Google shutters its Lively virtual world

Browser-based 3-D world to close down next month to let Google focus on core business

Google's Lively is a browser-based, three-dimensional world

Google's Lively is a browser-based, three-dimensional world

Masnick went on to note that there seems to be a growing pattern that helps outsiders figure out which Google projects will fail and which will be successful.

"When it changes the game, as it did originally with things like Google Maps (the first real AJAXy mapping solution) and Gmail (huge storage and AJAXy front end), then it gets usage," he noted. "Google's success has always been in reimagining products that people seem to believe are mature, and completely reshaping how people think about those products. That was true with maps (which had been dominated by MapQuest and Yahoo Maps for years) and email... and it was even true in search."

While many industry observers predicted that the search market was too crowded when Google showed up, its solution was so different and so much more compelling that it got the attention of Internet users, Masnick added.

"Lively, on the other hand, was a pure me-too play," he added. "There are half-a-dozen other offerings that effectively do the same thing. Google didn't give anyone a real reason to use Lively... so it shouldn't be too surprising that Lively is now dead."

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