Well I can speculate: Because some issues seem like real debates when you have them internally, and then you tell a bunch of outsiders and they go "uh, it's a no-brainer" and that tells you something you didn't know before: that you can't see the wood for the trees.
The thing that surprised me most about the OP is that Google actually sees itself as a product company. With the exception of search and maps (and perhaps not even search so much now) they actually aren't strong with their products, and (aside from the gargantuan scaling issues that they have to solve) they don't give the impression of working to improve their products. How much has gmail evolved over the years? Calendar? Reader? Sure, for all I know they are all tinkering furiously under the hood, but that is not what the outside world expects from somebody positioned as a product company.