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Noteworthy story in the NYT today, with an interesting take on the differences between Yahoo and Google.

The key example is Google Maps, which has lots of gee-whiz features, but doesn’t have an address book or a way of even remembering your default address — something that makes Yahoo convenient. The response from Google is eye-opening: Its engineers can’t be bothered with the basics.

When asked about the lack of an address book in Google Maps in an interview last fall, Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president for search products and user experience, said it was a gap in the product. She said it was much easier to get the company’s engineers to spend time developing pioneering new technology than a much more prosaic address storage system

And:

Alan Eustace, a senior vice president for engineering and research at Google, said in an interview last week that the company had made a conscious choice to play down copycat features: “We are trying to come up with something that is new and different, that makes people say ‘Wow.'”