Friday, December 15, 2006

Free Google Tools?

The blog on ALA Techsource describing some of Google's new features is worth a read. I've been playing around with several of them including the docs and spreadsheets for group editing, picasa for photo sharing and storage, and of course YouTube and GoogleVideo. In general, I like them and they work pretty much as advertised. Now, there's an easy webpage creation tool and free hosting. Free for now, anyway. It's clear that Google has a cohesive strategy in mind after reading how they are bringing these things together both for education and for commerce. The question is, what is the business model?

Most people think Google is in the Search business, but then, most people think Rolex is in the watch business. Wrong on both counts. Rolex is in the lifestyle business and doesn't compete with watch companies. In a way, it's the same with Google. Google is in the advertising business and don't you forget it!

All the talk in the click-through user agreements about being beta and extending some of the freebie tools for beta testers at no charge after the beta period is over tells me that at some point, the beta period will be over and it won't be quite as free. What are they up to? It looks to me like Google is taking a page right out of Microsoft's book. Hmm.


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