As a regular orkut user, I've always been aware of its implications. Being interested in social search has always made me envy Orkut and Google. But there was always this fuzzy feeling of warmth around google that it could 'Do No Evil', but google lately seems to have lost its hackerish charm and has started to ape Microsoft (or any other corporation for that matter).
And for starters, the trend in consolidating google's services seem so much like Microsoft's Passport idea, but much more subtley introduced. Now orkut requires a Google acount. Google Talk requires a google acount, and what next? would I be signing into blogger using a google acount? Hmm.. seems like the passport idea all over again.
I don't in general disagree with the idea of consolidationg, but was this the reason why the server there was being starved of doughnuts on a regular basis? Hmm.. I wonder. The fact that I was perfectly content with using a seperate orkut acount and using my google acount did not in anyway make it an advantage. (I always let all the trivial passwords to the memory of my web browser). So, without adding any significant value to the customer, they had ended up serving us pages about doughnuts. Maybe I am wrong, Orkut will be packed with a whole bunch of killer feautures when I log in next time, but that does not seem to be the case here. What happened to google's stated goal of 'customer first'?
Google's corporateness seems to be a bit rubbing off, with their hiring of a top Microsoft Research employee. I am very much against anti-competitive agreements, and the fact that it is enforced by microsoft. And the slashdot crowd might go ' a kick in the nuts to M$', but imagine this, if they could buy a top engineer from a company like microsoft with shit loads of cash, how long is it before they start poarching for good engineers from smaller firms?
Still I have this feeling, which makes me want to believe that 'Google can do no evil', however irrational it might be. But maybe I've got 'evil' all wrong. Maybe thats what it requires to be profitable in a corporate environment. Maybe the MBA's have taken over google from the people who should be running a technology company, the geeks.
So, should we happy that 'the Empire' is loosing, or be sad that it could be replaced by another 'Empire' very soon?