Google: The New Microsoft?

I've pointed out many times -- some may say too many times -- that Google has too much power. It knows too much about us (and this is only getting worse), has too much control over Web advertising (which it somehow achieves without creating any of its own content) and now it wants to completely corner the market on Web ads with a proposed deal with Yahoo.

I felt a bit like a voice in the wilderness. Now Bill Snyder of InfoWorld (where I worked back when it still had a magazine) has joined me in the boondocks with a column asking whether we want a monopoly on the Web, and warning that "Google is becoming Microsoft's evil twin."

Am I too tough on Google, or do you also fear a Google monopoly? Comments welcome at [email protected]. And while you're at it, what's your favorite defunct magazine? InfoWorld, Byte, Network Computing, PC/Computing, AmigaWorld? Send your thoughts to [email protected].

Software Has Been Berry, Berry Good
As Chico Escuela might say, software has been berry, berry good to Microsoft. And despite the over-hyped Google threat, Microsoft keeps printing money faster than the U.S. mint (though slower than a Chinese bank these days).

Case in point: the most recent fiscal year wherein Redmond brought in over $60 billion (and by Redmond, I mean the company, not the magazine, unfortunately).

The only dark cloud is on the Web, where Microsoft actually lost almost half-a-billion dollars. Microsoft, as it has shown with the Xbox and ERP applications, can weather some rather massive losses as it waits for its strategy to succeed. My opinion? Online services are no different.

Disagree? Tell me where I'm wrong by writing to [email protected].

A Live Mesh Sellout
Some developers interested in trying out the beta of Live Mesh are a bit disappointed. No, not in the software -- in their ability to get it. It seems there's a waiting list to get the test software.

I've read up on Live Mesh and still don't completely get it. Here's what I think I know: Live Mesh isn't a product, but a set of tools that let developers build applications. These applications are designed not just to share data across the Internet, but keep it synchronized, as well. This is a very Lotus Notes-ian concept, which used replication to sync end user machines with databases stored on servers.

There are lots of potential uses for Live Mesh. For starters, consumers can share photos and music, or collaborate on blogs. My ideal use is to have a single place for all my documents, bookmarks and messaging tools. This way, I can have a full environment and data set no matter what machine I'm working on.

I pine for this capability every time my Dell Latitude D520 needs a new motherboard, an all-too-frequent event. In the absence of such a system, I have to kludge together a working system out of an old machine, contact my online backup provided to get my files (this company isn't open at nights or weekends, when I actually do most of my work), and install new bits of software like my IM client.

Redmond magazine columnist Mary Jo Foley examined Live Mesh and found it much more a consumer play. Check out her analysis here.

I know you in IT are much smarter than I am, so how do you keep multiple machines in sync? Save my sanity by e-mailing your techniques to [email protected].

Mailbag: Microsoft Cries Monopoly
More readers share their thoughts on Microsoft's ruckus-raising over the Google-Yahoo ad deal because of the potential monopoly it would create:

I'm an avid Microsoft user and accredit the better part of my carreer to Microsoft and its technology. Unfortunately, I cannot sympathise with it regarding its "monopoly" cry. As much as I love its technology and recommend it in our company, some things should also be left for others to control and enjoy some form of profitability. I don't think I want to live in a world where our video games (Xbox), computers (Windows OSes) and Internet browsing (IE/ad business) are all controlled by one company. There should be limits to this and choice for users, which creates competition and innovation for the industry. Had it not been for this concept, we could all be driving "black Fords."

It's not ironic for all (haters and non) who know in the back of their minds that MS had competition in all those areas and did/does not have a monopoly at all (by definition and by court ruling). It's not ironic, but instead "turnaround is fair play" or "what's good for the goose, is good for the gander."

Media hype has elevated the MS plight to a level that obfuscated the activities of the other companies (in this and other markets) from the public. The MS fiasco may have made us forget about other transgressions or think other companies are very virtuous, but this hopefully will wake people up to the fact that MS wasn't/isn't doing anything any other company throughout history has been trying/will continue to try to do.

It really doesn't surprise me at all. You think Microsoft cannot sink any lower and then you look down and there it is! For Microsoft to even think of crying illegal monopoly is a joke after what it did to even get into the position it's in in the desktop OS market and other markets. It doesn't even make the best products because it doesn't have to. I think it needs to shut up now (but I hope it doesn't and then gets into some real trouble).

Share your thoughts! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to [email protected].

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.


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