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Google Loosing the Charm?

For years we've been so in love with Google. Don't deny it, a part of you smirks or even cringes when you see a colleuge searching with Yahoo or MSN. You feel better than "those hotmail kids" because you are @gmail.com. Google is at the forefront of all that is technologically good and righteous, and we just can't get enough.

I think I've had enough.

Why am I using Microsoft's Live Earth instead of Google Maps/Local (they can't seem to draw a good line between the conjoined services)? Live's Image search is enough to make Google Image look like a cheap gallery on a geocities page. YouTube consistantly provides better content than Google Video, whose saving grace is the large video size by default and that you can rent Night of the Living Dead. I'm desperately looking for something to replace Google Reader for my feed consumption, and eagerly awaiting Divmod to reopen Quotent so I can pay them to not have to use GMail anymore. Google recently launched their long-rumored calender service, and I've been using it but am continually frustrated by the interface's inconsistancies.

The various things that lead me to realize more and more that Google isn't so fantastic have also opened my eyes to an interesting revelation: their web-app interfaces are pretty poor. Simple is good, so they seem to drop features just to make it look clean, but end up with a stump of what could have been. And, I'm continually tired of the lack of interconnectiveness with all the Google app's that I use. Blogger, GMail, Reader, Calender, and its like I'm using them all from seperate venders.

Google, what are you paying all those PhD's to spend the 80% of their time on? At the rate Live is improving and companies like 37signals are tossing out great web-apps, you're going to fade away and be lucky if you salvage a place in the world as a mediocre advertisement channel.

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