Saturday, January 28, 2006

Google, like Microsoft, a love/hate relationship

Jessamyn West has an interesting post on Google, with one response to date. As I thought about the news about Google over the past week, it struck me that my feelings about Google are like those about Microsoft: love and hate.

Google took a stand about releasing to the federal goverment information on searches done on Google. It is also the search engine of choice for sites like the American Library Association's or even my institution.

At the same time, Google is offering its search engine in China, but is censoring results in China. We started the ALA Midwinter meeting cheering Google for its stand for privacy and have ended by jeering them for their willingness to censor.

To the analogy, so the Dilbert analogy police don't take me away....some of us (I'm one) are concerned about the Microsoft near-monopoly on operating systems. (As part of my personal protest, I only use IE when absolutely necessary. I started browsing with Mosaic -- from my alma mater Illinois -- and now primarily use Netscape. Some, including my kids, are trying to convert me to Firefox.) Yet at the same time, the same near monopoly of programs like Word and Excel have made sharing documents incredibly easy. I guess I should have said that the other way around, because I described a "hate/love" relationship, but, oh, well.


  1. I love Google, but I doubt they are worrying about our privacy. 1/4 of internet searches are for porn. Follow the money.

  2. Norma, you may well be right. Google may be doing the right thing for the wrong reason. But isn't it still the right thing?