I would have expected more from Google. It's new Lively service is a giant yawn. It does one and only one thing that Google Talk doesn't do; multi-party text chat. That's it. And multi-user text chat is something that is readily supported by any number of services already, both simple XMPP-based and others. Lively isn't tied to anything else Google offers (nothing, not even Adsense!). It's barely even connected to existing Google accounts.
I'm not surprised that Google created something like Lively. I am a little surprised at the extreme degree to which it is not remotely interesting or useful. I mean really, come on, are they serious? Really?