Google have released two new pieces of software recently. One is a the upgrade to the popular Google Desktop Search and the other is the new IM client Google Talk. I’m not going to go into a review of the merits of both programs as that has been done to death over the last few days by every other blogger and technology columnist out there. What I want to look at is the stark contrast between the two pieces of software.
Having spent time with Google DTS 2 (Beta) I was left confused. Between the “news”, “web clips” and “whats hot” it soon becomes difficult to track what’s actually going on, and to track what you actually want to track. Out of the box the software automatically adds feeds from visited sites, which, if you surf a lot of irrelevant sites in search of material or whatever, quickly makes the web clips box a mess of stuff you have no interest in. You can fix this in the options, but it’s not the default.
The design of the sidebar in DTS 2 is good. The interface is smooth and clean, and it’s relatively easy to manipulate the information and view the information once you’ve set it up properly. Unfortunately, the team behind the program seem to lack focus, or vision or at least some sort of clear goal as to where this piece of software is going. They’ve bundled in module upon useless module, many of which are redundant in what appears to be the hopes of appeasing everybody.
I’ve always seen Google as a company with a clear vision, and it’s generally accepted that that vision is one of making all the information of the internet available to the consumer through a seamless Google experience. The team behind DTS 2 have lost sight of this! Maybe they should go hang out with the guys that banged out Google Talk, because that rocks.
Google DTS is THE benchmark for IM clients as it things stand! Okay, I know it’s feature weak at the moment, simply providing IM and PC to PC only VoIP, but just look at that design. It’s clean, crisp, simple, and not bloated with advertising. It’s a measly 900k download, perfect for those still afflicted with Dial Up syndrome, and thanks to the use of Jabber as it’s protocol anybody on any computer can chat on the Google Talk IM network without using the windows client. The choice of Jabber was pure genius here, as Google have only had to release one piece of software, and won’t be under immediate pressure to get Mac and Linux clients out. If your like me, you’ve already set up your GAIM IM client to use multiple Google Talk accounts.
So where is the consistancy? How in one week can Google release two pieces of software, DTS which is awkward enough to confuse not only me, but the likes of Molly Wood of Cnet.coms Daily Buzz, and also such a simplistic, clean, crisp and focused IM client like Google talk? Where is the quality control? I know both products are in beta, but doesn’t quality control also deal with things like consistancy and vision? Is this a sign that things are getting a little sloppy over there, now that all the moneys come in, or is it just a little bump in the road?