John Robb's Weblog: Google's Strategic Mistake: "I don't think that Google clearly thought through its decision to move to Web page modification. If they succeed in nullifying the opposition to this, they will open the floodgates to Microsoft to rerelease its version of the concept.
Through modification of the browser, Microsoft could put this on 1,000 times the desktops Google could with its toolbar. Opposition to the concept is the only thing that is stopping Microsoft from doing it today.
It gets worse. The basis of this modification are search-based services. If Microsoft is able to put a basket of search-based services into every Web page most people view with a browser ('search in situ' vs. the site based model), Google could be in real trouble. It could quickly turn Google into Netscape, and I am sure Bill Gates knows this.
This is a bet the company decision."
Via Dave Winer, who summarizes the post as "John Robb calls Google's move into content modification a strategic mistake, a bet-the-company mistake."
A few issues with this:
1. Some fact-checking is in order, on Microsoft's intentions and architecture for smart tag technology in IE circa 2001; there's a bit of folklore at work here.
2. So... the biggest threat with Google's potential "bet-the-company mistake" is that it will "open the floodgates" for Microsoft to do even bigger evil? Not quite objective analysis...