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Google (GOOG) has thousands of brilliant engineers, but do they understand consumers? Gizmodo's...

Google (GOOG) has thousands of brilliant engineers, but do they understand consumers? Gizmodo's Sam Biddle has his doubts after going over Google I/O's product announcements. The sharing features of the Nexus Q streamer, panned in reviews, don't "sound like any fun unless you're an Android engineer." Google+'s new "party mode" feature "is as painfully dorky as it sounds." And the adoption of Project Glass requires "not just a leap in technology, but in culture." (also)
Comments (23)
  • Google has completely lost their way. They are my least favorite company now, and have made it clear that user experience is simply not their motivation now as much as it was just a handful of years ago.


    Goodbye, Google. You'll eventually be replaced.
    30 Jun 2012, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • Yes, all those will be flops.


    But the Nexus tablet will sell like hot cookies.
    30 Jun 2012, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • Agreed. I think Kindle Fire sales just took a swan dive.
    1 Jul 2012, 02:03 AM Reply Like
  • don't know about you, but i sure as hell don't want anybody wearing those creepy glasses at MY party... or anywhere i'm at for that matter
    30 Jun 2012, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • I love it when people say that Google and Microsoft can compete with Apple, over the long haul on a product basis. Apple's culture is based on making it easier, making it irresistibly attractive to the eye and touch, and making what we need in advance of our knowing we needed it.
    Google does search and some kinds of software engineering well; and they do some geeky cool things, looking at your house on the internet. But beauty? customer service?
    Microsoft was just plain lucky, it has never been world class good at anything. OK, I understand they have a game box that is good. OK, maybe world class good at destroying others' products that competed with their products. It is a company that was in the right place at the right time and has almost completely shot itself in the foot at every other opportunity. If there was a viable alternative to Office, Microsoft would be bankrupt or it would shrink to nothing particularly important in the grand scheme; they have developed a good game box..
    30 Jun 2012, 06:01 PM Reply Like
  • Unfortunately the brand has lost its shine as an objective tool for search relevant answers. Now search is linked to adds, mainly placed on it own platform. The company is plagued with judicial troubles in the US, Europe and Korea about uncompetitive practices and privacy violations.
    No focus or clear path. It has so many failed initiatives and more to come.
    30 Jun 2012, 10:30 PM Reply Like
  • Google is good in engineering but not much else. Take Android for example. After the early success of open-source Android as a smartphone OS to rival Apple's iOS, Google decided to create a new version called Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) designed specifically for tablets, the first ones of which were made by Motorola. Realizing its mistake, Google then tried to merge the two versions together with another version called Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). After buying Motorola ostensibly for its patent portfolio, it promised its own OEM partners that it won't enter the hardware business. Getting itself now into the ring, it doesn't give a sh-t about destroying its own industry ecosystem. Android should be treated for what it really is -- geekware -- from a company run by geeks.
    30 Jun 2012, 11:26 PM Reply Like
  • Google is doing exactly the right thing, and Apple is doing exactly the wrong thing.


    This is an exact repeat of history from the 80s when Apple had the innovative hardware and slick SW, but eventually couldn't keep up with a standardized operating system and open platform. In the fight between one company (Apple) vs. the world (open platform), long term Apple has no chance of remaining competitive. Apple has already started falling behind in features. It doesn't matter *yet* because they still have tons of loyal fans, and their products are still pretty slick, but eventually that halo will start wearing off.


    Even the lawsuits that Apple is filing (look and feel type) are eerily reminiscent of the ones they tried to use to stop Windows 30 years ago. That effort, as everyone is well aware, failed.


    Five years from now Google will be a far more relevant company than Apple.
    1 Jul 2012, 02:18 AM Reply Like
  • "Google is doing exactly the right thing, and Apple is doing exactly the wrong thing."


    If this were true, how come Motorola doesn't exist today? Remember their early Android products: Droids and Xooms? Where are they now?
    1 Jul 2012, 03:52 AM Reply Like
  • This comment misses my point entirely. My point is that Apple doesn't just have to just beat Motorola ( just like they didn't just have to beat IBM back in the old days ). They have to beat everybody: HTC, Samsung, LG, and companies that we haven't even heard of yet..


    We are pitting the innovative capacity of one company against the innovative capacity of the entire planet. In the long run my money would be on the entire planet.
    1 Jul 2012, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • "They have to beat everybody: HTC, Samsung, LG, and companies that we haven't even heard of yet..."


    But Google just dumped them...which should be expected anyhow...after all, Google is headed by a Silicon Valley Judas who used his privileged position as a board member of Apple to steal the iPhone trade secret. Why should HTC, Samsung, LG, etc. continue to "partner" with the "Don't be Evil" Google of Dr. Strangelove?
    1 Jul 2012, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • So what do you suggest to implement your financial strategy of "owning the entire planet"? Should we be buying Google or buying HTC, Samsung, LG and Microsoft? This is a financial and investment website. I am not trying to get involved in the culture war between Apple and Android. But I need to understand how you can translate a judgment into a trade.


    Nevertheless, I personally think that you are mistaken about Apple doing the wrong thing because Apple learns its lesson in the 1990's and it is creating the ecosystem to protect their profit. Still technology moves so fast that it is almost pointless to talk about a long term.
    1 Jul 2012, 05:20 PM Reply Like
  • What was the specific IPhone's trade secret that former (GOOG) CEO Schmidt stole?
    2 Jul 2012, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • I have a bullish bias on Apple right now as I think their current crop of products, and the upcoming iPhone 5 will be strong. Apple's moat is not wide though as I have argued, but that's somewhat compensated for by their low P/E. I would not be long Apple after this year.


    Google is a long term buy, and I think current prices are a good entry point.


    The best way to be long "the planet" is to buy the semiconductor companies, particularly Qualcomm, Broadcom, and somewhat more speculatively Nvidia (just as one of the best ways to have benefited from the PC innovation cycle was to buy Intel). All semis should benefit from a cyclical upswing in chips, which should provide another nice tailwind for these companies.
    2 Jul 2012, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • (Un) fortunately to say, (Aapl) is beating them.
    I bought a used HTC-- and it doesn't sync with my Mac. Then I bought a Samsung Series 5 and it didn't automatically sync.
    and then, Cn govt blocks certain Google products (play, drive ...)


    In 3 years, my computer and phone will all be Apple.
    No shares though.
    2 Jul 2012, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • I don't know; you should ask him. Here's a link to the Uniform Trade Secrets Act of the California Civil Code (3426-3426.11):

    2 Jul 2012, 10:39 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks,


    I just know that the refurbished HTC Evo 3D, doesn't work (partly my naivete, partly cn govt Google blocking, partly HTC).


    Until Android/Chrome products become less Msft-like (looking for apps to properly use), the iOS or Apple Universe has nothing to worry about.


    Caveat Emptor
    2 Jul 2012, 11:58 PM Reply Like
  • "Should we be buying Google or buying HTC, Samsung, LG and Microsoft?"


    Let's go through this one by one, if I may:


    To my knowledge, Google does not have any business relationship with any of the mobile operators in the world. And neither does Microsoft. Now, HTC, Samsung, LG and the other hundred-or-so OEMs may or may not have any business relationship with the mobile operators but none of the OEMs have their own mobile platforms, relying instead on either Google (Android) or Microsoft (Windows Mobile), both of whom are now actively competing against their OEMs. Samsung does have its own homegrown BadaOS but whether Samsung eventually drops Android (or Windows Mobile) in favor of BadaOS remains to be seen.
    1 Jul 2012, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • Samsung's OS had a small window of opportunity and they already missed it. Samsung will be able to drop Android as much as Dell can drop Windows.


    I can say one thing with absolute certainty: there won't be 5 different mobile OSs when the dust settles. The buying public will not be able to wrap their heads around that. There will be only 2: a dominant OS and an also ran.


    Right now Apple, Google, and Microsoft are locked in a death struggle to determine what that dominant OS is. My money is on Android winning. Android has huge momentum right now.


    Their only problem is that they release too many versions that results in fragmentation. They have to figure out a way to standardize their products better. That's their main selling point, that Android looks and feels the same across all devices and platforms. They are not their yet, but I think they will get there. And when they do, Google will be to mobile devices what Microsoft is to the PC. I don't think people realize what a huge potential revenue stream this could be for Google.
    2 Jul 2012, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • The world is becoming OS-agnostic as it moves to cloud based services. This was where momentum was before Apple jumped in with bite sized apps and everyone turned left, but we are back on that track again.


    Individual OS will eventually become irrelevant because of services such as Google Docs and Dropbox, and the fact that the major apps are not platform restricted.


    Apple still holds the lead in hardware and design and will continue to hold share for that alone.


    The most important underestimated development is that Windows on ARM will make phone factor and USB drive-sized form factor fully mobile desktop environments viable.


    Also: consider ChromeOS, and Mozilla's Firefox phone OS when you contemplate the OS galaxy.
    3 Jul 2012, 09:39 AM Reply Like
  • I disagree with two things you have stated.


    One is that Apple holds a lead in hardware. Current Android phones have much better hardware specs, and have had better specs for about a year now (LTE, bigger screen, higher res cameras, faster processors, more powerful graphics).


    Where Apple holds a lead is in software, and the software ecosystem built around IOS. If you define the OS as broadly the operating system, core applications, and the look and feel of the device, everything I know about consumer behavior suggests that the buying public will not be able to get behind more than 2 operating systems at the most.


    Everything moving to the cloud doesn't really make a difference because what users will see and interact with is still either iOS or Android.
    3 Jul 2012, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • Your points on Apple are well taken but you miss my point in terms of OS agnosticism.


    Here is what I am stating, broadly restated:


    The end user experience is normalizing across OS, in part as a result of 'moving to the cloud' and in part because 'apps' from major devs are being made for multiple platforms, i.e. differentiation in the end user experience is decreasing.


    The point of technology is to make life easier and more efficient, if all the available OS can provide same - which let's face it they couldn't say 2 years ago, but that's changing - then other factors come into play for driving consumption.


    This is also why I strongly disagree with your assertion that the world can only accommodate 2 OS; if the OS becomes irrelevant, there is no reason the world couldn't support dozens.
    4 Jul 2012, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • "The world is becoming OS-agnostic as it moves to cloud based services. This was where momentum was before Apple jumped in with bite sized apps and everyone turned left, but we are back on that track again."


    But Web usage is moving from the PC to Mobile. Using a Web browser on a mobile device is not as easy as using native apps. For some apps, going native is the only way to go, eg., Instagram. Being dependent on cloud services doesn't remove the need for a native app on a mobile device, it simply reinforces the ongoing transition from Browser-Web to App-Cloud.
    4 Jul 2012, 06:59 PM Reply Like
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