Long live the evil empire

So now Google is the evil empire that Silicon Valley loves to hate:

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 23 – For years, Silicon Valley hungered for a company mighty enough to best Microsoft. Now it has one such contender: the phenomenally successful Google.

But instead of embracing Google as one of their own, many in Silicon Valley are skittish about its size and power. They fret that the very strengths that made Google a search-engine phenomenon are distancing it from the entrepreneurial culture that produced it – and even transforming it into a threat.

A year after the company went public, those inside Google are learning the hard way what it means to be the top dog inside a culture accustomed to pulling for the underdog. And they are facing a hometown crowd that generally rebels against anything that smacks of corporate behavior.

So once again, Bill Gates is Mr. Good Guy, like he was before the IBM PC, and Google can plan on rolling out a whole series of things that totally suck.

3 comments on this post.
  1. Stuart Berman:

    Google’s embargo of CNET probably didn’t help their image much. Rather heavy handed in a ‘Cisco’ kind of way.

  2. Jon Gallagher:

    Kids these days …
    Microsoft has always been a FU company, ever since the original BASIC system. Richard, both you and I went through God knows how many hoops making Microsoft C work, and we all learned the lesson back then to never buy the first release of any Microsoft product.
    Meanwhile Google has been pretty much playing a straight up game. I don’t know how many pages I’ve linked to google maps, with driving instructions, custom labels and other artifacts. The API for searching is easy and fast, and none of it has cost me a dime. I hand out GMail account to folks while showing them what a fully searchable email system means for project management, phone lists, etc.. And I lauch at people who worry about their privacy as they check their email over POP3 in a Starbucks.
    Sure, there’s stuff other people do better. A9′s address plus photo system is stunning and I use it all the time to give people directions downtown. But that’s the thing, I’ve got a choice, because everyone is competing using standards, not embrace and extend and breaking the standards. I’ve been through generations of technology with Microsoft, and I know how it works, keeping up with the technology means paying more license fees. Well, not for the systems I’ve deployed on web platforms.
    Listening to people whine about Google being the new Microsoft does me the favor of cutting down the number I have to take seriously, a good thing in today’s cacaphony.

  3. Richard:

    Microsoft jumped on the desktop computer before anybody else could see the point and made a monopoly by building products that were just good enough to get the job done. Some of their marketing practices were a bit predatory, but that should have creatad opportunity for competitors, had any of them been sharp enough to take advantage of the shadow cast by their umbrella. There were plenty of such companies in the mainframe era. But it’s hard to act like Mr. Rogers when the world hands you a monopoly.

    Google is sucking-up to Communist China, censoring its critics, and punishing people who game the search engine. If some of their work has been pretty good so far – and all I see that’s really clever is one nice trick in search – history says it won’t be that way for long. It’s too easy to maintain a monopoly by aggression and acquisition, and the Google boys are no more morally virtuous than Gates and Allen.

    I’d like to see MS reinvent itself as an Internet company and give Google some serious competition.