I really love using Google for search, for news, and for my default home page. I think they’ve done an awesome job of really meeting users needs when many others can’t or won’t. I also expect to see them rapidly grow and expand into new lots of areas. As a technologist, I’m really looking forward to the many cool things they are going to make available for everyone to use.
On the other hand, Google scares me to death. People love to hate Microsoft because of it’s marketshare in O/S and office suites with Windows and MS-Office, but I don’t think Microsoft controls the fortunes of so many small and medium-sized businesses nearly as heavily as Google. In terms of total number of businesses, at least in the USA, most live or die by their Google traffic today. We had a glitch at Xtras.Net that caused Google to remove us from their index for a few days, and our sales dropped by over 40%!!! Many also hate WalMart because of how they have crushed most local businesses replacing them with a behemoth that is locally ubiquitious and pays practically slave wages.
However, I’m thinking people will soon look back on Microsoft and WalMart as a very benevolent dictators when compared with the future of Google. Google’s mantra may be "Do no evil", but I’m pretty sure the truth contained in the old adage "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" will prove to be undeniably intoxicating when compared to the early ideology of a few idealists who where at the time isolated from reality.
How soon will it be before we hear the calls to investigate Google on grounds of anti-trust? I for one am starting to believe that sooner is better than later.
I guess time will tell…