A Look On Google Part 4 of 4

Future Directions – Don’t be Evil?

Google is continually making technological progress and giving it out for free in exchange of information. After all, information is what makes AdWords work efficiently, and this means money for Google.

Yet what is at stake is increasingly more important. As new information enters, more is exposed to the outside world. Google vowed (from the day of its creation) never to "be evil", but, how much do we really trust Google? What about corrupt employees or an outside attack? Any vulnerability in the system could compromise all the data we have fed into the system, and thus, the more information we make available, the greater the blow we may receive.

Some argue that Google’s image (esteemed for its clean, do good attitude) may not resist the pressure of one or two privacy disasters, making it just another internet company.

Google has also been compared with the Microsoft from ten years ago: with a powerful, main product (Windows for Microsoft, and web search for Google) and a long list of half-finished products. Google News (algorithm-based) is always a step behind Yahoo! News (where news are ultimately "human-selected"); Google Video has been surpassed greatly by YouTube to the point where it had to buy YouTube to actually get a lead in the video marketplace; and Google Talk has not yet taken off on a world where instant messaging is still largely dominated by Microsoft Messenger, Aol’s instant messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger.

This comparison has led observers to note that, like Microsoft, Google may be hampering innovation – because in any area in which Google steps in, a smaller firm already in that area will have to leave or be lucky enough to be bought by Google. Google does not easily accept this comparison, yet, it seems clear that even though they may not want to BE evil, the fact is that they are one of the biggest multinational technical corporations nowadays. And being a large corporation means many things, including power and influence.

In all, Google’s technical abilities are undisputed – so it may well maintain its clean image. Yet it will have to start behaving like a normal company, because it is only in its best (own) interest. It will have to buy out competitors, make pacts with its enemies, and possibly stand trial for privacy issues or take its competitors to court – whatever “evil” means.


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