As Writely employees are blogging about being brought into the Googlesphere, I came across this interesting post at Search Engine Watch. It raises some questions about what Google is doing in the marketplace.
Just about everybody I know uses Google – even my Grandmother is aware of what Google is – and few take a step back to think that a single company has such power in dictating what you see and what you don't. The recent censorship case in China has highlighted the issue, but the author's central assertion is solid. His concern is that Google is straying from its goal of building the best search engine it can and is increasingly putting its fingers in more and more pies.
From a development perspective, many of Google's tools are in perpetual beta, and the company is falling into the trap of adding rather than fixing. The company is adding all manner of tools to its arsenal but significant bugs remain in existing offerings.
Google undoubtedly invents some cool stuff, but perhaps it's time to stop acquiring or creating new technology and to spend a little time getting this stuff right.