Google是一家广告公司

因此本周新闻中有很多谷歌,包括this story in the NY Timeswhere a bunch of Silicon Valley veterans hint that Google might be the new “evil empire”.

然而,在文章的最后,有这一段:

For the moment, at least, Google is aiming for that most coveted position in technology: a platform that, like Microsoft’s operating system, is so popular that outside software developers write programs, and Web developers build new Google-related services, that render the Google home page indispensable to the personal computer ecosystem.

我非常不同意这一点I agree that the central tenet of Microsoft’s success is that they have developed平台, 不只是制品— but where is Google creating a platform for third-party developers?

有人写作hacks to hook Google Maps up to other softwareAnd there are a ton of third-party search tools that simply redirect you to Google for web search (e.gthe toolbar search fields in Safari and Firefox)但那不是一个平台What makes something a platform is that you can’t take it away without the stuff that’s built on it falling downA Windows application doesn’t work without Windows开发人员可以花时间港口a Windows app to other platforms, but you can’t just移动a Windows app from Windows to any other platform.

同样从用户的角度来看Big organizations can’t “just switch” from Windows, because they need their Windows software. Platforms are solid, because they are entrenched.

Just because lots of developers are integrating Google search into their applications doesn’t make Google search a platform; it’s just as easy to hook up to Yahoo for searchIn my opinion, Yahoo even offers a better API for search than does Google, and their search results are pretty close in quality.1(I use Yahoo’s search API for the网站搜索在万博manbetx贴吧。)

为了所有推测that Google’s goal is a “web OS” that supplants Windows as the lowest-common denominator platform for getting on the Internet, and for all the talk that Microsoft (and, in particular, Bill Gates) sees Google as a serious threat to their monopoly-powered golden-egg-laying geese, I just don’t see how Google is building a platform for developers that even vaguely competes with Windows.

“Follow the money” is as good a way as any to define a company: the point of business is to profitThis is why Apple is not, and has never been, a software company: their profits come from hardware sales — computers, and, now, iPodsMicrosoft is a software company: their profits —每季度数十亿美元— come almost solely from software.

从他们的利润来看,谷歌是一家广告公司. They don’t profit from search, they don’t profit from softwareThey profit by selling adsThis isn’t to belittle them — I think Google is a terrific company, and they are profiting handsomely from ad revenue ($369 million last quarter)They’re market leaders because their ads are better for everyone — they’re far less obnoxious than traditional web advertising (so they’re better for users), and yet they’re also more effective and cheaper (so they’re better for advertisers)他们的软件在很多方面都是巧妙的。2

If Google has a platform, it’s an advertising platform, not a developer platform我甚至不是在说谷歌应该have a developer platform — I’m just saying they don’tAny software that uses Google as a back-end for web search could be modified to use Yahoo or MSN by changing a few lines of code.Google桌面might be popular, but it’s nowhere near as cool as Yahoo Widgets (a.k.aKonfabulator)作为开发者平台。

Plus, if Google is such a threat to Microsoft, why is it that all of their non-web software only runs on Windows? (CfScott Rosenberg’s post from last week: “谷歌的Windows专享世界”。)

Business-wise, Google’s software is just an excuse to show ads. Google’s search results and apps like Gmail serve the same purpose as the editorial content in magazines and newspaperGoogle may or may not become a direct threat to Microsoft in the future, but in the here and now, the entrenched monopolies that ought to feel threatened by Google are newspapersNewspapers, especially local small- and medium-market newspapers live off the revenue from classified adsBut because most towns have only one major newspaper, classified ad prices are artificially highGoogle is primed to burst into this market, with targeted local ads that are cheaper for advertisers and easier for users to find what they’re looking for or interested in.

这一切都适用于雅虎 -他们的利润来自广告, and they’ve been breaking into local markets long dominated by newspapers, such as电影院放映时间job listings

Google-vs.-Microsoft may well be the battle everyone wants to see; but the battle that’s actually going on, for real, today, is the obvious one: Google-vs.-YahooAnd what’s weird about this is that the Yahoo-Google rivalry is a good one — ignoring it to focus on a purely-hypothetical-at-this-point Google-Microsoft rivalry is like ignoring astronomy to gab about flying saucers.

也可以看看

  • 罗伯特X.Cringely:“谷歌是否已达到峰值?“:

    But what if everyone is mainly wrong? What if search and PageRank and AdSense are Google’s corporate apexMost companies would be content with that, but Google isn’t supposed to be like most companiesBut what if they are? I hear a lot of talk about Google doing deals for video and music distribution, but where are those deals? So far it is all just talk.

    I hope Google does pull off a couple more spectacular product feats, but I won’t be all that surprised if they don’tIt will take the company another five years just to mature the businesses they already have.

  • 达娜博伊德:“Why Microsoft-Only Development Is Foolish Business Logic“:

    Companies keep competing on a product-by-product basis, forgetting that they need to be competing on a paradigm level. And forgetting that they need to be competing collectively, not individuallyBy creating a product that only works on Microsoft, you solidify Microsoft more than you compete with themYou may be competing on a product level, but in the long run, you’ve done Microsoft more good than harm and you’ve just made your competition more difficultYou’ve given people another reason to stay on MicrosoftWhy? How can this possibly be good business logic?

  • 大卫·波格:“谷歌变得更好那是怎么回事?“:

    Ever heard the old joke about the two psychiatrists who pass in a hallway? One says, “Hello there.” The other thinks, “I wonder what he meant by that?”

    In high-tech circles, that’s pretty much what people are saying about Google these daysIf you hadn’t noticed, Google is no longer just an Internet search tool; it’s now a full-blown software companyIt develops elegant, efficient software programs - and then gives them awayIn today’s culture of cynicism, such generosity and software excellence seems highly suspicious; surely it’s all a smokescreen for a darker, larger plot to suck us all in究竟,谷歌到底是什么?


  1. This is certainly true if you use Perl; the雅虎::搜索CPAN模块系列,由前雅虎工程师撰写杰弗里弗里德,太棒了他们带来了极好的文档 - 这并不令人惊讶:Friedl是作者掌握正则表达式,有史以来最好的编程书之一我花了更长的时间来阅读文档,而不是让我的网站搜索CGI并使用雅虎::搜索

  2. But what’s the deal with the fact that almost none of Google’s software ever makes it out of “beta”? I mean, shit, Gmail, Google News, Froogle, and Google Groups are all still marked “Beta”我的诚实猜测是,这是一个不真实的开玩笑。