Linked by snydeq on Mon 8th Aug 2011 22:14 UTC
Google InfoWorld's Neil McAllister questions whether slowing product development, legal woes, and rising bureaucracy will signal trying times ahead for Google. "With Google's rapid growth have come new challenges. It faces intense competition in all of its major markets, even as it enters new ones. Its newer initiatives have often struggled to reach profitability. It must answer multiple ongoing legal challenges, to say nothing of antitrust probes in the United States and Europe. Privacy advocates accuse it of running roughshod over individual rights. As a result, it's becoming more cautious and risk-averse. But worst of all, as it grows ever larger and more cumbersome, it may be losing its appeal to the highly educated, impassioned workers that power its internal knowledge economy." Note from Thom: Are Apple's Microsoft's Google's days behind it? I don't think you can call yourself a technology giant without a '[...] is dying'-article.
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Not with our current patent system
by coreyography on Mon 8th Aug 2011 23:00 UTC
coreyography
Member since:
2009-03-06

"Best days"? Maybe. For some definition of those words. They probably couldn't keep up their pace indefinitely anyway.

Besides, until there is substantive patent reform, there won't be many upstarts taking its (or Microsoft's, or Apple's) place -- at least not on US soil. The threat of lawsuits is too great.

Edited 2011-08-08 23:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v Nothing similar
by ourcomputerbloke on Mon 8th Aug 2011 23:26 UTC
RE: Nothing similar
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 8th Aug 2011 23:37 UTC in reply to "Nothing similar"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Lolwut? You realise this is a fcuking JOKE right? It actually defends Apple and Microsoft as well, mr. McSmartypants.

Maybe you should get that iPhone out of your ass, mrhasbean, before you comment.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Nothing similar
by BallmerKnowsBest on Tue 9th Aug 2011 02:31 UTC in reply to "Nothing similar"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

Why no Note from Thom on similar articles about Microsoft or Apple jumping to their defense?


That's some chip on your shoulder, MrHasBean. I'm sure we'll be treated to endless whining about how horribly-unjustified your banning was... if you ever get around to admitting your sockpuppetry, that is.

Reply Score: 4

You dont own your code MS and Apple does
by andydread on Mon 8th Aug 2011 23:31 UTC
andydread
Member since:
2009-02-02

You cannot sit down in front of your computer these days and write any useful code in America without it treading on Apple's or Microsoft's software patents. This is a shame. It needs to change.

Reply Score: 5

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

But not just them, but also IBM, Intellectual Ventures and many others.

But many patents are just trivial or have prior art and should be easy to defend against in court.

With the emphasis on 'should be', but in reality many settle. And thus the stupid patent remains in place in some huge patent war chest until someone actually takes them to court.

Reply Score: 2

what struggle?
by TechGeek on Tue 9th Aug 2011 01:04 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I don't see Google struggling to compete. Apple and Microsoft are struggling to compete. That's why the broke out the patent bum rush technique. If Google wasn't out innovating Apple and Microsoft, they wouldn't be spending over $5B on patents to keep them away from Google. After all, Google has never used a patent aggressively against anyone, so there would be little danger in letting Google have them.

Reply Score: 3

What is the number one job of any...
by gfolkert on Tue 9th Aug 2011 01:15 UTC in reply to "what struggle?"
gfolkert Member since:
2008-12-15

For profit Company or Corporation?

*MAKE MONEY* period.

Everything they do whether or not graciously, is to MAKE MONEY.

People inside companies forget Job #1. This leads to waste, loss of focus and "doing it wrong" problems.

People outside companies forget that Job #1 is indeed Job #1. This leads to them becoming willing partners in the Benevolent Overlord syndrome we see all the time. When the company screws them... they are *SHOCKED*. So, trusting Google no further than you can throw it, is a good thing. There will be a day, someday, when Google fires up the long dormant Queen Lawyer and starts pumping out Lawyer eggs to wreak havoc.

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

People outside companies forget that Job #1 is indeed Job #1. This leads to them becoming willing partners in the Benevolent Overlord syndrome we see all the time. When the company screws them... they are *SHOCKED*. So, trusting Google no further than you can throw it, is a good thing.


So true. And that goes for any publicly traded, for-profit company. Some of my friends are hoping that Google+ succeeds over Facebook, because they consider Google to be the 'less evil' of the two. Well, at least Facebook just comes right out and tells you that they don't give a shit about your privacy, while Google attempts to sneak in the back door with their 'don't be evil' mantra, and hopes you don't notice that you're taking it up the ass, as they do things like drive around, slurping data from public wifi access points, and then try to say they did it on accident.

Even if their intentions were noble in the beginning (and I believe they were), once a company sells its soul to Wall Street, it becomes the property of the shareholders, who generally don't give a rat's ass about anything other than making money.

Edited 2011-08-09 02:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Well, I have yet to read a TOS from Google that says Google owns all my stuff I put on their services. Facebook's TOS says explicitly that. So when Google stoops to being the ass pirate Facebook is, you let me know.

Reply Score: 7

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

While for most companies this may be the case, it is possible for a company to be good to their customers and employees and still make money. Being in business doesn't mean you have to be a total bastard whenever it comes to money. There is a small yet growing trend to incorporate in Ohio versus Delaware. The state you incorporate in dictates your business guidelines (maybe the wrong word?). Ohio has a much more lenient disposition for companies to make decisions based on things other than the bottom line.

Reply Score: 2

Software Developer View
by arbour42 on Tue 9th Aug 2011 01:23 UTC
arbour42
Member since:
2005-07-06

As far as Google's programming tools, they've been pretty much a dud.

I studied GWT a great deal when it came out, but it was poor (to be kind). It didn't even have any data bindings until about 4 years into the project, so it was practically useless for creating database front-ends. Other Javascript frameworks had bindings baked in, like Sproutcore, and Cappuccino.

For a company betting so much on Javascript and unable to produce even a half-decent Javascript IDE and Framework (this includes Closure, too), it's a vast disappointment. (I make the same criticism of Apple too. Sproutcore is hardly a footnote in their offerings.)

Google Wave was also a high-profile bust. So a lot of their luster has worn off, and I look askew automatically at most of their offerings. The Android framework is another unwieldy, Java mess.

I've thought that they should have bought a real Framework team like the old Borland Delphi Team - guys who knew how to make visual component libraries and IDEs. The Delphi team could have been had for only $20 million, and their might actually be a decent Javascript framework now.

Reply Score: 3

It's Infoworld
by spiderman on Tue 9th Aug 2011 06:19 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

I didn't RTFA. Saw the address at Infoworld.com and I know it's click bait and an empty "article" with 2 or 3 sentences that are hard to find in the middle of the adverts. I don't even click on Infoworld links.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by neticspace
by neticspace on Tue 9th Aug 2011 08:38 UTC
neticspace
Member since:
2009-06-09

This whole Google Android thing is a sign that Google wants to expand everywhere like how octopus legs would stretch towards every direction (yeah it's a weird Korean expression).

Reply Score: 3

What about search?
by deathshadow on Tue 9th Aug 2011 09:58 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

In a lot of ways, I think Google is just loosing sight of what made them great in the first place; simple, clean, unobtrusive search.

You look at their search pages today, especially after the most recent reskin -- and it basically throws accessibility out the window, is doped to the gills with javascript/ajax bloat, sucks on bandwidth like candy with the search as you type asshattery... and on the whole pisses all over everything that made Google search THE place to go compared to the alternatives.

If I didn't know better, I'd swear they were trying to implement what flushed "jeeves/ask jeeves/ask/whatever the hell they're calling themselves this week" down the toilet.

I mean just go to their home page now -- the search buttons are now absurdly undersized px metric fonts, the menu at the top is absurdly undersized px fonts in dark gray on darker gray (yeah, that's legible), and it's 161k of bull (AFTER compression, 376k uncompressed) for what 99% of people visiting the site is one input box, two submits, 400 bytes of plaintext and a handful of anchors... 103k (289 uncompressed) is javascript asshattery for christmas only knows what!

You view source, it's 44K of HTML -- FOR THAT?!? This is made worse by the outright ignorant idiocy of not even TRYING to leverage caching models; Static scripting in the markup, static CSS inlined in the markup, scripting hooks manually in the markup with a total lack of scripting off fallbacks, TABLES FOR LAYOUT, endless unneccessary/redundant classes, tags that have NO BUSINESS in any HTML written after 1998 like CENTER and FONT... This current incarnation is a laundry list of how NOT to build a website and I don't even want to THINK what it's costing to host that; especially when I could cut that cost in half or more with ease.

Of course what do you expect from a company that's actually trying to deploy the fat bloated useless HTML 5 specification while it's still in DRAFT -- NOT that I'd even suggest using that idiotic train wreck of unneccessary and pointless new tags since it really is just the new Tranny. The target audience for it definately NOT being anyone who embraced the concepts of HTML 4 Strict, separation of presentation from content -- and in fact appears to be determined to set coding practices BACK a decade. It truly appears HTML 5 is for the people who over the past decade have still been vomiting up HTML 3.2, slapping a tranny doctype on it, and saying "close enough"... Now instead of a tranny they're just giving it lip service -- net change zero.

In any case, one of the best litmus tests for any type of major service like this is to look at the folks who work with it professionally. Take IE -- in 2002-2003 the ONLY question web developers were asking about sites was "does it work in IE? Yes? Screw the rest" -- we've come a long ways since then. As Steve said, "developers, developers, developers, developers" -- we rag on him for that, but it's true. You target the people who make stuff, and the people who just use it are forced to follow!

When it comes to search engines, that means SEO professionals... Now, there are a LOT of SEO scam artists out there giving it a bad reputation, but working for the engine IS an important part of buiding a site. (I just think it should be part of the coding and promotion process and NOT a cottage industry unto itself) Looking back two to three years ago the ONLY question most SEO pro's were talking about is "How does google handle it" -- now we're starting to see murmers about other engines. Bing is making a dent, but it's not the only one. I'm now hearing English language SEO folks talking about Yandex and Baidu... Those are Russian and Chinese!

The time is even ripe for brand new engines to give a little shove -- see DuckDuckGo, which more and more people I know are abandoning Google for because it's leaner and faster.

Bottom line -- when it comes to search Google is getting too fancy for it's own good; I think all their useful scripting and AJAX on things like maps and docs has gone to their heads -- and they're flushing their own search pages down the crapper by trying to implement that there...

Completely forgetting that needlessly complex scripting, excessive images, and convoluted page behaviors are exactly why people stopped using other search engines and switched to google in the first place over a decade ago. They are now repeating the mistakes of the search engines they took over from.

Edited 2011-08-09 10:00 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: What about search?
by Neolander on Tue 9th Aug 2011 10:57 UTC in reply to "What about search?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, the end of your post just sums it up... Google used to be a clean and lean search engine. Now, DDG is the king in this area. So let's spread the word, and hail to the new king ! ;)

Reply Score: 1

Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Meanwhile in a parallel universe…..

Apple today unveiled it's 'Open Search' initiative at a media event. Apple CEO Steve Job announced that Apple was launching it's own search engine using technology it has been developing for some time and which utilises the vast resources of its North Carolina data centre. Apple's 'Open Search' will not only offer a completely alternative search engine to today's market leader Google but would also completely open sources search algorithms and allow any third party to build their own search engine based technologies and products on the back of Apple's core infrastructure. In a move that surprised many industry insiders Jobs unveiled 'one more thing' which was the offer of free advertising. Apple will not charge for companies who sign up to place advertising using the the search generated data, and will pay web sites and third parties hosting Apple Open Search ads the same rates as Google currently offers through it's AdSense product, funded from Apple's huge cash mountain.

Jobs, standing in front of huge graphic showing 1984's Big Brother, said "the search business is too important to leave in the hands of one company'

…………………………..

Following last week's announcement of Apple's Open Search Google held a special staff conference at which Google CEO Larry Page is reported to have said "Apple wants to kill Google's search business and we are not going to let them'

………………………………….

It emerged today that the Apple's Open Search initiative may not be as open as it was originally made out. It has been confirmed that not all third parties interested in deploying Open Search technology will be able to do so. Although Apple claims Open Search is a truly open piece of software all the core code is controlled by Apple and not all of those who were interested in using Open Search have been approved to deploy the new search engine tools. At least one Apple competitor, RIM, have been told they will not be getting the Open Search technology to use on their handsets.

……………………………………………

There were more revelations today concerning the nature of the openness of Apple's Open Search initiative. It has emerged that third parties hoping to deploy Open Search technologies must first agree that their companies will offer special premium versions of their software and products which will offer additional functionality exclusively to Apple products such as Macs and iOS devices. In order to get access to the Open Search technologies companies also have to agree to not offer the most up to date versions of their products to any of Apple's competitors.

…………………………………………………..

Google today announced it is suing Apple for breaching it's core software patents including the key Page Rank patent. Google released a series of internal emails from Apple revealing senior executives of the tech giant freely discussed the need to secure a license from Google for using it's search algorithms, concerns that were overruled by CEO Steve Jobs who insisted no license was necessary. Google is seeking an injunction to prevent further deployment of Apple's Open Search technologies and is seeking punitive damages. Apple today submitted a legal motion claiming that the internal Apple emails, including those from CEO Steve Jobs dismissing licensing concerns, are legally inadmissible and should be excluded from the evidence.

An Apple spokesman rejected the accusations from Google and said Google's actions were part of plot to hold back innovation and announced it was starting a campaign to overturn software patents not linked to specific hardware platforms. The move was greeted by several prominent adherents of open source software. Apple is believed to spending large sums from its vast cash reserves in a fierce lobbying campaign in Washington and on a broader PR campaign in support of it's Open Search and attacking Google.

…………………………………………………

Apple today released iOffice, a completely free suite of office productivity apps that mirror the functionality, and in some cases the appearance, of Microsoft's well established Office productivity suite. Apple also revealed the support mechanisms that will help enterprises make the transition to iOffice. Although free an iOffice license does require that the end user make Apple's Open Search their default search engine and early adopters say that any attempt to change the search default back to another search provider such as Google or Bing disables iOffice. Microsoft were unavailable for comment but are believed to be considering legal action over the 'look and feel' similarities between iOffice and MS Office. Apple, with the support of the open source community, claimed such a move would turn Microsoft into a 'patent troll'.

…………………………………………..

A wave of angry posts have flooded the internet today as Apple began sending out notifications to a wide range of iOS customers informing them that their phone account and telephone numbers had been terminated for unspecified 'misuse of Apple telecommunications framework'. Some customers have had their mobile phone numbers deleted after a years of use along with all their accumulated conact information. The excommunicated customers are especially angry because there appears to be no formal process by which Apple's termination of their account can be appealed. Apple was unavailable for comment.

…………………………………………

Apple today announced that Apple's Open Search has just passed the 50% mark of all internet searches just 18 months after it's launch. Google claimed recently that Apple was inflating the percentage of searches it claimed used Apple technology. The 'open source' search technology Apple is offering third parties has proved very popular particularly as it means many companies no longer have to pay for their advertising, a development that has impacted Google's business significantly. Many supporters of open source software welcomed Apple's announcement as a landmark in the history of the open source movement, however some adherents of open source software are complaining that Apple's Open Search is not truly open as the source code is not released freely to all who want access to it.

An Apple spokesman said that Apple is deeply committed to openness and contrasted it to the way that Google's search system is 'closed and opaque' and said it would redouble it's efforts to have software patents that are not related to specific hardware platforms declared illegal.

Reply Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Nice analogy, except of course that Google doesn't own the PageRank patent.

Stop bringing it up.

Reply Score: 1

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Nice analogy, except of course that Google doesn't own the PageRank patent.

Stop bringing it up.



As I understand it Google have an exclusive licence to that patent. Do you think that if Apple cloned the PageRank software and patent content for it's own search engine then Google might decide to do something about it? personally I think they might so my metaphor is not OK given it's fictional context.

Reply Score: 2

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

As I understand it Google have an exclusive licence to that patent. Do you think that if Apple cloned the PageRank software and patent content for it's own search engine then Google might decide to do something about it?


What can they do? At least they cannot sue for patent infringement (that is up to Stanford University). Frankly I don't think they would do anything except mock Apple for not coming up with their own search algorithm (much like the way they mocked MS for piggybacking off their own search results).

Reply Score: 2

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

"As I understand it Google have an exclusive licence to that patent. Do you think that if Apple cloned the PageRank software and patent content for it's own search engine then Google might decide to do something about it?


What can they do? At least they cannot sue for patent infringement (that is up to Stanford University). Frankly I don't think they would do anything except mock Apple for not coming up with their own search algorithm (much like the way they mocked MS for piggybacking off their own search results).
"

Presumably Google's relaxed attitude to sharing the core algorithms that run it's business is why they keep them so secret?

Anyway all this comment about Pagerank is just a pedantic quibble - it doesn't address the issue of Googles hypocrisy and it's cavalier attitude to other people's data, information and property.

Edited 2011-08-09 14:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Anyway all this comment about Pagerank is just a pedantic quibble - it doesn't address the issue of Googles hypocrisy and it's cavalier attitude to other people's data, information and property.


What's hypocritical about it? You can come up with alternate universes until the troops come home, but these are the facts.

- Google has never sued anyone with patent and/or trademark infringement, has never threatened anyone to do so, and has never shown any intention to do so, let alone to squash competition.

- Apple is suing countless companies over patent and trademark infringement, has threatened to do so countless times, all to squash competition, in a coordinated efforts with the other companies in the anti-Google cartel.

Those are the facts. You can come up with " what-ifs" all you want - but when it comes to Apple, we don't have to resort to "what-ifs", and that's what bothers most of us.

Reply Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Google uses it's ad fortune to offer stuff for free, destroying markets.

Apple is the most sued company.

Reply Score: 1

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

- Google has never sued anyone with patent and/or trademark infringement, has never threatened anyone to do so, and has never shown any intention to do so, let alone to squash competition.


If Google had no intention to ever sue anyone why did they bid for the Nortel Patents. Merely owning the patents would active nothing. If Google intended to acquire the patents for defensive purposes (which is what they said) how could patents be used defensively without suing or threatening to sue anyone?

- Apple is suing countless companies over patent and trademark infringement, has threatened to do so countless times, all to squash competition, in a coordinated efforts with the other companies in the anti-Google cartel.

Those are the facts. You can come up with " what-ifs" all you want - but when it comes to Apple, we don't have to resort to "what-ifs", and that's what bothers most of us.


Let's stick to the facts you say and then prattle on about an imaginary 'anti-Google cartel'. What is the evidence for this cartel, what product is such a cartel protecting? This is just Google PR ingested by gullible people hypnotised by Google's distribution of a few free baubles and regurgitated whole. Please.

Apple isn't suing Google because Google was careful not to infringe Apple patents in it's own branded handsets. Some Android phone makers have copied design elements that are specifically and clearly covered by Apple patents and Apple are suing. Good. Intellectual theft is just that - theft.

Microsoft's core business is under attack by Google in a different arena and has decided to counterattack through its patent portfolio. I don't care who wins that one but what did Google expect.? Did Google think it could use it's huge monopoly income to deliberately attack other large companies core businesses through giving away free stuff and not expect a fight? What planet do they live on? This is a grown up world and all Google can do is whine and complain when companies they attack don't roll over and die but actually counterattack.

Reflecting Google's core company cultural belief that all the worlds knowledge belongs to them and can be rendered worthless to everyone else except Google they decided quite deliberately (and the evidence is in the public domain even if Google want to use a legal technicality to get it neutered) to not bother getting a Java licence. Arrogant idiots. They will will probably lose to Oracle. Good. Intellectual theft is just that - theft.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If Google had no intention to ever sue anyone why did they bid for the Nortel Patents. Merely owning the patents would active nothing. If Google intended to acquire the patents for defensive purposes (which is what they said) how could patents be used defensively without suing or threatening to sue anyone?


Oh come one, don't make it seem as if using force defensively is the same as using it offensively. That's utterly idiotic, and you know it. I have no issues with a company using patents defensively, much in the same way I don't have any issues with, say, shop owners in London using violence to protect their shops from being looted.

Let's stick to the facts you say and then prattle on about an imaginary 'anti-Google cartel'. What is the evidence for this cartel, what product is such a cartel protecting?


Look at the consortia buying the Novell and Nortel patents. Look at the curious simultaneous lawsuits. Look at the fact that these companies make up the old boys network using legal means to keep out newcomers. Look at the close friendship between Ellison and Jobs. Denying there's a concerted effort going on to attack Android at this point in time is laughable.

Reply Score: 1

Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

Google has never sued anyone with patent and/or trademark infringement, has never threatened anyone to do so, and has never shown any intention to do so, let alone to squash competition.


Yet again, your version of the facts do not match reality. Google like any holder has engaged in aggressive enforcement of its trademarks (both Google and Android) in order to combat infringement, dilution, and bad faith registrations. Even ChillingEffects has several C&D letters threatening legal action under several statutes and implementing economic sanctions at its disposal (removal from AdWords and Android Marketplace) in its database (search for Google as sender).

They, like most large organizations, have a dedicated Google Trademark Enforcement Team. Perhaps you could inform yourself with data rather than anecdotes and ask them for summaries of their C&D and actual filings over the past ten years or so: mailto:TM_enforce@google.com

I doubt they will bother to respond, but you never know. Or just keep ranting and raving, whatevs. Ignorance is bliss I suppose.

I don't really consider their actions in this regard problematic; not to aggresively protect their marks would be irresponsible to their shareholders, although the extent to which Google has gone to prevent generization of "googling" may border on "evil".

Regardless, you probably should rein in your rhetoric.

Edited 2011-08-10 09:24 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Fun read, even though some inaccuracies taint the picture (Google does not own the PageRank patent, they license it from Stanford).

Shows pretty well why no one in their right mind would want a single company to control a large part of the tech world. Neither Google, nor Apple, nor Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

Fun read, even though some inaccuracies taint the picture (Google does not own the PageRank patent, they license it from Stanford). Shows pretty well why no one in their right mind would want a single company to control a large part of the tech world. Neither Google, nor Apple, nor Microsoft.


They did go through about six years of wrangling and legal expense to support their patent filing back in 2004 and now own the patent on Map-Reduce: http://1.usa.gov/59qfp9

That probably would have been a better example.

Reply Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Indeed, that would be a much better example.

Reply Score: 1

Yes.
by Tuishimi on Tue 9th Aug 2011 15:19 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes.

Reply Score: 2