Another great piece of contrarian punditry from Cringely, complete with hilarious Gordon Gecko-esque lines like:
I'm counting on Google and eBay to save America.
The upshot is a warning to Google to not behave like Microsoft, as tempting as that may be:
What counts is that for Microsoft the platform is the PC while for Google the platform is the Internet and nobody can hope to control the Internet -- not Microsoft OR Google.
Given that Google can't practically aspire to control the Internet and Microsoft can't NOT aspire to control it, Google already has a vastly lighter load to carry.
Now here's a failure strategy for Google. While not intending so much to create a platform, Google has done just that. And once you control a platform, the way to best leverage that control is by sharing the platform generously. Google is right now the basis of much Web 2.0 creativity from third-party firms -- every one of which is afraid that they'll be put out of business next month by Google rolling-out its own version of whatever that ISV has built and proved. That's the Microsoft domination model, so why not? Because it poisons the well, that's why not.
PS: Earlier in the piece, Cringely/Gecko starts in on IBM (and also Sun):
If IBM had invested in improving services, rather than cutting them to the bone, by now they could own their market. But they didn't. IBM's primary innovation has been to move as many jobs offshore as possible, cutting costs for now, but at a horrible long-term cost to the company.
IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, should he choose to reply to this column, might point to the IBM development center in Austin, Texas, which specifically targets the services business, as an example of what IBM is doing right. It's called the Global Technology Center. Alas, the GTC has spent millions of the company's money, are masters at promoting themselves, but have delivered very little of real value back to the services organization.
Cringely and The Dilbert Blog are the two best regular sources of original punditry on the internet.