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Mailbag: Google Going Evil?

So is Google becoming Microsoft's evil twin? Here's what a few readers thought:

You're dead-on with your assessment of Google. I've had the same concerns myself for some time now.
-Paul

I have to echo your thoughts. I had rather positive feelings about Google until I was invited to an interview at their shiny new datacenter in Central Oregon last year. After a VERY bizarre interview -- unlike anything I had ever experienced in 20 years in IT -- I did some more checking and had to reach the same conclusion. I don't know for sure if Google is evil, but it is certainly doing a lot to make me think so!

One example: The name of the fake company that it hides behind that houses their datacenter (the sign outside) is "ValDeMoort Industries." Now, I have to ask, who would name their datacenter after the ULTIMATE EVIL character in Harry Potter? It was dumb, but maybe not. Maybe it is really a message?

Honestly, I think Google just suffers from being an extremely immature company run by extremely immature billionaires. Microsoft has had the advantage of 30 years of experience, BG hired some of the top business managers in the world right out of the gate, and he "grew into" his success.
-Jim

Nope, I totally agree with you. While I'm a MS partner and respect MS, I don't always agree with them either -- but at least you can talk to someone.

Google bought Postini recently. If Postini weren't such a great product, we would have dumped it 100 percent becuase of the crap we have been going through. And this is an understatement.
-Don

Yes, I think Google has too much and it needs to be cut back. No one should get any slice of Yahoo; it should stand on its own two feet. Ditto with MS on the same subject, so yeah -- they are becoming the evil twins.

And do you think that MS buying Yahoo's search business will help MS? I don't think it will help at all. MS will screw it up and it will burn. The problem that I see is that what will Yahoo then get for income to do other things such as its one-of-a-kind chat system which feature-for feature kills anyone else? I would invest in Yahoo, but only if King Carl steps down and leaves.
-Bruce

I guess I would rather opt for free services from a vendor that provides open source options for those not willing to fork out money for an expensive OS that is unreliable, less secure and a huge resource hog. I can't wait for the Google phone.
-Nathan

I live in a Microsoft/Dynamics world all day long and I'm happy with that world -- it keeps that regular paycheck coming. But I don't want to see a monopolists dictating to that world, Microsoft, Google or anyone else.
-Ron

Doug recently asked readers to name their favorite defunct IT magazines. Here are some of your nominations:

I'll take InfoWorld over any of the others any day. I wouldn't say it's defunct either. I continue to get lots of good stuff from them.
-Bruce

It's still in print, but nothing the way it was in the "good old days." The magazine: Computer Shopper. To pore over the endless advertisements when looking to build your own systems was priceless.
-Michael

My favorite defunct magazine is not one related to my current occupation: Drag Racing USA. Back in the '70s, before it went defunct, this magazine covered both the races and the newest machines, regardless of what class the car was in.

One of the last magazines that I received featured a new short dragster that Big Daddy built and called the Swamp Rat. Two weeks later, I'm at my local drag strip, Renegade Raceway. Don Garlits brought his longer dragster and raced it. While I was walking through the pits, he was signing some pictures for fans. When he was signing a picture for me, I asked him, "Where is the Swamp Rat?" He looked at me kinda funny and asked, "Where did you hear about that?" I told him, "In Drag Racing USA."

Turns out it was Don's favorite magazine, too, and I got to spend quite a bit of time talking with him between the races about his newest dragster and his career in general. I regret to say that I no longer have that signed picture, but I do have the great memory of getting to talk with one of drag racing's great giants in his prime. That is a memory for a lifetime that would not have happened without that magazine.
-Les

And yesterday, reader Chris suggested that the iPhone fan who got teased by a television reporter while waiting in line should've responded with some snark. One reader thinks that's missing the point:

I think Chris did miss something. It's true that the man in line for an iPhone didn't exactly "own" the reporter, but he also didn't sound like he was going to run home and cry. What he said was on the money. The question was insulting and in no way should pass for news reporting. The idea of attempting humor in response to such a condescending question is inappropriate, and acting like the reporter's behavior was funny would have just encouraged him.

What those news people were doing is like something elementary school kids do whenever they don't understand something. It was nothing but a smug attempt at trying to belittle others to make themselves feel better about themselves. It is a common behavior among luddites or the technically-challenged to attempt to demean those that understand or enjoy what they do not. If anyone wants to eschew electronics, then let them continue to bang blocks of wood together. It's none of my business. I don't see computer experts walking around with microphones asking everyone without the most recent phone or PDA if they are virgins or eunuchs.
-A person who doesn't own an iPhone and probably never will

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 07/23/2008 at 1:15 PM


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