Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Sep 6, 2011
Well, what a bummer this news way. Google announced last week that it was stopping work on Google Desktop and a host of other programs they’re normally working on. That depresses me because I loved Google Desktop, loading it many years ago and happy once again when the latest version came out for 64-bit.
Of course I saw this coming, but was still hopeful. Just like many other programs they put out that worked well with Firefox, I knew that as they pushed their own browser more that things they were working on with the Mozilla people was going to come to the end. And if they’d added Desktop as part of their Chrome browser, I might have at least used Chrome for that.
Their reasoning is that people can search for almost anything on their computers now through our operating systems. That’s not quite true. If there was a reference to a golf program in an email I’d send 2 years ago it’s not coming up on a Windows search, and I doubt it would come up on a mac search either. However, that part of the Desktop program seemed to shut down last July anyway, and I’ve been trying all sorts of things to get it to index newer mail, all without success. Search will find things in programs, but I still need something to help me find words within my email (I use Thunderbird).
This comes on the heels of their announcement in July that they were shutting down Google Labs, which allowed people to go in and test things Google was working on, then report what they observed.
They’re also shutting down a company they purchased last year, Slide, which made games and social media apps. They gave no reason for this move except to say that all the employees of the company would be merged into Google and that the creator of the company was moving on to do some other things.
The questions are vast here. Is Google suddenly tightening their belts because they’re getting competitive pushes from other companies? Could it have something to do with G+ and all the machinations about it, including claims from some (like me) that it might be just the latest “dog” of social media? Could it be the lawsuit against they for patent violations that’s threatening their HTC line of smartphones? Or could it be that they realized their operations were getting a bit unwieldy and they want to sharpen focus on their main lines of business?
Don’t know, and I’m not sure I care. I knew nothing about Aardvark, and I never downloaded Google Pack. I will miss Desktop, and probably will kill it soon since email is my main thing. But they move on, I move on; it’s a fairly symbiotic relationship in that manner.