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Google Acquires Picasa, Improves Blogging Tools

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the google-does-something-news-at-ten dept.

Google 369

clandestine writes "It appears that our lovable search engine has again expanded its horizons - the internet wasn't enough; now you can search and organize your own pictures. I don't know about you, but I use Google for nearly everything; heck, I found links about their acquisition of Picasa through Google News! Any slashdotters going to benefit from this tech, or already do? And yes, the addition of Picasa to their arsenal is a couple of days old, but they just started linking them on the homepage today."

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Super... more Google (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715145)

When will I be able to buy Google in a familiar Snickers and/ or Twix bar form?

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715146)

fp

- urmom

wrong, second (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715232)

you failed it.

- urmom still owes me

Monopoly (5, Interesting)

yuting (222615) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715148)

Seems like Google is expanding to more areas of our internet lives... Would this be another Microsoft coming?

Re:Monopoly (5, Interesting)

Fenresulven (516459) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715168)

I think it's an attempt to survive the built in search options in Longhorn. So it would be more along the lines of surviving Microsoft than trying to become Microsoft.

Re:Monopoly (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715174)

Two adversaries are better than one... at least in a capitalist world.

Re:Monopoly (5, Insightful)

arieswind (789699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715201)

Google will never become another Microsoft. If you think about it, the cost of moving is 0. Google will only be the market leader as long as it is the best. As soon as something better comes out, people will switch over. Google's sucess is based off of how good its product is, Microsoft's success is based off of how well it can lock its consumers in.

Re:Monopoly (5, Insightful)

isopossu (681431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715235)

Gmail's 1 GB mailbox without the option to
  1. forward the messages
  2. move the whole mailbox elsewhere

looks just like locking the consumers in. For example in Yahoo you can buy yourself out by paying $ 20 and upload your 2G anywhere. You can't do this in Gmail.

Re:Monopoly (2, Informative)

arieswind (789699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715244)

Gmail is also still in beta, you know, dont come to that conclusion that fast

Re:Monopoly (2, Informative)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715245)

... Except Gmail isn't finished yet.

Re:Monopoly (5, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715270)

Gmail's 1 GB mailbox without the option to

1. forward the messages
2. move the whole mailbox elsewhere

looks just like locking the consumers in. For example in Yahoo you can buy yourself out by paying $ 20 and upload your 2G anywhere. You can't do this in Gmail.


You can do that with a free Hotmail account with the Gotmail script, and with a free Yahoo acount with the Yosucker script. Both retrieve your data through the proprietary HTML interface of the provider, "mbox'es" the formatting and forward it to the email account of your choice. No need to pay a hapenny for the privilege.

Matter of fact, I use Gotmail to retrieve all of my 50-so hotmail accounts every 30 minutes and forward them to my main pop3 account. I never see the Hotmail site. It works very well indeed.

Re:Monopoly (5, Interesting)

vk2 (753291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715333)

Exactly - I weighed my options of paying the 19.99$ per account for the archive and 2gb features but when I came across fetchyahoo [sourceforge.net] I was very much impressed about the features and ease with which you can download mails from yahoo.

Didn't mean to steal $$ from yahoo but 19$ is too steep per account. However I do pay them for the personal email addresses - So I guess I am justified.

Re:Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715385)

Thanks for that info. Is there a tool which allows one to do the same thing from mail.com?

Re:Monopoly (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715285)

Google's sucess is based off of how good its product is, Microsoft's success is based off of how well it can lock its consumers in.

I realize that through shady deals and whatnot MSFT established itself as the industry leader and continues to do so today...

Now, while Google didn't use shady deals to become the #1 search engine out there do you think that they will resort to lock-in tactics later? Perhaps after they go public and money begins to control innovation and not the other way around?

Re:Monopoly (2, Interesting)

yuting (222615) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715364)

Microsoft's vision used to be "a computer on every desktop and in every home" (with Windows being the only OS).

Google's vision is "make the world's information universally accessible and useful" (with Google the only way to access it?) ;)

Re:Monopoly (2, Insightful)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715303)

"If you think about it, the cost of moving is 0."

Not really. People get used to the web services and have trouble leaving them. Same with applications. Its not exactly that hard to switch from IE to Firefox and doesn't cost a dime, yet MS still has 90-something% of the market there.

Does it run on Linux? (2, Informative)

doodlelogic (773522) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715365)

(No.) Here are the minimum system requirements for Picasa: Personal computer with 300MHz Pentium® processor and MMX® technology. 64 MB RAM (128MB recommended). 50 MB available hard disk space. 800 x 600 pixels, 16 bit color monitor. Microsoft® Windows 98, Microsoft® Windows Me, Microsoft® Windows 2000, or Microsoft® Windows XP. Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5.01 (6.0 recommended). If at any time you get an "unable to authenticate" error, you should upgrade to IE 6.0. Microsoft® DirectX 7.0 or higher (8.1 ships with XP, 9.0b recommended). Optional: 56K Internet connection speed (for access to any online services and picture sharing via Hello). Works with JPEG, TIFF, GIF, BMP, PSD, AVI, MPG, ASF, and WMV files No, it doesn't run on Linux, nor on Macs, nor my old 486sx running windows 3.1 that I still keep half my photos on (early digital camera adopter).

Re:Monopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715386)

so what.

antitrust laws are agains monopolies brought about by illicit means. the US likes monopolies otherwise.

Awesome! (5, Funny)

nubbie (454788) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715152)

Yet a faster way to find pr0n... thanks google!

Re:Awesome! (1)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715160)

Though do you really want google to be digging through your pron? They might find that steakknife pr0n I have been keeping..



Oh god I have said too much!

Only if you already have the porn... (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715350)

I mean, it's searching your local files... have you really gone to that much trouble to organize and classify all of your porn?

I'm guessing that at least some people won't, for fear that someone might find the kiddle porn folder, which you then can't claim 'I don't know how that got there'.

Well...I'm still waiting (5, Interesting)

incognitox (123292) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715157)

This might be awesome, or it might not. I'm not overly impressed with Google's web picture search, so I'm not gonna hold my breath on this one. Their forte is search of text, and sure, you can put a million keywords or a clever description on each picture, but that doesn't really help me. I want to be able to sketch a rough version of the picture and have the system find all images which match it. Or how about identification of individual people? So that I can outline a section of a given picture and it'll find all other pictures which contain a similar section (AKA a given person).

Then I'll get excited...

Re:Well...I'm still waiting (3, Interesting)

sseremeth (716379) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715177)

Get imgseek [sourceforge.net] .

Re:Well...I'm still waiting (1)

incognitox (123292) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715381)

Just what the doctor ordered!

Thanks.

*shrug* (0)

TheHonestTruth (759975) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715190)

Then I'll get excited...

Sorry their warehouse full of Ph.D.s isn't working hard enough on R&D for you. Hopefully Google will pull their heads out of their asses and start innovating in some area.

</sarcasm>

-truth

Re:*shrug* (1)

Black Perl (12686) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715266)

Is that kneejerk sarcasm because you work there? Or do you have blind faith in all things Google? Or do you think all innovation comes from "warehouses full of Ph.D's"?

Sorry, but that's the kind of attitude I would expect from someone working for a software company in Redmond.

I happen to agree with the grandparent-post. The image search could be enhanced by taking it beyond surrounding-word analysis, perhaps by using a wavelet-decomposition index or other method of indexing by actual image contents. Perhaps you could refine your search by seeing your picture in the center of a block of nine similar pictures, where choosing one on the perimeter will move it to the center and you repeat until you find what you want. If you've ever used Photoshop's "Variations" tool you know what I'm talking about. This is just one hastily conceived example. There are a myriad other ways it could be improved.

Re:*shrug* (2, Interesting)

incognitox (123292) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715313)

Exactly!

What I was getting at in my original post was that everyone seems to think that as soon as Google touches something, it's immediately made amazing. Not true! They ruined Deja News for a _loooong time_ (Have you seen their latest beta for groups? Still needs work).

In addition, we, as users, need to keep asking for new features and creating a _DEMAND_ for good products. I send in bugfixes & feature requests several times per week on Gmail. I think that Gmail is far and away _the best_ webmail product out there, but I still get irritated and fire off suggestions about portions of it which don't make sense (what's the point of being able to create a labeling filter that only applies one label? The whole point of labels is to be able to apply several!!!).

So to sum it up, I'm interested, but just not immediately a Picassa zelot just because Google grabbed it...

Re:Well...I'm still waiting (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715194)

Or how about identification of individual people? So that I can outline a section of a given picture and it'll find all other pictures which contain a similar section (AKA a given person).

Then I'll get excited...


Then I'll get scared.

Re:Well...I'm still waiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715224)

>I want to be able to sketch a rough version of the picture and have the system find all images which match it. ...
>Then I'll get excited...

So you want a quicker way to find pr0n? ;)

Re:Well...I'm still waiting (2, Informative)

dj245 (732906) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715261)

I'm not overly impressed with Google's web picture search

Depends on what you use it for. Google picture search was a godsend at college when I needed to find pictures of famous paintings so I could write reports about them. Even many obscure paintings (Try Castine Harbour by Lane [google.com] ) are found multiple times with google image search. Politicians, famous people, they're all there.

It does need work (more options, better narrowing-down tools) but its a good tool.

Re:Well...I'm still waiting (1)

Doodhwala (13342) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715318)



So you might not see it soon, but there are already research projects out there that are looking at exactly what you mention.

For example, look at Intel's Diamond project [intel-research.net] . I am sure others will point you to more related work.

Who are google anyway? (-1, Troll)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715169)

I keep hearing about this goggle company.

What exactly is it they do?

Funny thing.. (2, Interesting)

yummy1991 (546737) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715171)

When microsoft "expands" we all bitch and whine, but then google goes out and devours companies and services, and its suddenly "cute".

Re:Funny thing.. (5, Insightful)

Vitus Wagner (5911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715209)


When microsoft "expands" we all bitch and whine, but then google goes out and devours companies and services, and its suddenly "cute".


It is because:

  1. Google services just works and are not famous for their bugs and instability
  2. Google doesn't require you to upgrade your PC with each new release of their flagship product
  3. Google doesn't force PC manufacters to buidle their product with your hardware using unfair clauses in contracts
  4. Google customers do not send you documents in cryptic format which only Google products can read.
  5. Google is not designed to enable virus propagation.


There was other point - you don't trust your data to Google. But since introduction of GMail this is no more true

Re:Funny thing.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715222)

When microsoft "expands" we all bitch and whine, but then google goes out and devours companies and services, and its suddenly "cute".

It is because:

1. Google services just works and are not famous for their bugs and instability


Yep, and *they* know how to close italic tags too...

One more thing... (4, Insightful)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715241)

6. Google is free.

Re:One more thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715319)

6. Google is free.

For now...

Re:Funny thing.. (4, Insightful)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715218)

That's because Microsoft has a proven history of stifling innovation, whereas Google has been doing nothing BUT innovation since their inception. Further, when MS expands, we can expect some technological offshoot of this expansion to be irrevocably tied to the OS with the next service pack, whereas Google still provides a better service while still leaving us the option of having it or not.

Re:Funny thing.. (1)

PingKing (758573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715219)

I believe a simple factor in this is the fact that Microsoft charge for their products and Google offer them for free. If Google started charging for access to their search engine and other technologies, there would be a huge backlash against them.

Re:Funny thing.. (4, Funny)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715324)

My God, do you mean to say that people apply different standards for behavior to convicted monopolists than they do to, say, law-abiding corporations?!

How strange.

Re:Funny thing.. (2, Insightful)

manavendra (688020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715390)

Perhaps also because:

1. google is relatively new, and is still expanding.
2. There isn't any new upcoming companies that google has tried to smother (or at least hasn't been know to)
3. Because google still isn't so big as to be deemed a giant monothlith. I think its too early right now for google to have any antagonists. I think for any company to be regarded "evil", it first has to permeate enough businesses/industry segments, and attain that critical mass that overpowers people.
4. And finally, I think google has tried hard to not antagonize the geeks and the first line users. All new features are well thought out, and it tries (and usually succeeds) in doing to the best of its capability, whatever they choose to do

However, with the rate google is expanding, it may not be long that they are thought of as "evil". Say when they come up with an auction-like website as well. After all they have the technology for it, don't they?

Link (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715173)

Thanks for the link to Google in the article summary. We would have never found it otherwise. Thank you so so so much.

Why? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715179)

Can anybody tell me why on this page [google.co.uk] I get the link to Picassa, but on this [google.com] one, I get nothing.

Re:Why? (1)

yuting (222615) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715206)

Both pages have links to Picassa. But not on This [google.com.tw] one!

Re:Why? (1)

arieswind (789699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715215)

google.com does not have the link for me.. interesting

Re:Why? (1)

fbform (723771) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715315)

Flush your browser cache and try again.

Re:Why? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715347)

The flush, it does nothing.

Q: When will they start being evil? (5, Insightful)

soloport (312487) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715203)

A: When they go public. :-/

How many of you (probably would have to be not-so-wet behind the ears) have joined a truly excellent company, gotten your hopes up that "This is the company to last the rest of my career!" -- it's that good -- only to watch it go psycho when the board decides to take it public?

No, the madness doesn't happen overnight. You slowly begin hearing about the symptoms as the pressure begins... "But it's the end of the month! This (shit) has to ship!", etc.

Sad, but true and (by my experience) inevitable. I wish there were no rules which forced a company to commit what is essentially "fiscal lobotomy".

So let's see... (0, Troll)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715205)

- When I Google my name, I can see most of what I've been doing publicly on the net for the last 10+ years. Fair enough, I had no privacy expectation, but still scary to realize I actually said some pretty lame things I didn't remember.

- Google has indexed 20 years worth of newsgroups. Again, I can't say I'm too pleased with some of the stuff I posted once (think "alt.binary."). But okay...

- Google now "offers" 1G worth of email storage, and warns that they "may" use their searching technology on it. Now they don't even make the effort of ferreting info about you anymore, they plain and simply lure you into giving it to them

- And now the personal information releasing trap widens with this new photo storage thing. hmmm...

What next? in 5 years maybe I'll be able to google my name and see a private mail of mine saying "hey look at that d!rty picture of the secretary on my picasa account! (don't tell anyone about this, hey...)" with a nice link to my private picasa pic? Thanks but no thanks.

I must say, google is cool, has cool technology and all, but their current trend of establishing 1984-ish new services and their tradition of extreme secrecy are starting to really disquiet and annoy me.

Re:So let's see... (1)

na2rboy (759019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715258)

- When I Google my name, I can see most of what I've been doing publicly on the net for the last 10+ years.

http://www.jamesbest.com/

Re:So let's see... (0)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715272)

What next? in 5 years maybe I'll be able to google my name and see a private mail of mine saying "hey look at that d!rty picture of the secretary on my picasa account! (don't tell anyone about this, hey...)" with a nice link to my private picasa pic? Thanks but no thanks.

After using GMail and deciding it's not for you and you delete all your mail, empty your trash, and delete your account does Google keep all that data in its index?

Re:So let's see... (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715290)

After using GMail and deciding it's not for you and you delete all your mail, empty your trash, and delete your account does Google keep all that data in its index?

Well, when a website goes 404, can you keep using the Google cache?

'nuff said...

Re:So let's see... (1)

bamberg (9311) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715343)

>> After using GMail and deciding it's not for you and you delete all your mail, empty your trash, and delete your account does Google keep all that data in its index?

Well, when a website goes 404, can you keep using the Google cache?

'nuff said...


I don't see how this applies to your email. The google cache is caching public data, whereas your email is private. Naturally Google has the technical ability to cache your private email (since it's on their servers) but I'm not sure they'd be on solid legal ground. They have the same legal responsibilities as any other email provider and if Hotmail or Yahoo or your ISP doesn't make your email public there's no reason to believe that Google would.

Re:So let's see... (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715392)

I don't see how this applies to your email. The google cache is caching public data, whereas your email is private. Naturally Google has the technical ability to cache your private email (since it's on their servers) but I'm not sure they'd be on solid legal ground.

Well of course, your email is private (although that's debatable), and Google isn't supposed to index any of it. But all the same, I don't like the concentration of easily cross-referenceable data into the hands of one company, as good as it appears to be, for various [dhs.gov] good [epic.org] reasons [techlawjournal.com] .

Re:So let's see... (3, Informative)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715361)

No. They don't guarantee that your e-mail will be deleted from all their caches and backups the instant you delete it, but they do guarantee that it will get wipped as those things are updated.

The same thing is true of pretty much any webmail service, though.

Re:So let's see... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715293)

Can you post the pix of your secretary? Thanks.

Re:So let's see... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715294)

Damn, you must have stock in tin foil or something.

Re:So let's see... (1)

kingstalemuffins (786246) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715305)

From what I can tell, no that I've looked into very carefully or anything, but this Picasa seems to be a program you download and keep you on your hard drive. I'm not sure if its something that will be searchable via a google internet search, probably only locally. But, i'm just making shit up, of course.

Re:So let's see... (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715369)

You must have short term memory loss, because just about everything you crap out of your mouth is lame.

I am impressed (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715212)

The user interface, while being modern and a bit playful is still very clear. The performance is quite good. What I am missing are many many keyboard shortcuts though.

Well.. (5, Interesting)

manavendra (688020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715214)

I think its a classic example of building your business around your strength - the searching capability.

It shouldnt come across as a surprise that google wants to build components/lines of business around their core strength - be it news, images, blogs or whatever else.

Though what they do need to watch out for is the acceptance, usability and and value provided by these tools in the long run (~5 years). We have all seen numerous examples of companies that had a killer product, but failed to replicate that success elsewhere.

Like someone else mentioned, their image searching capabilities aren't as desirable currently. I haven't been so impressed with google groups yet (though I've heard that's going to be revamped as well). And then there's news and email in beta... so yes, they do have a lot on their plate, and given the poor run of tech industry at the stock market, all eyes will be on them!

Re:Well.. (1)

singleantler (212067) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715346)

You can have a look at what Google are doing with their new version of Groups via the Groups 2 beta [google.com]

From what I've seen, it's basically putting something like Yahoo groups on top of the existing Usenet-archive system they're running, with some interface changes that are shared with GMail (e.g. putting a star on threads so they can be tracked easily, single sign-in for GMail and Groups.)

I'm not sure this is a great idea unless there it is obvious what is a Usenet newsgroup and what is solely a Google group. I find Usenet very helpful and Google aren't the only people archiving it, so I'd like to be sure that where I'm posting info is getting archived in multiple places rather than going in an internal system, as Yahoo have.

Nice Editorial Work, Michael.... (-1, Flamebait)

moehoward (668736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715228)

Nice. Link in the story to www.google.com. Wow. Relevant... NOT!!! It's like linking to www.yahoo.com or www.slashdot.org. Yeah. Thanks for putting the link there because otherwise, we'd never find it. Is it mirrored in case it gets slashdotted?

So easy to check, michael, and you failed again. The Picaso link is not there. Ever think of checking the story before you post it? It's on the UK site, not the US site.

My god. How lame and lazy yet again. Go save a rain forest, jerk.

Re:Nice Editorial Work, Michael.... (3, Funny)

na2rboy (759019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715273)

Shouldn't call someone lame and lazy for overlooking something if you spell Picasa "Picaso".

Re:Nice Editorial Work, Michael.... (-1, Flamebait)

moehoward (668736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715291)

Yes I should.

He gets PAID for that in a very PUBLIC forum. I don't get paid for accuracy, timeliness, and relevancy on Slashdot. I do it gratis.

He is held to a higher standard. Now do you get it, jerk?

Re:Nice Editorial Work, Michael.... (0)

Wally Fenderson (791245) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715322)

I am only saying that because I care - there's a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing.

Re:Nice Editorial Work, Michael.... (1, Funny)

na2rboy (759019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715332)

I don't get paid for accuracy, timeliness, and relevancy on Slashdot. I do it gratis.

Aye, and you get what you pay for.

sp7zFh5.exe (5, Interesting)

cosmicpossum (554246) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715229)

Has anyone downloaded and installed Picasa? As part of the install I get a ZoneAlarm alert saying sp7zFh5.exe is trying to use Picasa to access the internet.

I think it is questionable coding practice to have obscurely named subprocesses running around wanting to get to the net.

Re:sp7zFh5.exe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715254)

Are you running [winehq.org] wine [winehq.org] ?

Only instances I can find.

Re:sp7zFh5.exe (4, Informative)

sseremeth (716379) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715265)

It's only checking for a new rev.. You can turn it off in the preferences.

Picasa doesn't work on my Mac :P (1)

objekt (232270) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715237)

nt

Have the improved the Picasa software? (4, Informative)

will_die (586523) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715238)

With this new version has google removed the adware and spyware that Picasa use to be known for?
They also use to be a big spammer mainly doing it on usenet, go ridance to that part of them.

Re:Have the improved the Picasa software? (1)

PhiberOptix (182584) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715271)

from the website >>

The download itself contains only the Picasa software. Picasa will not uninstall other programs or add any non-Picasa programs or files to your computer.

but i have not installed the software, so i dont know if thats true.

Re:Have the improved the Picasa software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715277)

It was never adware. They used to buy lots of on-line advertising, but the client (software itself, installer, etc.) never did anything related to that. While I don't support the type of ads they were buying, they were just a small company trying to promote themselves.

AskJeeves? (5, Insightful)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715239)

"With the IPO, Google will have huge pockets. This could put Google in the market to buy a much larger player, such as AskJeeves or even AOL," he said.

I don't think the person who wrote this really understands Google's business. Google for the most part has been buying up innovative technologies which require relativley low overhead to run or integrate. I don't view AskJeeves as innovative, and don't view AOL as low overhead by any means.

I know this is nitpicking a small relativly not important part of the article, but it lept out at me as a "huh?" section.

-Pete

I'm Concerned (2, Interesting)

youngerpants (255314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715250)

Google became a great company by sticking to its business plan; back linked search rankings with a simple interface.

Then came GIS, which still focuses on the main business, then came the toolbar which starts encroaching on the PC/ browser, then came IRC search... can you see where I'm heading

Which other company can we think of who add more and more functionality to an existing product... as long as this doesnt effect Googles core business, no problem, but this is very rarely the case.

Will we even recognise Google in 5 years time (or less)

Re:I'm Concerned (2, Interesting)

dissy (172727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715276)

IRC search?
Dunno if that was a typo or not, but thats news to me..
Any info on that you could share?

Re:I'm Concerned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715337)

According to well-connected industry sources, Google plans to buy Internet Relay Chat quote aggregator bash.org [bash.org] in a deal valued at $100 million in stock.

Bash.org representatives could not be reached for comment.

Re:I'm Concerned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715335)

The thing is, though, if I didn't read Slashdot, I wouldn't know about most of the other things that Google does - their search page hasn't really changed. When you go to their webpage it's still the colorful Google graphic and a text box for your search. The interface is still as simple and easy to use as ever.

They're not messing up what they're best at by integrating things from their side projects. Now when Google adds a Java applet to display Clippy (or OpenOffice's little lightbulb icon) to help you search, I'm gonna be scared.

I seen this (1, Interesting)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715255)

.........and thought of downloading it, what stopped me was that i thought this company does not charge for there software, how do they make money. Are they making money buy selling info about what we are looking at on our hardrives. If this isn't the case then what motivated the purchase of this company, that doesn't haven't revenue streams that I can see of. Or are Google interested in the technology from this company.

Re:I seen this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715329)

Maybe Google is trying to get a lot of adoption for the technology. The software is decent and relative to most other winders software is actually fairly easy to use and and the user interface is ahead of its time (for winders crap). This is the first time it's been free (TMK), but doesn't free or cheap software to generate a user base sound familiar?

Re:I seen this (1)

stranger (1988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715375)

The software used to be around $30. This whole 'free' thing seems to be a new development.

Google a threat? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715260)

We've seen google expand into other areas, generally involving search or adding search technology to something else.

This is understandable, they've saturated the search engine market, a company has to grow if it is to survive, with the market saturated, where *can* they grow?

I like and use google but have to wonder if they are (or will be) a threat in terms of making it difficult for companies to conduct business on the internet by hiding or "tweaking" the search results. Will the internet "sense this as damange and route around it" or, will people not even realize the results have been adjusted?

Right now, they don't seem threatening, it would appear anyone could compete with them since the internet is open standards based. As a company, they appear remarkably ethical (which can change as new managers appear..) the 64k question is, are they or will they become a monopoly?

Sorta looks like... (2, Informative)

KJE (640748) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715278)

From the screenshots and description it sort of looks like iPhoto for Winodws, no?

Look at me! I'm a Troll! (2, Interesting)

numbski (515011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715282)

Okay, so I love Google like the rest of you. They are privately held, seem to actually have a sense of ethics, and tend to do things 'the right way'.

That said, Google is starting to get big. Really big.

As in big enough to throw it's weight around big. I'm not opposed to this, in fact I'd be first in line (or rather as close to the front as I could get) for a Google IPO, but at what point does the whole competition getting squashed thing become a concern?

I'll say it again, I love Google.

googledot anyone? (1)

bobaferret (513897) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715286)

when will google start providing content similar to slash based sites?

IE required? (-1, Redundant)

ritRadical (770569) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715296)

From Picasa's system requirements:
If at any time you get an "unable to authenticate" error, you should upgrade to IE 6.0.

Does this mean that Google and Microsoft are now somehow tied together?

System Requirements ..??? (1)

KnightWolfJK (662982) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715299)

<snip>
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:

# Microsoft® Windows 98, Microsoft® Windows Me, Microsoft® Windows 2000, or Microsoft® Windows XP.

# Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5.01 (6.0 recommended). If at any time you get an "unable to authenticate" error, you should upgrade to IE 6.0.

</snip>
Seems a little one-sided to me...

- - -

this is nothing. I want to see more (3, Interesting)

xutopia (469129) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715300)

Microsoft has plenty of ressources and offerings that Google isn't giving. For example MS can leverage their browser, they can package any picture software they want into their next OS or Service Pack, they have an IM which tells users when they receive an email from someone.

What Google needs to do is extend what it is offering and blow MS out of the water. If more companies join then MS will have to start playing fair or die.

Google, please :

1. package Firefox 1.0 with added features as the GoogleFox browser
2. make Picasa run on Linux and Mac
3. offer an IM ala Jabber that allows us to get email notification like MSN Messenger does.
4. extend your Gmail offering to other people than the limited bunch currently seen

Then and only then will Google's offerings be competing with MS. All of this can be done very cheaply and unless Google get's moving MS will crush them with Marketing power and their market power.

Re:this is nothing. I want to see more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715338)

4. extend your Gmail offering to other people than the limited bunch currently seen

Looks like somebody didn't get a gmail invite. D'oh!

Google (5, Interesting)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715308)

Am I the only one who uses Google as a quick spellchecker?

Re:Google (5, Funny)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715325)

yse

Re:Google (4, Funny)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715360)

yse

Whta?

Re:Google (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9715355)

certainly not Harvey. And you can use it to find humerous misspellings too, my favourite being:
a list of people who can't spell dyslexia [google.com] .

Shamelessly stolen from NTK [ntk.net] .

Re:Google (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715362)

Am I the only one who uses Google as a quick spellchecker?

This is Slashdot - I think you're appealing to the wrong crowd ;) (with appologies to those who don't speak English as their native language)

Only MS-Windows support, move along (2, Informative)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715326)

Checking out the Picasa site looks like it only supports MS-Windows. No Linux or MacOS X support. Oh well.

Re:Only MS-Windows support, move along (2, Interesting)

Alazoral (774039) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715372)

No Mac OS X support makes me a sad walrus :( hopefully they'll write a plugin for iPhoto or Portfolio or something or port it. Please Google, Mac users have lots of photos too, whether they are designers or grandparents. Or designers who are grandparents. Or designers who design grandparents.

desktop Integration? (1)

bobaferret (513897) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715353)

With longhorn comming out and it's "uber" organization and searching abilities (please note sarcasm). I wonder if it would be possible through future webservices to have the exact same functionality provided by google but for the desktop? For example document storage and such through them. Based on a per user basis, or per group etc. I'd love to do all my backup through google, or store documents there that I can then get from home or on the road. Address books and calendaring would also be cool.

The difference between them an MS in this case being that I trust google, and I trust them to get it right.

Software Giant in the making? (2, Interesting)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715374)

One of Google's primary strengths is its software, no doubt they're trying to capitalize on that. Do I see Google becoming the Apple within Microsoft? Isn't their other product a search application that you download and run within windows, effectively competing with Microsoft's explorer? Now this program, which reminds me of iPhoto (download from the camera easily, print, organize, etc). This is a competitor to Windows XP's built-in photo management.

Google is competing with Microsoft, and using their own operating system against them!

glad this got posted here (1)

voudras (105736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9715379)

hopefully they will note the massive number of linux clients hittin' it and decide to release the source so we can port it.
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