Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The Omnigoogle

The conclusion paragraph from a timely snapshot:

Google differs from Microsoft in at least one very important way. The ends that Microsoft has pursued are commercial ends. It's been in it for the money. Google, by contrast, has a strong messianic bent. The Omnigoogle is not just out to make oodles of money; it's on a crusade - to liberate information for the masses - and is convinced of its righteousness in pursuing its cause. Depending on your point of view as you look forward to the next ten years, you'll find that either comforting or discomforting.

My take: the expanding divergence between Google's stated mission -- "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" -- and its business model (fundamentally Internet advertising-based) is putting Google in an increasingly precarious position: if it loses trust and good will (among end users, the open source community, business partners, investors, and others), it could fall fast.

p.s. anyone who thinks Microsoft is driven exclusively by commercial ends is not considering the full picture.

Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog: The Omnigoogle

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