I don’t know what has happened in the last six or so months, but my relationship with Google has drastically changed. It started out with their superior searching – it wasn’t quick for me to ditch everything else in favor of Google’s search engine. When Gmail came out, I remember laughing about how excited people were to get a coveted invitation. To me they were a search company who was using their name to advertise what should have been a sub-par email solution. Now, I am a fan of Gmail.
Next, I remember using Google Maps, then Google Docs. Then came Google Picasa, and I was clued into Google Analytics.
Now is the point in my story where we arrive at Google Calendar. The interface was really good, and I noticed that whatever task I wanted to do always seemed to be right where I was looking for it – no doubt the product of heavy usability testing. When I compared it to Outlook webmail’s calendar interface, I remember laughing at how pathetic Microsoft’s offering was.
This is when I reached critical mass with Google’s products. Quickly following came Reader, the Chrome browser, my new Android phone (a Motorola Cliq), Listen, Wave, Checkout, iGoogle, and Products!
I think that Google is the only company that can provide a consistent, integrated, cohesive experience that rivals what Apple offers its users. I am at the point now where if Google moved to a subscription based model, I would almost undoubtedly pay whatever the monthly fee was.
Congrats Google on continuously creating, and updating solid, tested, quality products!