Despite being one of the most profitable companies in the world, Google Inc. has had its share of total failures. In addition to its flagship search engine, Google has launched dozens of products over the years- many of which are now dead, gone and largely unmourned. Let’s take walk through the Google graveyard.
1. Wave, a Big Mistake
Not many people can exactly recall the collaborative working tool launched by Google as Wave. Nobody actually understood the concept behind Wave. Its public release also lasted only a few months. People did not much accept it as such. +. Google announced Wave in 2009 at I/O and it took them a little over a year to give up on the project. It was completely withdrawn on 2011. However, on the plus, Wave had great potential on real-time nature and software extensions that added features like automatic translation and spell check effectively.
2. Android updates, should have never Included
Google took time to understand the fact that manufacturing cannot move at the same speed and made a mistake with Android updates. While manufacturers bought Gingerbread devices in the market, Google was busy with their Ice Cream Sandwich. Instead, Google should have updated their software to the latest version, finally providing users a bug-free experience.
3. Nexus Q, the Bummer
Nexus Q was another failure from Google as it could not even make to its full release. Google very fast decided to pull the plug on the media streaming device after developers didn’t give their consent on the spartan feature set, especially considering the high $299 price tag.
4. Orkut, a Major Google Failure
Orkut can not go unnoticed when one talks about Google failures. Google still continues to support Orkut for the large user base in Brazil and India. In an attempt to show that it still cares for the social network, Google let Orkut users connect their Google+ account and display a badge saying you are on both networks. An app was also launched for iOS thus carrying the weight it should never have.
5. Killing Reader, Literally Killed Readers
When Google tried to pull the plug on Reader, it resulted in a kind of worldwide outrage. Because millions over the internet were using RSS service on a daily basis, the sudden decision made Google a villain. Though there are services which let your Reader feeds migrate to another platform, but when Goggle did it, it basically killed it.
6. Dodgeball, Another Blunder
Dodgeball is another blunder made by Foursquare. Users would text their location to a number and Dodgeball would throw back interesting things to do around the area as well as notify you of any friends in the neighborhood. Google came up with Dodgeball in 2005 but the popularity drastically dropped in 2009.
7. Buying stake in AOL, Lacked in Senses
Google bought a five percent stake in AOL for a billion dollars earlier in 2005 with the motive of being the default search engine on AOL for five years. But when AOL deteriorated, Google decided to make a run for it, before it gets bankrupted. . In 2009, Google sold back its stake for $283 million, $717 million short of its investment amount.
8. Buzz, Had to Die out
Google made another bummer when it tried to take on Twitter with Buzz. It combined the facets of social networking and micro blogging. But unfortunately, many companies decided to opt-in users without sufficient privacy settings such as openly revealing contacts who you talk to frequently or sharing the location of posts without the user’s consent. Thus, buzz had to go down.
9. Leaving XMPP, a Big Mistake
Google turned on its open-source foundation and moved to a proprietary protocol for the new cross-platform messaging app. Previously, Google Talk support could be packed into chat clients for specialized or even consumer systems. Because it was based on Jabber (or Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol – XMPP), an open-standards protocol that many other IM apps and software use for interoperability. But with the new hangout, it is no longer possible.
10. Google Play in India, with Major Drawbacks
Google sells apps, games, movies, books and one device in India through Google Play but there is no sign of music or TV shows in the list. The device store only has Nexus 7 tablet in the list without any variants. Even the Nexus 4 which is officially available in India is not sold through the Play Store. Thus Google play is loosing its popularity. It also lags behind in terms of ecosystem support.
11. Google+, Still Struggling
Though Google+ has improved a lot since its inception, it still lags way behind Facebook in context to usage and maturity. Google+ has always had a me-too feel about it, despite differentiators such as Circles, photo editing and integration with YouTube and Play Store. It is made more polished and less messy than before. However, Google has to go a lot further to stand neck to neck with facebook.
12. Not buying Sun Microsystems, Might Have Been a Wide Decision
Though Google has made some key purchases since its inception, it is seen that Android is the most prominent of them. Google wanted to buy Sun, the makers of Java, which is used extensively by Google for its products. The asking price was a cool $7 billion plus. Unfortunately, Google failed to buy Sun and hence the owners filed an anti-trust suit against Google which is still hanging on them. To, sum up, by not spending billions to buy Sun, Google ended up paying billions in court and licensing fees with no control over Java.
13. Google Knol, with the Quite Death
Google most impractical addition was Knol. It was actually Google’s way of getting user-generated articles on topics all across the board. Each of the post was called a knol, short of knowledge. Well, articles in Knol were related to the medical field. It worked as Google’s Wikipedia. But since Google allowed many users to post on the same topic, there was quite a lot of repetition, resulting in a cacophonous atmosphere and knol met its end in 2012.
14. Jaiku, another Bummer
The social networking and life blogging service, Jaiku was bought by Google in 2007. Jaiku’s USP was Lifestream. It was actually an internet feed that posted user activity from other services such as Flickr or last.fm to the Jaiku page. The Nokia S60 devices were Jaiku compatible. Google took Jaiku open-source in 2009 and Lifestream was removed. But, Jaiku too had to die in 2012.
15. Google Desktop, Aspired too high
Google also dreamt about taking over your OS too. The Google Desktop gave users the permission to search the web as well as local files and emails to get the information they needed much like the function of Windows and Mac. It also allowed users to pin widgets to a Sidebar ranging from email to clocks to news to photos. But the downside was when users were allowed to search across a network of computers, it could potentially reveal sensitive data such as private emails and confidential plans. This too was therefore short lived.
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