Yesterday, June 28th 2011 Google rolled out several new products and features for existing products: Google + their pending Social Platform, the People Widget in Gmail but, most interesting to me was Google Takeout.
Takeout touts itself as, a tool to download all or selected data from:
Buzz, Contacts and Circles, Picasa Web and Profiles
In and of itself this is a great product. As the team responsible for this product the DLF (Data Liberation Front) state on their webpage ..
“Users should be able to control their data..”
I was thinking about this last night and it occurred to me to look at this in the perspective of the last 24 hours and it occurred to me Google had just filled a gaping hole in their product functionality.
June 28, 2011 was the launch date for Office365, Microsoft’s answer to Google Apps. Microsoft has never had problems migrating data between applications or platforms. Windows and Office incorporate user friendly wizards for that .. and they work; simply, elegantly and seamlessly.
Not so for a Google user with Gmail, Google Calendar, Reader et cetera who wants to migrate to Google Apps. The whole process has been up until now a tedious and worrisome one requiring the user to define a 3rd party local sync then re-sync to G Apps.
In a nutshell .. frustrating.
The day before the launch of Office365, the Google Apps Product Manager decided to pre-emptively snipe at Microsoft over Office365 which to me, speaks of a fear of the competition Office365 is bringing to the table. I’m not even going to get into the laughably, gross factual inaccuracies in this article.
Google Takeout seemingly makes a small contribution to making life less frustrating for their customer base wishing to have free access to their data and the ability to migrate it. Still it has a long way to go, in my test of Takeout I found major critical bugs (worse the test was run on Chrome): –
Takeout failed to backup my Profile
Takeout failed to detect the backup file even after a successful backup and subsequently failed to allow me to download the Zip file created by the backup process.
I remain unconvinced that Takeout is ready for primetime if it has such major bugs and as such doesn’t solve a major headache for Google Apps Customers.