Thursday, June 13, 2013

Google is not the salvation of humanity

There are so many fanatics on all sides.  I understand enthusiasm but fanaticism really hurts everyone.

I continue to see how Google has virtually saved humanity by offering their products for free and not asking anything in return.  It amuses me.

Google put together Chrome for one good reason--to sell services.  Yes, you can use it to view web pages but they really want your business to work through Chrome to make documents and spreadsheets and whatnot through their web-based applications.  Services are cash-worthy, as is advertising.  Google is a business, not a philanthropy.

I still remember how Google were turning dissidents over to the Chinese government, as were Yahoo!  I suppose those actions will always remind me that some people favour business over life any day.  I'm not an activist but I value people's lives.

Google often engages up-and-coming developers in their "Summer of Code".  It's good for the community, but they also get free help and new ideas.  Since they engender the trust of so many, they help themselves to code which would otherwise cost them money to create.  That also saves them human resources to work on projects which do bring money to the company.

If there is one positive thing Google has done, it's done something to erode Microsoft's grip on the world.  It currently appears that Android is displacing Windows as the sloppy operating system that is widely used--what I used to call the 65% solution.  (Microsoft's developers spent 100% of their time working on 65% of the problem, leaving people to fend for themselves and work through the problems.)  Android's problems are rather widely known and developers attempt to work through them, supporting device after device incrementally because the hardware abstraction isn't very good.  Pity the poor developer struggling with the angry customers because their software doesn't work on some device.

I really thought that Android 4.x would be a great fix for the mess, but apparently, it isn't.  What's more, Android versions 2.3.3-2.3.7 is still in use by a rather large group of active users.  I suspect the LG Optimus One (and now 2) and variants were quite the success, given that the price was about the same as a high end feature phone.

I'd love for businesses to become the salvation of humanity but I suspect that they will not because they're--businesses.

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