With great interest I have been following the news articles and rumors of the upcoming Google OS release. I am trying to wrap my mind around the Google business plan. From search engine to online advertising dominance to Gmail to Google docs to Google Code to Google Mobile OS Android to Google Chrome to Google Wave to Google Voice to Google Chrome OS. Not to mention a few other less known projects and discontinued items. It is apparent that Google wants to control/manipulate our online life. And of course bring in a few billion advertising dollars.
So tell me what is different about Google than the “Ma Bell” days of yesteryear? Google has the cash to buy pretty much any start-up it wants. Google has the brain power to create pretty much any product it wants. Google has and wants it all. Or does it? Google is still a company. The larger the company the more difficult it becomes to maintain a cohesive core business. The more difficult it becomes to truly allow creativity and innovation within. The more difficult it becomes to maintain quality and support. The harder it becomes to truly keep the user’s data and best interest in mind. Eventually what goes up must come down. Even the mightiest companies weaken, create spin-offs, and face downsizing.
As much as I love the Google products I am beginning to wonder, how much more diverse can they go before we see some cracks in the chrome?
I came into work late this morning due to some car trouble, and walked into my computer lab on campus to a choruses of “there’s something wrong with the Internet!” It’s finals week, so of course there is a lot of anxiety anyway, but mess with these kids’ Internet, and they lose their minds.
Turns out it wasn’t the Internet. It was Google. I logged into my desktop machine and tried to launch Gmail, which is one of the first things I do on any given morning, and it would not load. Oddly enough, neither would the Google home page. Nor YouTube. This last one was probably the thing that sent the lab kids over the edge. They spend half their days on YouTube.
For me, the loss of Gmail is critical, closely followed by Google docs and then the Google search homepage, which I must use a hundred times a day. By noon, everything was back up and running just fine, but that two hours or so while I couldn’t access some things was pretty tense. Most of us probably don’t think too much about how much time we spend using Google products, and what a show-stopper it is when it isn’t working. For me, it impacted me for a couple of hours, but apparently the outage happened much earlier than my arrival at work and for some lasted about four hours or so.
Google is not yet revealing what the problem is, but promises to do so soon. I am wondering what the explanation will be when it comes out.
And in the end, what risk are we taking by putting so many eggs in the Google basket? I like their products and use them regularly, but extended down-time can be a real deal killer. I don’t have a job where anything that was caught up in a short Google outage is going to keep me from getting my job done, but an extended outage could lead to very real consequences.
Things to ponder on a Thursday.
Google has announced that users of Gmail, will soon be able to retrieve mail from up to five other accounts. Those that are totally in love with web based mail may like this, but I still download all of my Gmail into Outlook and very rarely login to Gmail itself.
This feature has been requested for a long time and I know that Hotmail allowed you to do this as well. I already use rules within outlook to manage my multiple e-mail accounts so until Gmail brings more outlook like features to the service, I cannot see using them to manage all my mail.
What do you think? Would you prefer to have Gmail pull up to 5 other accounts email into your Gmail account? [TechCrunch]
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I am sure that this will not last long but it appears that you can view PDF files that are protected with DRM via Gmail. I wonder how many previously secure documents are now going to be propagated through out the net. [akira.arts.kuleuven.ac.be]
Very good evidence that Gmail will be adding e-mail and integrating with a service called Evite this was from examination of the source code of Gmail. The Voicemail feature is a interesting one and if implemented correctly could really change the landscape of some of the existing services out there.
Gmail has introduced a mini RSS reader in Gmail. I for one do not use the Gmail interface but instead pop the e-mail, it just takes to long to organize everything in the reader. Nice little edition and will be good for public education if nothing else. [Gmail Clips]