Why Google Search Integration with Google+ Sucks

This is a very simple example of something I am seeing more and more on Google Search. I did a very simple search for “.NET 4 launch activity in background thread”. The picture below shows the results:

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What’s my issue with this? Well, how about the fact that the number one result has absolutely nothing to do with my search. Google knows it really is not the best result for my search, but puts it there, I assume, because the author is in almost 7000 Google+ circles.

Sorry Google, but I do not give a crap about Google+ circles when I just want relevant results from my search.

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Google+ and a Failure to Communicate

UPDATE: Well, I remembered a Google account I created a few years ago, and no longer user. With this, I was able to create a public profile and join Google+. But what is the point? That account is separate from the one I now use for all of my other activities. So I will have yet another disconnected social network. Yay.

I thought I would try out Google+ this week, since the press is marketing it so well and everyone else seems to be jumping on the bandwagon of the “game-changing” technology (how I hate that term!). After all, a significant part of my work is around web-based collaboration and I have been an early adopter of most social networking technologies (trying to remember my 5 digit ICQ number).

One of my Twitter connections was happy enough to send me an invite, to my Google hosted email address on the same domain as this blog.

I immediately see the following message:

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(BTW, Google, lose the “Oops”. We are not in Grade 1.)

I proceed to spend the next hour trying to figure out how to create a Google Profile. I am pretty sure that I am at least as smart as the average Internet user, and probably smarter than some. It should not be this hard to register for a service.

I eventually came to the conclusion that I cannot do it for my fyeomans.com email address.

It appears that if I want to use Google+, I will have to create yet another account email address (to go with the 5 or 6 I already use) and get someone to invite me at THAT address.

Not something I am going to be bothered doing.

While I realize that supposedly 10 million people have already signed up for Google+, remember that that is a drop in the bucket of internet users.

And if you create barriers to people using the technology, it fail at badly as Buzz did.

Just my 2 cents. I would love to comment on the service itself, but well, I can’t.

Microsoft is evil, lame, and sucks, right?

WRONG!

Give me a freaking break!

I was just reading a post over on TechCrunch. I do not know why I allow myself to get drawn into reading this drivel, but I always seem to.

When are the anti-Microsoft crowd going to grow up and realize that this is a business, and we are all in it to make money and increase the value of that business.

(including, of course, Google and Apple – but it is somehow ok for them)

For those who do not want to waste time and bandwidth reading the actual post, I will summarize a bit:

  • Microsoft participated in the consortium which purchased the “Nortel Patents”, even though MS apparently did not need to
  • Microsoft is pursuing licensing agreements with Android phone vendors based on other IP which MS already had
  • Microsoft stands to make a lot of money from these agreements
  • Microsoft is obviously “lame” for doing this (seriously, who actually uses the term “lame” anymore?)
  • Microsoft is doing this (obviously) because they cannot compete with Android by being innovative.
  • It would be OK if Apple were doing this, since Apple can do no wrong

So lets take a look at this from a more realistic point of view.

  • Microsoft is a business. It is in business to make money, and increase shareholder value. Period.
  • Microsoft owns certain patents. A lot of them. It owned this IP before participating in the Nortel deal.
  • Microsoft felt that participating in the consortium to buy the Nortel patents was valuable in terms of protecting its IP position.

So far so good. Lets look at the Android situation.

  • Android (apparently) infringes upon a number of patents which Microsoft owns. I am not in a position to assess this, but I would suspect there is some validity to the claim or Android phone vendors would not be signing agreements with MS without fighting.
  • If this is the case, Google is making money selling something for which they do not have clear intellectual property rights. And this is somehow Microsoft’s fault?

The statement is made that Android is winning because Google “out-innovates” Microsoft. Lets compare the two:

  • Google has a mobile phone OS named Android, based on an existing open-source OS, using a programming model which some believe they do not have valid IP rights to, and using a UI paradigm which clearly borrows heavily from another famous mobile phone (though I do think Android improves on it).
  • Microsoft, after lagging for a long time, has introduced a new mobile phone OS, written from the ground up, using a unique UI model which is clearly theirs, and with a development environment to which they own the IP, and which is also highly innovative.

Whether WP7 succeeds or fails, and whether you happen to like it or not, from an innovation perspective it is clearly well beyond Android.

So what is Microsoft’s strategy? Well, it appears to be two-pronged.

Having invested heavily in innovation, they are clearly focused on the future of WP7. They intend it to be a success. Whether or not they are successful is more a question of their timing and marketing ability than their level of innovation.

At the same time, Microsoft has quite rightly taken action to preserve the value of its intellectual property. They have also leveraged their ownership of this IP to make money and increase shareholder value.

It seems to me like Microsoft is doing exactly what a business is supposed to do, and doing it well in this case.

Finally, I just have to comment on this little snippet form the post:

“When Apple takes these agressive (sic) approaches on patents, it’s no more right, but at least they can argue that they have a winning product (the iPhone) that they’re trying to protect. Their goal isn’t to get other companies licensing their patents, it’s to run those guys out of the market”

At least he acknowledges that Apple is “no more right” than anyone else in this process. It is the final statement that gets me. So, it is more admirable to crush your competitors and drive them out of business than to license technology to them, allowing both parties to survive and make money?

Of course it is, since we all know it is better to only have one choice in the market, as long as that choice is Apple!

(in case that was too subtle for any of you, that was sarcasm )

Google throws weight behind antitrust case against Microsoft – what a load of crap

Reading the article Google throws weight behind antitrust case against Microsoft – what a load of crap (not the article, the subject of the article).

I am so sick of companies whining on the one hand about how they cannot compete with “big bad Microsoft”, and yet claiming everything MS does is crap. If their products are crap, build something better and knock them off. MS products too complex? Too expensive? Then build something simpler and cheaper and be disruptive.

But to hear a large company with the market share Google has whine about Microsoft is comical to the point of silliness. Why should a company not be allowed to bundle its own browser with its platform? How many Linux distributions bundle Firefox? I could see there being a complaint if MS tried to stop you from installing running another browser, but they do not. And many people do. If you want to displace the pre-installed IE browser, build a better browser, market it well, and knock MS out of first place.

But don’t waste the taxpayer’s money by trying to get the courts and government to do your job for you!

VentureBeat » Google continues its assault on Microsoft, offering StarOffice suite

VentureBeat » Google continues its assault on Microsoft, offering StarOffice suite

Two thoughts spring to mind:

  1. If StarOffice cannot compete successfully against MS Office, does it matter that Google is bundling it?
  2. If Google had faith in its web-based office applications, and in the vision of all apps as web apps, why is it bundling a desktop-based office suite?