I've been thinking a bit about the history of the internet, and one important point I deduced was how important Google was to this all. Many-many people love Google, which usually means a lot hate it or dislike it too, but everyone should be thankful for what they have done.
You're probably thinking that I'm a Gmail maniac, or I use Google Maps too much, but this isn't the case. The reason Google should be thought of highly is that it made (and makes) everyone question the quality of everything, and taught everyone that even the strongest product can be beaten with the right attitude/tools. It first challenged Altavista and other search engines and won. It then built the best Email app ever, made it completely free and gave people masses of storage.
During this period it "Googleized" all its rivals, meaning Yahoo, Microsoft and smaller companies started to act the same way, thinking more community-oriented thoughts and developing their own stuff to the same standard.
I think most of the Twitter phenomenon is because of Google too. Not that they have anything in common, but the same thing is happening here. First there was Twitter, a great idea. Then others came and created Pownce, Plurk, and loads of other, basically identical services. This is great since it guves us variety, and they push each other to do better and better.
Consumer-wise Google made people take top-notch software for granted. When I work with Gmail I expect updates, I expect stuff like themes, Google Labs to come sooner or later and so on. Sure enough, Gmail slowly but surely evolved toward POP, IMAP, a built in task manager, and so on. Making consumers hard to "buy" means that companies try harder and harder, in the end also benefiting the consumer.
Overall, what Google really brought to the table is a kind of internet capitalism that benefits everyone, but mostly the common user. So if you're bad mouthing Google any time you may actually be right, just remember that many of the quality apps you use today were made, or were made today and not years from now, partly because of Google.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.