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January 18, 2007

The Conflict Between Google Search and Google OS

Google Search does its job if it sends you to the most relevant sites as fast as possible. Google OS tries to keep you using it to save and edit documents, photos, blog posts, events and more.

The services from Google OS might be search results, but not necessarily the best. While most people identify Google with Google Search, the company has to use its most valuable assets: the homepage and the search results pages to promote the rest of the products. That's why you'll see ads for Google Toolbar at the bottom of SERPs or promos for Google Talk, Google Checkout on the homepage. Google also uses AdWords to promote its services, but the ads can't stand out enough to be really effective.

The problem with Google's promos is that they're not context-sensitive, so users will find them out-of-place. The famous self-promoting tips tried to react to user's query, but they were poorly targeted and stirred a lot of controversy. The sacrosanct search results had an undisclosed ad on top.

So how should Google promote its services without affecting the credibility of search results? Gmail should integrate with more Google services and become a way to discover the usefulness of the rest of Google: read feeds, view your agenda, save notes, manage your attachments and the files saved in other Google services. Google Toolbar and Google Desktop should become more useful and bring the power of Google services anywhere you are. Google should secure other channels for promoting its products instead of relying on tips and promos.


  1. This post acts as if Google OS really exists. Could you please be more specific about your perception of Google OS. (or atleast give us some details of its release date "Goobuntu")

  2. "The services from Google OS might be search results, but necessarily the best."

    Did you mean "... but *not* necessarily the best"?

  3. Anonymous: the "Google OS/ Google Office" is what's already here -- a variety of cross-integrated web applications on the platform. Platforms like these may lower the importance of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office one day. Right now, Google is only taking baby steps of cross-integration, but we can see the general direction they're taking -- and the general conflict Ionut lined out. "Sending away people as fast as possible" (Google's old philosophy) seems to be incompatible with "Keeping people on the platform as long as possible" (part of Google's new philosophy, e.g. Google Checkout specific links, or the recent tips controversy).

  4. I have tried almost all the tools has ever offered. All have been interesting, most have been something I would want to use on a contunial basis. Some of my favotites graduated. Their new sting of "OS" tools have taken some of my office tasks online. That said, I would like to see a little more integration of Gmail and the Google Calander. (I hate to say it, but outlook does a pretty good job keeping me on top of things.)

    I am still waiting for the day I get to install "GooOS" alpha and take something besides Win-dows for a spin ;-)

  5. good points are made here...yes, I have google toolbar on every computer I use, but yea, the toolbar could be a lot more effective if it were integrated together with other applications too.

    Same goes for Gmail...there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to access my Google Contacts, Google Caldendar, Google Groups, and Google Reader, from my Google Mail account.

    Sure, I could use Firefox+greasemonkey, and get my Google Reader feeds into Gmail with a userscript, but I like IE the way it is, it's small, convenient, and compact; set up the way I like it.

    I don't think I could see Google creating their own "Operating System"...since you require an operating system to log into Google, but who knows what the future holds; right now Google is a huge portal of information at my fingertips.

  6. the google-os is nothing more then an index built into a OS rather then what anyone else would use being an indexer on top of an OS. its a logical step for them to take but it wont be much worth to the majority of the people\companies out there as most of us wont need that hardcore of an index solution.

  7. There is no Google OS that will compete directly with Vista or OSX (or even Linux). It will be a layer of services that you add onto these systems. Let me know when Google offers an AutoCAD application or something like SPSS. It is an interesting idea, but creating their own operating system would never work. Microsoft won. The war is over, it has been over since 1995. Nothing that you do or so can change this (believe me, the best of us have tried and it is pointless).


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