And yes, even Gmail is a hit. Acccording to the article they have 1/4 the number of users that MSN and Yahoo have. For much of the life of Gmail, they were invite only, so can you really count that time when considering the age of the product?
And almost all Gmail users still have at least one or more lilye multiple accounts with the other services that currently are mostly collecting spam.
So given the age of Gmail and the fact that users ared loath to change emila addresses, I would call it an unqualified hit! Is it's market share increasing? It sure looks that way to me, and that is all a company can ask for.
Firefox isn't the #1 browser, but I would certainly define it as a "hit" given it's growth rate. The same goes for any Google product that has a decent growth rate.
Then there is Google Earth, which is quite a hit in the small market that they serve. I doubt that it will make them much money, but it is a very useful tool.
The same goes for Picasa.
No, they aren't going to have a hit with everything, and I don't think they expected to. But I think there are a lot more "hits" in their lineup than this latest pack of articles seem to give them credit for.