Letters to Redmond

In Defense of Google

Readers chime in on Doug's recent "Who's Cool" column and more.

Normally, I enjoy Doug Barney's editorials in Redmond. They're poignant, unbiased and insightful. However, his editorial, "Who's Cool, Who's Not?" (July 2010) seemed almost as misrepresentative as an episode of "Glenn Beck."

Barney wrote about Google: "The company, once a beacon of innovation, now protects its monopoly as fiercely as Andrew Carnegie." How is Google no longer a beacon of innovation? In what way is Google fiercely protecting its monopoly?

He next stated: "Its new phone is about the most expensive on the planet" -- but Barney didn't mention that the Nexus One is also one of the most powerful phones on the planet.

"It's putting fine media institutions out of business even though it doesn't have a single reporter." To that, I say it's not Google who's putting the institutions out of business -- it's the people who aren't coming back to those institutions who are causing them to lose advertising revenue, which is causing the institutions to go out of business. If these institutions could come up with a business model that gave the people a reason to come back, then Google would have problems.

"Its ability to spy would make Mata Hari proud." This could be said of any company that provides a service, including Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, health insurance companies and the like.

With all that said, I still look forward to Barney's next editorial. Keep 'em coming.

Christopher Cullum
received via e-mail

I'd have to say Microsoft is way cool right now with its release of Windows 7, Server 2008 and Office 2010. With the ease of use and setup, enhanced privacy and the increased speed in these systems, I'm one of the many who think Microsoft finally got it right. This is how systems were meant to run. It's too bad Microsoft remained "uncool" for so long and didn't take user complaints seriously.

Also, reading "Who's Cool, Who's Not?" in conjunction with the July issue Letters page regarding e-mail versus voice communication, I found a tie-in between the two. Barney quoted Google CEO Eric Schmidt as saying, "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

That's exactly how I feel about anyone that insists on using voice communication rather than e-mail. Knowing that most e-mail is archived these days, I immediately suspect that anyone who doesn't want to use e-mail has something to hide, or at the very least doesn't want to be accountable later. I usually follow up any phone conversations with an e-mail, specifically so I have documentation of the conversation.

I believe that if one's firm is sued and e-mail is not available, the firm is going to lose by default. It makes me wonder how long it will be before the legal system catches on and demands that all business phone conversations be recorded -- and discoverable in legal proceedings.

Kevin Willems
New Windsor, Ill.

Many IT Options
I just finished reading "IT Hell" (June 2010). For the last three years I've felt the pressure of a shrinking IT budget and the stress of "doing more with less." I applaud the magazine for recognizing the folks that have persevered.

I think it would be great if Redmond would talk about the opportunities that exist for the IT skill set that have nothing to do with operations. I think too many IT pros feel like they're shackled to their ops career because that's all they know. That mentality creates a sense of despair -- I know because I felt that way for years, until I recently bit the bullet and made a major career change. I moved out of systems administration and into technical sales for a major software company, and I believe it's the best move I've made in my 10-year career.

IT pros can be trainers, instructors, sales engineers, software test engineers, consultants, technical support engineers and so on. I think people need some hope right now that there's something else out there for them should their ops either burn them out or disappear entirely. They just need to think outside the box a little bit -- maybe you and your staff could give them some ideas?

Matt Lucas
Snoqualmie, Wash

About the Author

This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at [email protected] and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.

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