Google – Make up your minds!

So, Google is on two separate and opposing rampages. On one hand, they’re talking about halting new releases to improve quality and integration, and (as mentioned in a previous post), even cutting their product count by a full 20%. On the other hand, they’re making acquisition after acquisition. It just doesn’t add up – do they want more products, or less? Are they bulking up or slimming down? I’m a rabid technophile, I read more tech news than most people read “real” news. So, which is it, Big G?

Anyone who’s read my blog knows I’m all for speculation, but this one has me stumped. I’d hate to see good in-house projects get dumped in favor of bringing in products from the outside – not so much because of the products themselves, but because of Google’s merger habits. You see, when they bring out a new in-house product, it’s, well, Googley. It’s got the familiar Google UI, and it typically has some level of integration with existing Google products – at the very least, it shares Google’s accounts system. But when they buy something up, well… how long have they had Blogger, and they’re just now integrating accounts into it? And that’s pretty much it. The UI is still the same dismal Blogger UI they’ve always had (and yes, I am using the “new” Blogger Beta), the Google logo is nowhere to be found, and integration is nearly non-existent. When they bought YouTube they stated they were keeping Google Video around, which indicates to me that they are planning on keeping the YouTube brand separate from Google for the foreseeable future.

With all their talk of wanting to scale down product count and focus on integration, they seem to be doing a lot of acquisition which works against both goals. It just doesn’t add up.