Sunday, November 15, 2009

What happens when Google finally dominates the web?

I love Google for a range of reasons, chief amongst them being the splendid array of products they offer, most of them for free. It is hard to imagine the web without Google. Can you think of how you would be using the web without that company called Google? I can't. However, recent developments from the Googleplex has got me thinking about what would happen if Google succeeds in dominating the Internet.

What actually served to excite my apprehension was when Google finally announced what I'd thought they would for a long time: the Google Chrome OS. The big G is a company that has succeeded in being indispensable in the lives of millions of internet users from all walks of life. I don't remember the last time I used the internet without a Google product or service. And I think so do you.

With the announcement of its own OS, Google is finally gunning to solidify its reign on the internet as the god of that massive network. From the little we know of the yet to be released OS, it is clear that the first thing that users will be greeted with will be Google products and services. Given that most people just go with almost anything default, and assuming that Chrome the OS succeeds, then we are going to have more people hooking up to even more Google products.

There is nothing wrong with this assumption on its own. However, the problem arises when Google later becomes too powerful to be challenged by any other company on the web. That is, what happens to you and I when Google eventually becomes the Microsoft of the internet? Or better still, what happens to our privacy when Google finally reaches there? This is company that knows more about my preferences than I do my own self. This is a company that has more data on more people than possibly any other company out there. I just recently logged into the Google Dashboard service and was astounded about how much data they have on me. What happens when such a company becomes a monopoly?

So far Google has managed to live by their motto of "Do no evil," but will that remain the same when it finally becomes the America of the web? I just read that Google is not that much happy with the current standard of HTTP and has announced its own SPDY or speedy protocol to make the transfer of data on the web lightening fast. All these, coupled with the recent hyper activity coming from Mountain View, are I believe in preparation for the imminent release of Chrome OS.

So again, and I know you have also asked yourself this question before, what happens when Google finally dominates the web? There are those that will say just say don't use Google products. But that is easier said than achieved. Are we going to keep enjoying all that we've come be to used to from Google and still remain as 'free people?' Are we going to enjoy our privacy even when Google becomes the Zeus of the internet? Are we going to keep loving Google when it finally dominates the web? You help me answer those questions because I'm at a loss for answers.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 5 comments


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