Google’s baffling product line-up

Sometimes, I sit back in awe at some of the incredible things Google is capable of.  They innovate, refine and deliver some of the best services out there.  At other times, I can’t help but wonder if there’s anyone with a clear vision for the company and the various product groups operating within.  To underline this, I thought I’d look at some of their product lines, and what’s on offer.

Chrome

The Chrome name currently lends itself to the following products:

  • Desktop Web Browser
  • Mobile Web Browser (not to be confused with the Android Browser)
  • Tablet Web Browser (not to be confused with the Android Browser)
  • Laptops (Chromebook)
  • Laptops with Touch Screens (Chromebook) but not tablets – yet, and not convertibles
  • A media streaming device (Chromecast, not to be confused with Google TV, Android Media Streamers nor the ill-fated Nexus Q)

Android

Android is a little different to Google’s other products as it’s licensed out, so can be used for anything.  But broadly:

  • SmartPhones
  • FeaturePhones
  • Tablets (including Android variants running on devices like the Kindle Fire and Nook)
  • Laptops with Touch Screens (not to be confused with the Chromebooks)
  • Convertibles (by convertibles I’m referring to laptops that have a separate tablet element e.g the ATIV Q)
  • Games Consoles (e.g. OUYA)
  • Media Streamers (but not Chromecast, Google TV)

Google TV

Google TV is less fragmented:

  • Set Top Box (not to be confused with Android Set Top Boxes nor the new Chromecast device)
  • Integrated in to TVs

The above lists are off the top of my head, I’m sure there are more variations to cover.  The problem is that Google appears to be fragmenting all over the place.  Take the new Chromecast product.  It bears the name Chrome, but doesn’t include a browser (or at least one you can use independently), the very thing Google built the Chrome name on!  You can buy a Google multimedia device and it might be powered by Android, Google TV or now a simplified version of the Chrome OS on the Chromecast device.  And don’t forget that whilst Chromecast is a product, it’s also a feature that’s being added to Google TV.  Clear?

I’m amazed that Google, as a company, continues to produce anything of quality.  There’s a clear lack of vision resulting in this horrible mess of a product line up that appears to be getting worse.

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