Google have without a doubt been the breath-taking success of the internet age. Along with the innovation and financial success they have consistently been well-liked. Even people who caution against their rise as a possible big brother haven’t been able to deny that they are very good at what they do, delivering product after product that is very usable, demonstrating an Apple-like attention to detail and devoid of a desire to manipulate (adsense aside).
But recently I’ve noticed a handful of things that maybe demonstrate this is slipping:
Exhibit A – Being annoying
I signed up to Google tasks, a new Google labs project accessible via gmail. I can’t say I’ve made any use of it, but I am in fact likely to ditch it before I do as every time I visit gmail it flashes up a dialog box which
- states the obvious
- just won’t go away. Doesn’t even offer a “tick here to not show again” option
- covers up the titles of about 5 or 6 emails
I can’t imagine the google of yesteryear letting anything so intrusive and persistently annoying slip through to even a labs product. It’s kinda, dare I say, evil.
*Edit – I’ve discovered that if you click on the Tasks link then the popup does go away, but it’s still annoying
Exhibit B – Repeated rebranding
This blog has pictures and dates to prove it. In summary, Google changed from having the recognizeable capital G, to having a nondescript lowercase g, to now having a barely legible, garish lowercase g. Big evil corporations engage in meaningless rebranding. Google doesn’t, surely!
Exhibit C – Holiday logos
This was supposed to be the nail in the coffin, proving that Google have lost their sense of fun as they don’t do as many logo variations on special occasions, but the jury’s actually still out on that one, as you can see from the figures below.
- 1999 – 2
- 2000 – 11
- 2001 – 11
- 2002 – 18
- 2003 – 15
- 2004 – 21
- 2005 – 17
- 2006 – 19
- 2007 – 16
- 2008 – 27
- 2009 – 4