It probably seemed like such a good idea at the time. Google added the ability to make the Google home page more Bing-like with background images, and showed it off by adding their own images to everyone's home page for a day. Big deal.
Apparently it was. They stopped the promotion a bit early and now Google is plain vanilla white again (reason why in the blog post linked above). I barely noticed since I "Google" using Chrome's address bar. I rarely go to Google's home page directly.
Yesterday, Eric and I went out for lunch. I happened to overhear two women at the next table talk about the change and how unsettling it was. "Can you believe it about Google this morning?" was the quip that initially got my attention. I thought I missed something really important so my ears perked up. Then they went on about it. How they couldn't figure out how to turn it off. How finally a colleague showed them how to upload a big blank white image to get the old Google back. This wasn't a fleeting moment. This stopped productivity in some business while employees dealt with the crisis. I know it was rude of me to listen to their conversation. I'm sorry. Couldn't help myself.
Sometimes those of us in the if-it's-five-minutes-ago-it's-old tech cocoon forget just how jarring change like this can be to normal people.
As my friend Peter Campbell of Techcafeteria so wisely said at NTC earlier this year, people don't hate change…they hate disruption.