Is Google Taking Over the World?

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We get into a lively conversation this week about all things Google on The Bella Buzz podcast. One of Desiree's family members instigated the conversation by claiming that Google is "taking over the world." Based upon a quick search (on Google), we were able to identify over one-billion results with titles such as
After a quick rundown of all of services that we use from Google, ranging from Apps to the Chrome browser  we try to pinpoint where the concerns might be coming from.  The topic seems to have picked up some steam lately with the announcement of the Google Chrome OS.

It's not hard to understand the fear and concern when listing all of the information that Google is collecting and how it could be used inappropriately in the wrong hands.  However, when you extrapolate that the most common use of this information is to target more relevant advertisements for you, it doesn't seem that sinister.

An interesting parallel conversation about the release of Chrome OS is how it impacts Microsoft.  The initial machines targeted for running Chrome are the inexpensively small netbooks.  This comes directly upon the release of Windows 7 which has also been commended for it's lightness when running on a netbook. With Apple's Snow Leopard on high-end laptops, Chrome on the low-end laptops, where does that leave Windows 7?

In order to help eliminate some of these fears that are surfacing about Google's dominance, they have taken two direct steps towards making it easier for you to control your data.  The first is the Google Dashboard. Every account that is registered to you is listed so that you can control details, read up on privacy policies and manage them from one single location.

The second action that they have implemented and consistently stood by is the ability to easily export data from any of your accounts.  This blog post from Matt Cutts explains that it has been a company directive going back to an Eric Schmidt statement about "trapping users data".

In the end, we can't take a company that is constantly innovating efficient forms of communication for granted.  We have to be aware of how to use the applications that they provide for us, but understand that there are trade-offs.  Let's keep an eye on any security lapses.  That is the bellwether for any mass exodus away from using Google services.  We are all willing to give them the data and to use the applications they provide, but the minute there is a sense that we (and they) have lost control over the data .. that's a whole new ballgame.

We don't want to dig too much deeper into the other elements of services that Google is proposing such as Google Books and Google Music. Those topics could take us entire Bella Buzz episodes on their own, so we will explore those at a later date!

We would like to get listener input into their opinions about using Google services.  Do you have an opinion one way or another?  We would love to get your input into this topic.  Leave us a note in the comments and we'll discuss this further.

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