Friday, December 10, 2010

Google's Maw

Google is devouring everything in sight. I have to be frank with you. I have had a love affair with Google for a long, long time. Back when there was actually a competition among various search engines as to who was going to be the best, the king of the hill, I discovered this engine called Google that seemed to do it better than anyone else. I don't know how long Google's been around now, but whenever they started on the Web, that's when I started using their search engine. (Here's a short piece on the most popular searches on Google for 2010).

There is a lot of water under the bridge since then. Google has become a vast empire on the Internet. I have a whole folder in my bookmarks devoted to Google, and I habitually use any number of them: Gmail, the calendar, Google news--every day. Google books and scholar are great boons for my research. Both have come in real handy there. I also use Google maps frequently and of course, YouTube. Less frequently I use Google Earth, Notebook, and Documents. And Google Reader (for blogs and other things like The New York Review of Books.)

Now comes news that Google's got an e-reader. Why not? Google's got everything else. Obviously this thing is out there to compete with Amazon's Kindle, which at present dominates the e-reader market. I've got one of those myself. You'll never guess what? Google's e-books--you can read on just about anything: the iPad, iPhone, Android-driven devices, the Web itself, as well as the Nook and Sony e-readers. The only thing it won't work on is . . . the Kindle. The e-book wars are going to be real interesting over the next year or so. I'm anxious to see how Amazon reacts to this direct and very potent threat. Google's maw is huge . . . it swallows up almost all before it. Which is a bothersome thing. But that's a whole 'nother post.
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