One down, one running better than ever. Thanks to the irony of TechMeme, the two news are juxtaposed almost side by side:
- Stopping development on Google Notebook – as several blogs point out, this does not mean Google Notebook is dead. You can continue to use it as your scratch-pad, just don’t expect any further development. (Update: you won’t be able to use the web-clipping Firefox extension anymore.) Or if you’re cautious, start migrating your notes.
- Multiple Enhancements in Zoho Notebook – yes, ironically Zoho announced a bunch of enhancement on the very same day Google sent theirs to the deadpool. Kent Newsome calls it Zoho’s Lucky Day.
I’ve never considered these two Notebooks comparable, despite the common name. Google’s one was your web-based post-it notes, barebones, easy to use. Zoho’s version is a full-featured multimedia application to create, aggregate, share, collaborate on just about any type of content easily, be it text, database, spreadsheet, image, drawings, audio, video – you name it. It offers a lot more, but may be “too much” if all you want is the yellow stickies. The two apps serve entirely different needs. But I don’t want to focus on the products here, did it before: Not All Notebooks Are Created Equal.
Let’s talk about the economics: Google is simply ditching some of the money losers which is clearly the right strategy in a recession when it saw it’s primary revenue source, advertising drop radically. A while ago (before the economy collapsed) Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu provided great insight into why getting into applications does not make much financial sense for Google, whereas it is Zoho’s primary business. Today we’re seeing that logic in action.
Of course Google is not the only one, we’re seeing startups shut down service, or give up the free-for-all principle and start charging for their services. Over at CloudAve we’ve discussed Jott as an example, but there are many others. We may have enjoyed all these free services, but deep down had to predict this bonanza would not last forever. It’s time for rationalizing business – after all, it’s all about making a buck.
Update (1/20/09): Surprise, surprise! (not really). Zoho came out with a tool to import your Google Notebook data into Zoho Notebook.
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