Is Google Evil?

By eWEEK Labs  |  Posted 2008-03-06 Print this article Print

Unlike some of the other gorillas named in this story, Cisco faces serious challengers on a number of fronts.

Alcatel-Lucent, Nortel Networks, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Juniper Networks and Extreme Networks offer alternatives to Cisco products for enterprise-class networking infrastructure, and Blade Network Technologies (formerly a Nortel division) makes integrated blade server switches that compete with Cisco switches. On the application acceleration front, Riverbed Technology, Radware, Packeteer and Juniper all offer compelling alternatives to Cisco offerings, and Brocade Communications Systems goes toe-to-toe with Cisco on storage networks.

But all that being said, Cisco is still king of the networking jungle-at least for now.
-Cameron Sturdevant


"Don't be evil" is supposedly a motto adopted early on by Google. But while that slogan may apply to some of Google's business practices, there's nothing scarier or more evil than Google to businesses that find themselves in competition with the search giant.

And when we say businesses in competition with Google, we don't just mean search vendors. Increasingly, any company that makes a living off the Web runs the risk of finding itself in competition with Google.

In recent years, Google has spread its reach across many areas of the Web. From e-mail to hosted applications to online selling, Google has moved in and quickly changed the dynamic of every market category it's chosen to play in.

Even worse, from the standpoint of competitors, is how Google moves into a new technology area: When Google launches a new technology, it invariably offers it for free. So not only is your business now competing with one of the most powerful companies on the planet, but the price you can charge for your core product has dropped to essentially zero.

Even if your business doesn't compete directly with Google, the company is a core piece of your overall business strategy if you do business on the Web. Need people to find your products and sites? Then you need to optimize for Google search. Are you making money from Web advertising? There's a good chance you're using Google.

Google's pervasiveness could spread to how people access the Internet and the Web. With a successful bid in the Federal Communications Commission's spectrum auction, Google could become a primary provider of broadband Internet access. And, yep, there's a good chance Google would provide such access for free.

Google's influence doesn't look to be waning any time soon. If anything, it is only growing, as seemingly every month or so sees a major new release or initiative. For example, many Web-based collaboration vendors probably felt a chill from the recent release of Google Sites.

Where will Google's influence over the Web stop? Right now, no one knows. But if things continue at the current pace, when people say they are Googling, they won't mean just searching-they'll mean doing anything on the Web. (Oops, I mean the GoogleWeb.)
-Jim Rapoza


Crack open your desktop PC case, peer into your notebook computer or peel back the cover from one of your workhorse servers, and chances are excellent you'll find Intel Inside. The Silicon Valley chip maker, founded in 1968 by Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore, designs and builds the processors-and, to a growing extent, the graphics and network adapters-that power our computers.

Intel controls upward of 75 percent of the market share for the ubiquitous x86 processor. And, considering the company's strong relationships with server and PC OEMs, its broadly recognizable brand and, perhaps most important, the high cost of entry for potential new microprocessor rivals, Intel's status as an 800-pound gorilla of technology appears awfully secure.

IT managers feel the pull of Intel's industry gravity primarily in the form of products available for purchase, particularly high-volume products such as PCs and workhorse server hardware. Intel's massive size, relative to its rivals', means that even if upstart x86 competitors-such as the once-promising Transmeta-manage to capture buyers' attention, these competitors are unlikely to deliver their chips in the sort of volume required to challenge Intel effectively.


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