I’m a pretty loyal Google user. Although I’m always ready to point out the more questionable aspects of their strategy to dominate the search engine space, I remain a big fan of a lot of their technology. I love my Chromebook and truly think web-based applications and a thin client-side OS are here to stay. I’ve always preferred cloud computing (or “client-server” as we used to call it) to thick client stuff. Computing should be cheap and accessible and Chromebooks, and free services from the likes of Google, go a long way to making that possible. It’s possible to like the hammer but not the man holding it, if that makes any sense?
Google do have a bad habit of closing down popular applications though. I still miss Google Reader, for example, the RSS reader that used by a huge number of people to keep up to date with their favorite websites. Right now, Google are hitting the tech-press headlines for shutting down the legacy free version of Google Suite. This one, more than others, feels like a cynical move after capturing a massive number of new users during the pandemic. (Microsoft just jacked up Office 365 prices in an equally shady move).
The number of apps and services that Google has killed is long – much longer than I remembered until I discovered the strange, morbid thrill of reading https://killedbygoogle.com. I highly recommend you check it out for a list of all the things we used to have before Google decided to kill them off.