Google’s Past Failures Offer Perspective on Chrome OS Release

The Internet is abuzz over Google’s (s goog) release of the open-source version of its Chrome OS, and for good reason. It’s free, which will save hardware manufacturers licensing fees, and it appears ideally suited for the netbooks that have become such a hot item for the mobile crowd (GigaOM Pro, sub. required). But Chrome is not without its detractors, and it’s worth remembering that Google isn’t King Midas — in fact, there’s a substantial list of Google products and services that have flopped, floundered or simply disappeared into the ether. Here are a few of the most memorable: Read More about Google’s Past Failures Offer Perspective on Chrome OS Release

How Lively? Google’s Me-Too Virtual World

The other virtual shoe finally dropped today– after a year and a half of rumors, Google (GOOG) now brings us Lively, a web-driven mini-virtual world. Not a contiguous, immersive, fully user-created metaverse like Second Life, as it turns out– so it’s not really a direct competitor– but a series of virtual world chatrooms more akin to IMVU. (However, IMVU has a virtual economy of user-created content, while Lively does not, least not yet.)

On first glance, Lively seems too similar to several existing (and very large) MMOs, making it an also-ran without a key market distinguisher to be truly compelling (besides being from Google). You can stream YouTube videos in these rooms and embed rooms on websites, and it’s got appealing cartoon visuals and a fairly intuitive interface, but that’s true of numerous online worlds already out there.
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