Microsoft slams Google again, labels products “spaghetti” amongst a “Google Graveyard”

By Tom Warren, on 2nd Nov 11 10:01 pm with 76 Comments

Google Graveyard

Microsoft has taken the opportunity to slam Google’s products and product management processes once again.

Tom Rizzo, senior director of Microsoft Online Services, who previously claimed Google is failing in the enterprise, took to the “Why Microsoft” blog earlier this week to describe Google’s products as Spaghetti. “Google customers are not finding tools they have been using over the years,” said Rizzo. “The tools are dead and buried,” he added, referring to Google’s recent cull of products and services. “It is clear that Google is not in tune with the market needs and does not have a product roadmap and clear vision for productivity for their business customers,” he continues in a blog post outling a “Google Graveyard.” The stinging attack on Google by Rizzo points out some facts and figures of Google’s products and services:

“The recent killing of Google Labs is ironic to me. Google releases experimental products and tracks adoption to determine whether to continue providing them. Its products are like spaghetti, Google throws them up against the wall to see if they stick.

Case in point, as of its June release, the company is giving Google Plus a try in the social space, and now they are providing access to it for Google Apps customers. But can businesses and schools trust it to be there for very long, judging by the history of Google’s social family?:

• Wave lived 15 months from May 2009-August 2010,
• Aardvark lived 19 months from February 2010-September 2011,
• Buzz lived 20 months from February 2010 to October 2011.”

Rizzo claims Google’s withdrawal of supported products are examples of what is convenient for the company and not good for business. “It is clear that Google’s product management practice is haphazard and noncommittal,” says Rizzo. The latest round of corporate mud slinging comes shortly after Microsoft claiming that Google is simply standing on the shoulders of others innovation with Android. Several public spats between Google and Microsoft have emerged over the past year, related to online services. Microsoft claimed in early April that Google had lied about its U.S. government security claim. Microsoft said that Google had mislead its customers by claiming it has been certified under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). Google responded to Microsoft’s claims and described them as “false” and “irresponsible.”

Microsoft went on the attack again in May by claiming that Google Apps contains a hidden “Google Tax” with its product. Rizzo revealed at the time that Google Apps contains several hidden costs, especially when running Google Apps alongside Microsoft Office. Microsoft also posted a Office 365 vs Google Apps comparison earlier this year. The software giant created a mini-site to compare its Word Web App against Google Docs. Microsoft highlighted several inconsistencies when the same Word file is saved on Windows Live SkyDrive (or SharePoint) and Google Apps.

Image Credit: Microsoft Corporation

  • Lewis McCrary

    I have G+ but honestly I forget I have it and every time I check it I see that only about 3 friends, out of 40ish, are actually using it.  I only get around to it once every couple of weeks.  It certainly is more successful, thus far, than Wave and Buzz but how long will Google keep it alive?  If they killed it tomorrow, I wouldn’t lose any sleep.

    • Anonymous

      I got an invite from a buddy who is on G+. I never bothered to join. He ended up dropping it and nobody else I know cares for it either.

      It wouldn’t surprise me either if G+ doesn’t last long.

    • GP007

      If Google ends up killing off G+ at some point i’ll laugh so much.   Really we haven’t heard anything about G+ in a while, not since it went public and hit, what? 40million “users” back in late Sept?

      It’s dead, people who are on FB for a long time and use that aren’t going to switch.  The only people who did “switch” are those who are on FB but don’t actually use that often either, and the majority who joined G+ did so out of curiosity.   

    • Anonymous

      + It’s dead, people who are on FB for a long time and use that aren’t going to switch
      + people who did “switch” are those who are on FB but don’t actually use that often either
      + majority who joined G+ did so out of curiosity

      3 wonderful “facts”. You seem to know a whole lot more about G+ than Google themselves. 

    • Guest

      You don’t take on FB and win overnight, dork.

  • Frylockns86

    You know what the damn thing is? They’re right. Google is in the market to be disruptive, not competitive.

    • Tom W

      Yeah I think you hit the nail on the head there. They enter into markets to disrupt things by undercutting competitors. If those products don’t work then they simply scrap them. Microsoft usually sticks at products for years before it finally cans them…apart from Kin ;)

    • Anonymous

      Kin was a little different though. They canned it because it distracted from Windows Phone. Kin as it was, never should have been released in the first place.

    • Parker Ciambrone

      Kin was a perfect *feature* phone, however, Verizon sold it as a smartphone.

    • HeatherL

      Courier was killed before even given it a chance.  As in this case and many others MSFT could benefit  bucking Ballmer’s culture and allow those inside the company to be more disruptive of rather than simply being driven to preserving the Window operating system and productivity suite market share legacy.    

    • Anonymous

      Courier was never a real product. It never even made it to the prototype stage. . Windows and Office are the cash cows and are still very popular. If you were running MS, I’m sure you wouldn’t do anything to damage them. MS has done a good job updating their core products to keep up with the time. However, they should still occasionally make a product that puts them ahead instead of just keeping up.

    • HeatherL

      @ymcpa:disqus Sorry but you know not what you speak of… actually there was multiply prototypes that was moving towards a final unified stage when the product was canned by Ballmer 

      As stated by Cnet in a recent article”  ”Those prototypes wouldn’t have come together into a single unit until very late in the development process, perhaps weeks before manufacturing,” he said, adding that the team was confident it was “moving quickly toward” a final prototype.”

      You are correct they do spend most of their time playing catch up… WP7, Xbox, Bing, Cloud… ect.  It is a by product of a market share orientation that puts legacy ahead of innovation.  

    • trashoner

      @ HeatherL i dont see how is Xbox, bing, or Cloud playing catchup. Bing was live with many features google actually copied from like infinite picture search. Xbox…shiz do I have to mention that kinect was a smash. Cloud? Really? Skydrive and live mesh were around way before ppl even called it cloud. You are obviously typing without thinking much.

    • Guest

      Ballmer’s culture? Who do you think allowed Allard and Bach to screw around for years and spend more than twenty million on a concept that would have cost $1500 and lacked even basic email capability?

    • Guest

      “adding that the team was confident it was “moving quickly toward” a final prototype.”"

      This was the same “team” that thought Zune would win against iPod and iPhone wouldn’t affect WM’s business “at all”.

      Of course they’d say prototypes weren’t far off. That doesn’t mean it was true, nor does it tell you what the price point would have been or if it would have been even vaguely competitive (hint: two screens = a $1200-1500 device at retail with shitty battery life).

    • JoeyAllen

      Yes but that is a weakness of MS as much as a strength.   Sticking with products for years that never succeed means a throwing good money after bad.  As Jack Walsh of GE fame I believe who said “It is the great business that make their mistakes quickly”  

    • Anonymous

      Wow! That is a damn good way to put it.

    • Frylockns86

      Sad thing is, they don’t seem to care for the suckers they picked up. If a service dies, it’s too bad, so sad for them. The only thing they seem to care about is their bread and butter – search and advertising.

    • GreyWolf

      Google is the Wal-Mart of the internet.

    • Waycoolkennel

      Kmart is more like it …  Just say’n  :)

    • Anonymous

      LOL. That’s true. Even Wal-Mart has its uses once in a while. Kmart, not so much.

    • Harvey

      You are 100% right.
      I would like to add that I do believe that they realize that they are a search company and their money comes from the ads.
      So if you look at the google graveyard, you can easily see that a lot of those would have failed in producing money from ads.  So another reason for google to throw in the towel on those services.

  • Tony Gorham

    Hey i’m a Microsoft fanboy but even I can appreciate that MS can products and maybe they want to tread carefully here

    • Anonymous


    • Tom W

      Yes very much so, I think the point here is business related products though. Microsoft doesn’t have a habit of killing of those without specific support in place etc. I’m trying to remember examples of any business or enterprise level apps that MSFT has killed outright without legacy support and I’m struggling to recall any.

    • Vlastimil Cerny

      True, even long dead products are supported at least for a time, that gives enough room to replace it… E.g. you can still see new articles on MS support pages for an ancient products like Windows NT 3.51 (I just found ramdomly this one:

  • Anonymous

    Google and Microsoft have very different styles.

    Google:  try lots of things and if they don’t work then forget them.  Also, they aren’t afraid to ditch something for another product that fits the market in a different/better way (buzz…google+).  Some of their products end up being pure crap and fade away while lots of their products are very good.  Unfortunately they don’t always continue to innovate on some of their good products (google docs…good but many improvements are still needed).

    Microsoft on the other hand sticks with a product forever.  Just take a look at Windows Phone 7, if it were any other company driving that phone os it would have died a year ago.  Microsoft products usually come out of the gate good but evolve slowly thus not always changing with the current market (and leading to the semi-bad wrap that they currently have).

    Both styles have their pluses and minuses…Microsoft has a few products that should have been killed off as well so they shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

    • Anonymous

      You can say the same thing about the Xbox but IMO MS does a good job but doesn’t do a great job there is alot of potential with their products e.g. Zune Pass that they dont take full advantage off. Alteast they are learning and making very solid products rather than release quick fix -> service pack fix. Mango and Xbox’s are great examples both work perfectly can’t wait for Windows 8

    • Syber71

      Windows Phone 7 just came out a year ago, and just got on par with Android and ios with the Mango release. You have to give at least another year to see how ots going. Btw WP7 is different, better and cleaner looking then any other mobile os.

    • Anonymous

      I think Windows Phone 7 is an incredible os…but sales are abysmal.  If any other company was in charge they would have thrown in the towel already.

    • Joyette Scantlebury

      I didn’t mean to like your comment. So you basically mean because it is not selling like hot cakes in a market, which is dominated by Apple, the wonder company and Google, the disruptive company, that they should just drop it and move on.

      One of the reasons why Android has done so well is that is really is not that much different from iOS in terms that the normal person can understand. WP7 is different because not only because it has a different UI, it is different because it is more about apps interacting with the OS instead of just sitting on top of it (aka Hubs). People hate change and WP7 is an enough of a change that you cannot judge it from the first year of sales. Yes, there are other issues, such as a lack of proper marketing, oems half assing their support, the pre-NoDo update debacle but it is a different OS to what is out there. It is going to take time for people to get used to it and MS, unfortunately, does not have the Apple RDF so people will automagically believe that it is ‘THE’ way to go.

      Face it, MS has an unique problem, unlike other tech companies, due to its past behaviour, they have to get people to see pass it being a MS product and look at the product itself.

    • JimmyFal

      Your right, if Google was in charge of WP7 they WOULD have thrown the towel in already! And it would also look like a bunch of icons.

    • Anonymous

      What do you suggest? They should scrap it and drop out of mobile or start another OS from scratch. Mobile is becoming the main for of information consumption for consumers. MS has to keep investing in it or they will slowly loose control of their dominance. WP7 is a good OS and I don’t think it’s a bad move to keep developing it, even if it loses money in the short term. XBOX is a good example. They might have lost money on the hardware, but I’m sure they made quite a bit on selling the games and accessories. Now that they dominate the gaming console market, I’m sure it will be even more profitable.

    • Ahmadifx

      This reminds me of XBOX .. I remember XBOX was at loss for like 5 whole years untill it became profitable. Google would have peed in their pants and throw XBOX out. Its persistance and perseverance Microsoft is know for. Imagine Had Bing been a Google product.. Year on Year Loss for the last 6 years, yet they stick to it for the greater strategy. Thats maturity at play.. Teenagers cant get it anyway :-)

    • Anonymous

      What I should have said instead of “If any other company was in charge they would have thrown in the towel already.” is: what other company has the cash to stick with a product for years of taking a hit other than Microsoft.

      Once again, WP7 is an incredible OS that has been very polished from the get-go.  For most people I would recommend it over Android and definitely over iOS.  It is very balanced in that a power user or non-technologically gifted person could both enjoy using it.  I would like for it to catch on and make this smartphone game a 3 player battle.

    • Guest


      What did they get for their effort? Xbox is still about $3-4 billion in the hole over 11 years. Gross margins are terrible; worse than just about any software only business you can imagine. If MS hadn’t been distracted with Xbox, would they have lost their decade head start in mobile and tablets?

    • Moirako

      From a business point of view, Google’s ways are dangerous. I understand their philosophy as always being in beta version and therefore always trying out new features and improve their existing product (in search, ads, maps or browsing), but I don’t get how they can release something new and not sticking with it. 
      It definitely sends the wrong message to consumers and businesses : it’s like saying “I’ve developed something new but I haven’t made proper market research to check if this new service is relevant, we’ll see, hopefully you’ll stick with us”. A practical example, the e-learning site of uses Google Gears which will be decomissioned at the end of the year … 

    • Vlastimil Cerny

      True. I always have the feeling with Google, that I am using some kind of beta product, even if it’s not. You can’t be sure, how the product will look like in a week or two and therefore it’s very difficult to implement it in large organizations with thousands PC and users. Try to imagine what would happen if for example SAP would change their ERP system every week. Would you as a CIO implement it in your organization? Probably not at all…

    • Anonymous

      Your analysis of Windows Phone 7 shows you have no idea what you are talking about.  WP7 is a completely new OS, UI, and application paradigm over Windows Mobile.  Basically, MS started from scratch on it and it is evolving faster than any other phone OS out there.

    • Shadow 024

      I think you and a few others missed his point.  If it were another company, they would have dropped WP7 dispite it being good in the eyes of the fans that use it.  After that, he means *most* products start out good, but then stop evolving.  What if they were to stop evolving windows phone after apollo, even though they continue to support it? That’s his point and a problem MS has with some products they release.

      However, I disagree with that.  I think microsoft has changed it’s attitude with the new products they are releasing. Only time will tell.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah you missed the point.  I think windows phone is great, and if it counts for anything I have had a Zune HD for years so I am very familiar with the metro UI.  I hope that WP7 doesn’t go the same way as the Zune…ie. Superior product that doesn’t catch on and eventually fades away.

    • Borut Bezjak

      Yes, bravo. You win the clueless dumbass contest :)
      Die on the year (quarter) of release :))))
      Thanks for laughs, doofus :)

    • Anonymous

      Interesting reply.  I would appreciate if you would show me how my comment was clueless.

      I was making a fair assessment, not biased or fanboyish in any way.  I have many microsoft products (2 win7 machines, a laptop running win8 developer preview that I use daily, a zune hd, an xbox 360, and I had a WinMo6.1 phone.  I like both Microsoft and Google products despite their vast differences in approaches.

      Microsoft has definitely moved from the clunky days of old (vista, windows mobile) and have created beautiful, user friendly, and powerful operating systems for their devices.  But the public by and large still retains the old image of microsoft and most are commited to either iOS or Android (although I see many people leaving the iOS realm due to it becoming stagnant and many leaving Android because of troubles with updates, etc) so I hope that many will make the switch to WP7 but many people (non techies) still don’t even know that Microsoft has a phone OS.

      I also thoroughly enjoy Google’s products.  I have stopped using office and completely made the switch to google docs without any issues.  I use G+ daily (I suggest using it more like twitter than facebook for now until, if ever, it catches on more), I have an android phone that I love, etc.

      Many people have taken my comments as uninformed and “clueless” but many just don’t know how to react to a differing opinion.  I like both Microsoft and Google and that’s not a crime.

    • Guest

      A lot of people here are just tired of trolls. I don’t think you’re one based on your comments, but others may perceive that.

      There’s nothing wrong in liking both Google’s and MS’s products. Or Apple’s. Many of us here love technology, so it’s virtually impossible not to like/prefer something about one of the other ecosystems.

      My only direct response to your feedback would be that Gapps and Office aren’t equivalents except for the most basic of users.

  • Guest

    It’s marketing and he makes a decent point. Do you really want to bet your career on one of Google’s enterprise products? Not with a record like that.

  • Anonymous

    I like the “Your Privacy” tombstone.  But in all seriousness, I’m kind of surprised to see this attack from MS considering they have plenty of discontinued products and services as well.  Clippy, Live Spaces, Zune (hardware), MSN Traffic GPS, Desktop Gadgets, ect…  Though an argument can be made that MS supports their products longer.

    • The Guy

      All of those things are still around, not by those names but they are merged into other MS products.  MS never really drops any ideas… they just add them to more well-known items as a new feature while phasing out the original name… Ex Games for Windows will become Xbox Live in Windows 8, MSN traffic GPS is built into Bing Maps, Live Spaces still exists in Windows Live.

      MS doesn’t kill products, they recycle them.  And just like recycling you unfortunately tend to lose little bit and pieces of the original over time.

  • Anonymous

    in 10 years, we’ll look back at google and remember it like we do yahoo.

    • Guest


    • Am

      It’s way more likely to be bing that’s forgotten… I mean wasn’t it windows live search before?

  • JimmyFal

    I love the “your privacy” headstone. I think MS should start marketing Hotmail on TV. All of my customers are increasingly getting away from their POP emails and moving to the cloud. Unfortunately almost ALL of them go right to GMAIL because that is what they know, because that is what many of their friends addresses say. When I mention Hotmail, they don’t know too much about it, and then when I show them the online stuff they love it. But they have usually already gone through the trouble of telling everyone their new address and are hesitant to move again. Need to put it out their for all to see, because this POPMail to the cloud shift is happening NOW. Once they know their stuff won’t get wiped out if the computer dies, the light goes on.

  • Lilleir

    How do I know Google is doing so well? MS just can’t stop talking about them.

    MS needs to stick to their products & increasing marketshare. They lost the public spat battle to Apple for the entire decade & there’s no way they will be able to beat Google. Nobody likes a sore loser, we all had to listen to Apple cry for over a decade. Now MS is the new Apple & Google is the new MS. This type of talk is embarrassing & shows extreme insecurity.

    • Tuxplorer

      GOOGLE are the ones who started this. They published that FALSE and LAUGHABLE “Bing copies Google search results” thing earlier this year. That started all this.

    • Anonymous

      Bing copied Google. Is that not obvious? 

      Bing it!!

      That sounds so pathetic. Why would anyone Bing anything, it’s just horrible.

    • Anonymous

      What the hell? and what makes the terms “google” or “yahoo” any better? They are all made  up words.

      If it were all in a name ASKdotCOM would be the better engine (or SEARCHdotCOM). 

      They copied every search box the user used. BIG difference. MS didn’t target Google they targeted everybody. So stating “Bing copied Google” isn’t telling the whole story. More like “Bing copied all search results from all search boxes the users (that opted in I should say) used, Google included”. 
      It’s pretty ingenious if you asked me.

  • Anonymous

    Microsoft is talking alot of trash lately about other companies.

    • Guest

      Apple SOP must be rubbing off.

  • Anonymous

    Thats so sweet xD

    • Fghjk

      Wtf sweet? Why does ms talk abt others? Better improve its own apps!
      MS got wonderful apps! But i dnt see any improvements in Windows Media Center, WMP, etc,.

    • Anonymous

      I’m still waiting for the Hotmail update, what’s taking so long?

    • Guest

      Staged rollout. 350M active users. Do the math.

  • Trezan

    MS is really good at coming from behind, just ask Sony… Most of us had Play stations at one time. Everybody used Netscape to get on the internet, and Yahoo rained supreme. Android is no longer a cost effective OS now that manufactures pay MS licensing fees. I bet it won’t be long before WP7 starts to gain significant market share.

    • Chris

      Not if they keep falling behind. Plus the iudea of tiles just doesnt apeal to everyone.

    • Anonymous

      Doesn’t need to appeal to everyone to be a winner.

    • Collins

      Exactly. Although having tons of information displayed by tiles directly on your home screen is a really useful feature, some people simply prefer pretty but useless background images overlayed with static icons. At some point the later group will hopefully realize what their preference is saying about them and hopefully smarten up ;-)

    • notadroid

      Go away racist Android troll. Droid = mindless follower.

    • Anonymous

      Right. And WP7 is so cheap for OEMs. It’s free unlike Android, and there are no licensing fees.

    • Guest

      Compared to not inconsequential Android-related royalty fees, no coop marketing $, an open ended exposure to litigation from Apple, MS and many others, and your OS “partner” now competing against you via MMI, yeah WP7 and the blanket indemnity that comes with it is relatively cheap for OEMs.

  • Anonymous

    When do you think we can make a tombstone for Google+ ?

  • Anonymous

    Am happy about  this fanboy style attitude from Microsoft.. Why don’t they  take the  game  to them ..IE just fell under 50%, wp7 as much as it should be, Bing is bleeding money, hotmail is behind competition and they have the time to waste on these rather than focus on real things.. Am appalled !

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  • McAkins Online

    Microsoft, I would rather have you refrain from being vitreous, the best way to attack Google is to Innovate like your life depends on it. Please leave vitreous comments to Apple, that is what they do best. Please show leadership, don’t descend to this low level.

  • cx1

    It’s funny because it true.

  • Test1ngi23

    Google Video sort of merged into YouTube.

    Gears was supported to go away. It was a temporary solution to give browsers persistent storage until browsers implemented localStorage and sessionStorage, which they do now.

    And older browser support? You mean supporting 10 year old browsers like Microsoft does? I see the lack of older browser support as a good thing.

    • Guest

      Google Video sort of merged into YouTube? LOL, no.

      Gears was a temporary solution? LOL, no. It was billed as *the” solution for offline when it was introduced.

      Of course you see the lack of older browser support as a good thing. Nobody is dumb enough to have you running IT for a decent sized company who might depend on that support.

  • Am