Everyone has a rather strong opinion on the monopoly Microsoft has/ had on the desktop. Microsoft is seen by some users as a bad company because of its monopoly, leaving the desktop user no other chance than using functionalities than windows Mediaplayer and Internet Explorer (due to the deep integration in the Operating System). Same goes for Microsoft’s Office suite, which doesn’t support ODF natively (it does since July 2007 via an add-in) and saves documents default in the proprietary .doc format.
Who is the good guy?
Well that said, Microsoft may not be on the good guys side, however is there a good guys side at all? Fan boys now would jump on their chairs and would chant “Google, Google, Google!” however Google also has certain drawbacks, as it stores a lot of information on its users. However if you take a look at the developments of Google in the last view months in a certain perspective you could start to think Google will be monitoring you rather closely.
Fact is that Google already hosts your email, calendar, RSS reader, web history, documents, photos, blogs and much more free functionality. It is quite clear Google knows what you are doing since you do it with their applications. It is always questionable if you should want to outsource that many of your applications to one provider. However Google stated that it is not evil and therefore you should not mind it.
All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends — all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that’s what we set out to build.
So if you take a look at this development: not only are you outsourcing all your useful applications to Google. You are also storing your data at Google, your personal history (pictures and video’s), and your video history and indirectly via de AJAX libraries API you history of pages you visit outside the Google domain. And now you are also browsing with Google. Since Android is on its way it is not unthinkable Google will offer a complete set from operating system to (web) application to your desktop/ laptop and mobile phone.
Off course that does not have to be evil, Microsoft had good intentions too when they started integrating Internet Explorer in Windows.