like Google and Dell put out. That Apple does compete effectively against these companies is a testament to just how much better their products and user experience are.
Like Microsoft, Google is not and never has been a creative company. They both used a single product, DOS/Windows and Search, respectively, to leverage themselves into other markets. But their strategy in those markets is not to produce fantastically great products, it's to produce "good enough" products, dumped on the market, and to destroy those markets for others.
I call semi-bullbleep here. Forget the ad-serving biz model and nefarious data collection for a moment and just consider product:
GMail was and is a better product than Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, and for my purposes much better than AppleMail. And there's hardly a month that goes by when I don't check into a subtly improved product, sometimes with brand-new and easy to use features. e.g., adding in-inbox chat, and now free voice calls. And this service integrates perfectly with Google Voice, which has given me a free number (which I got to choose from an available list) in the other area code I spend time in every year, along with all its other many free services, e.g., transcribing voice messages, unified GMail, Chat and Voice contact lists - which in turn have uses in Google Docs and (I think) YouTube.
There's nothing in the UI of these or the others below that's exactly elegant, although G-tools and layouts are generally wonderfully minimalist compared to other browsers, but if not pretty, there's also not much in the Goog UI that gets in your way of working quickly and efficiently compared to many products.
Google search itself is faster, anticipates search queries more accurately and has more features and more differentiated tools all the time. Google News is a great feature. After many head to head comparisons I've also settle on Google Maps. Which embeds very well in other people's web sites. Is MapQuest still in business? I have no idea. And Google labs is always full of new stuff to try or use. Google Earth is certainly best in class for value, and Google's new Body Browser is an amazing interactive atlas of the body (from which you can send your current exact view to another user).
Chrome has totally turned me from years on FireFox and Safari's still as stupid with its limited history as ever. I can't believe it can't return you to a previous browsing session with the history of each open tab intact. Chrome is much faster than Firefox, sandboxes each tab in its own process, almost never crashes (I've had a 20-35 tab session open in Vista for about a month now), is much less of a memory hog than FF or Safari (which just keep growing and growing in RAM use over the days). Chrome is also totally self-updating and the integrated search and URL bar is a bigger advance than you might imagine over time. And it's getting a lot of add-ons and extensions now, e.g., a way cool lyric reader for songs on YouTube, a button to start a gmail to forward a link without having to go to gMail, and while many of the initial Chrome apps are merely websites, so are many iOS apps essentially.
So on these and others, they seem more like leaders than followers (I won't say innovative since they buy a lot new tech through acquisitions), the integration between the products is impressive and the software is NOT shoddy (and I've used plenty of software). And on the mobile front, Android's certainly come a much further way much faster than Win ever did. My friends (and lots of the tech cognoscenti) really like their Android Phones, not to mention they're continuing to sell faster and faster.
Their online help tools, too, are better, faster, etc. than IE. And damn, it is NOT in their best interest to "not care a bit about quality." That's ridiculous on its face.
And as for how they earn their revenue, my eye's trained to virtually never even notice any content in banner or ad-sense bits. If they've gotten any clicks from me in years, I don't remember. And as for their a) corporate morality and b) plans to dominate as much of the digi-verse as they can, I simply ask a) compared to whom and b) which sizable company that might wouldn't? Data-mining? How about those reports this week about how many iPhone apps are wringing out our data and selling it without ever asking permission? And facebook likely knows as much about me as Google. And many other companies know some.
Certainly, they falter - as do virtually all rapidly growing diversified companies in rapidly evolving tech fields - Buzz was ill-conceived, too limited to ever compete with fb and the rollout was a PR disaster. Wave couldn't define what it was and is now waving buh-bye. Android's geekier than iPhone and does have some fragmentation. Also, even with a big headstart, Office Live has better online Office tools. And Google TV is the exception (clunky, overly complex, buggy, poor UI and hardware design - which latter is partly Google's fault - i.e., like a product MS would roll out) which I think proves the rule here.
Which is that by virtually any product measure, Goog is no MS - its first versions work better, and are generally far more reliable, and its updating cycle much faster.
It's fine with me for people to see Google as an or the "enemy," and yeah they're scary, but then to me so is Apple as well as MS and fb, but hey, if you want to keep up with what's happening, you still have to give every devil its due.