Demise of Google Notebook

by Maskil on January 20, 2009

I know I’ve said this before – on several occasions – but Google is really starting to remind me more and more of Novell.
What do they have in common (apart from CEO Eric Schmidt, and presumably a host of other refugees from Novell)?
The way I see it, both invested an inordinate amount of energy and money in building or acquiring amazing, innovative products (such as Novell digitalme and Google Notebook), then failing to integrate or align them with the rest of their offerings.  In harsh economic times, development is then suspended on the promising products and they are eventually terminated entirely, to the accompaniment of howls of protest from a legion of passionate fans.
I hold this product death cycle to be one of the biggest factors in Novell’s demise as a serious networking software company.  I hope it won’t have the same chilling effect on Google’s long-term prospects.
One of the unintended consequences of a move such as this is the erosion of trust in Google.  I’m now going to have to think twice before committing any of my precious intellectual or emotional property to a Google platform, and I’m sure many other users will have the same misgivings.
I am a user of Google Notebook.  I’m not locked into it, but I do use it and have accumulated some notebooks I wouldn’t like to lose.  Hopefully Google will at least offer a migration tool before the service shuts down completely.  Sigh.

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