Google tries to become Apple

Don't be evil?

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The price of too little control is poor interoperability, sloppy products and headaches for end users.

The price of too much is severe limits on the technology, graphic sensibilities and use-cases for which your products are designed.

It also makes you look prudish, silly or even hypocritical when you spend so much energy censoring the type of apps, images and even books that can appear on your devices, but let one slip through that promises to cure gays of their homosexuality (and then not explain how it happened).

It’s a long devolution from being Google to being Apple. I don’t know if Google is really up to it.

It already has all the power Apple ever wished for, but not in the walled garden Apple built. Google’s is built on casualness – the ability to find information when you want it, apps when you need them and never have to rely on any one specific thing Google supplies except search.

In an information economy, that’s enough, but it’s a power base built on the open availability of information, not control over it.

Google is Wikipedia, not the Oxford English Dictionary, at least so far.

With all its potential power, if it becomes Apple, the impact on netizens will be a lot broader than what happens to a few bits of Android code.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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