First the Google Reader shutdown earlier this year showing that Google is not averse to shutting down services that have a significant user base. Then came the shared personal endorsement that was opt out by default and would have made Facebook proud. And now we have Google experimenting with banner ads. They sure had us fooled.
With the search results already looking like below on the iPad, nothing much left to say other than the world probably ended in 2012, and we are living in an alternate version of reality.
If you are a heavy user of their services, good luck trying to get out. Money makes not only people, but also organizations do funny things.
Just replace Google with Microsoft and turn back the clock by 15-20 years in the below article and you will notice striking similarities in their strategies to capture the market:
Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary | Ars Technica.
The decisions make perfect business sense and is possibly the easiest way for Google to maintain control over Android while taking care of the fragmentation issues that have plagued the platform over the last few years. As an end user this has both positive and negative implications. The good part is that we do not have to depend as much on OEMs and carriers for Android updates and features. The bad news is mainly for the open source fanatics who thought that Android was “open”.
Of course, if you are an Android device maker, particularly one that is floundering in the face of the Samsung onslaught, then you are in a tough spot. Case in point is HTC that has been making pretty distinct devices that get good reviews, but doesn’t have any profits to show. Good acquisition target for Amazon it seems.
Then, there is also Google’s strategy to suffocate the Windows Phone platform by ignoring it and depriving it of first party Google Apps. Another strategy that makes very good business sense, but not really in the spirit of “Don’t be Evil”.
In a broader sense, the “Don’t be Evil” Google is long gone, having been replaced by a business savvy one which is a natural transition for maturing companies to survive in the marketplace. I just hope that Google Services don’t do to the internet what Microsoft did with Internet Explorer and Office…