Social Enterprise

10 more projects Google should kill in the wake of Wave's demise

Wave has washed out. Now if only Google would deep-six a few more of its lamer projects.

Google has killed off Wave despite initial buzz that the experiment was going to change communication. The problem: Wave just didn't garner much of a following. Props to Google for ditching efforts that fall flat (Techmeme). But since we're housecleaning at Google, here are a few more projects that should be put out of their misery.

Note: This article originally appeared as an entry in ZDNet's Between the Lines blog.

1: Buzz

Annoying and just not quite right. Like Wave, it had some early juice and then just sort of fell flat.

2: Orkut

AOL had Bebo. Google has Orkut. Perhaps there's a following here, but at the risk of sounding downright antisocial, I'd nuke Orkut too.

3: Friend Connect

Build a real social network or go home. Google is still trying.

4: Google Desktop

Can be handy, but mostly it's a resource hog.

5: Google Base

You may be surprised to hear that this is still around (and in beta, of course).

6: Google Checkout

Is Checkout a mere distraction? It's a valid question, considering there are other dominant payment forces out there like PayPal. Update: A few folks pointed out that Checkout is important to Google's mobile ambitions. Knol got a write-in vote to replace Checkout on the kill list.

7: Google Toolbar

Why? Toolbars suck -- all of them.

8: Google Latitude

A few folks seem to like it, but the product inflates the search giant's creepiness factor.

9: Google Pack

If we want a Google app, we'll download them individually.

10: Photo Screensaver

This screensaver is part of Google Pack, but it can be downright annoying.

Honorable mention: Picasa

Jason Hiner suggested this one, and Sam Diaz and I shouted him down. Who's right?

Larry Dignan is editorial director of TechRepublic, as well as editor in chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet.


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31 comments
Duke E Love
Duke E Love

That is just dumb, as are most sweeping statements of dismissal. This one included.

HENpp
HENpp

Is that more reasonable? Toolbars are generally annoying out of the gate. They are usually pushed on the end user who is trying to install or update something that may not even be related to the browser.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

One that doesn't provide a function that doesn't already exist in the app the toolbar inserts itself into.

Murphy Chan
Murphy Chan

Google toolbar! I doubt that ie/mozilla enables you to access your favourite between your desktop and laptop or some other machine.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I have minimal overlap between my work system and my home system. There are few favorites in common between the two systems. Besides, I'm not willing to create an account on Google just for that functionality.

sfcat
sfcat

If you're not going to bother identifying what the apps are and giving me valid reasons to kill them, then don't waste my time with the article. It's not an article, it's a water cooler conversation.

framage
framage

Kill Picasa and use what instead? Seriously, it's an excellent basic photo editor. Agree about the file system overlay silliness, though.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

On Windows the unpleasant file management turned me off though it does do easy basic editing well. On *nix, it was being a third party package; essentially the Windows Picassa bundled with WINE and provided for direct download. The best image manager I've found remains Acdsee Classic (prior to video and bloat) if not simply using good folder structure and file preview icons. I'm not sure what you would use for editing offhand though, for what little editing I do I just use basic functions within GIMP but that's pretty much opening Photoshop just to do some red-eye or cropping; overkill.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't want it to catalog every photo in every directory. I'm capable of managing those for myself. All I wanted it to do was open, display, and edit the photo I selected. GIMP is way overkill for the simple cropping I do.

gueibor
gueibor

I rejected all of these beforehand or at first try.

tolmr
tolmr

Your list is perfect - but take out Picasa. I don't know why I download and update it religiously! I use XnView most of the time. But your best comment is No.9 - right on the button.

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RedInkDiary
RedInkDiary

Google Checkout is a safer payment processor than PayPal for small business. It is easier to use and has automatic deposit. I believe it is more secure for buyers too.

blotto5
blotto5

why the hate on Google toolbar? i can see that you think most toolbars suck and they mostly do, but the google toolbar is an exception. i use alot of google apps like gmail search bookmarks and autofill, and this toolbar has it all. i especially like that it can syncronize with other google toolbars on my laptops when im signed in to keep everything running smoothly.

flutterfly
flutterfly

I love Google toolbar for its favorites. I can access them from home or work or any computer so long as it has the google toolbar. I find the search box useful. Those are probably the two things I use, most of the other stuff just takes up space IMO.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

1. The most efficient screen resolution for my laptop is 1280x800; I don't have much more vertical space than I had 10 years ago on my desktop PC at work (1024x768). 2. I am a prolific user of tabbed browsing, consistently running 5 or 6 open tabs per browser session. This reduces vertical screen space. 3. Any tool bar reduces vertical screen space even more. 4. One of the open tabs is Gmail; in Firefox, Ctrl+Page Up/Page Dn navigates between tabs. I can move directly to my tab of choice by pressing Ctrl+tab number. Ctrl+2=Gmail. Bam! 5. If I want to search, I can press Ctrl+E, and the cursor is now (gasp!) in the search box with Google as default. I don't have anything against the widescreen trend, but until I can maximize vertical browser space by moving tab lists and toolbars over to the side (as I can on my desktop), I won't clutter my browser interface any more than necessary.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Tried moving your Taskbar to the left side?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I've taken to installing Vimperator for fully keyboard control of the browser.. ":open techrepublic.com" without stretching a finger to reach crtl. ;D

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

It's faster for me to Ctrl-D and start typing than to find the mouse, find the pointer, find the toolbar, find the link and click. even 'techrepublic.com' takes less time than all that.

Murphy Chan
Murphy Chan

Try disabling both of this.. I had the same problem on my laptop too, i need my vertical space and google toolbar. I am happy with just navigation bar and my google toolbar.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I should have remembered external monitors are the most convenient peripherals for a road warrior.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

The home PC is not an issue. That monitor runs at 1400x1050. Those extra couple hundred pixels make all the difference.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

One that runs in Portrait mode. My code monkey loves hers.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I still can't stretch the display tall enough for my liking. I think it has to do with my arms getting shorter.

TobiF
TobiF

I have mixed feelings about Picasa. On the one hand, It is one of the best freewares to do basic editing of photos. On the other hand, it's a bloaty application which tries to create an overlay level to your file system, for no reasonable reason.