Google Needs A New Mantra

Remember Google’s “don’t be evil” mantra? Nowadays, when mentioned in the media, it is usually accompanied by more than a few grains of salt, sometimes topped off with a pinch of irony. Does the company deserve this treatment? Although Google has been through its share of disputes and has made a few blunders along the way (such as storing data sent by private WiFi networks; almost surely an accident^), these could just be the growing pains that come naturally during such a firm’s evolution. We’re riding a technological behemoth into an age of explosive scientific advancement, but such a creature is surely bound to cause a few wrinkles on the fabric of our civilization.

Google has been losing some of its fans lately and this includes some influential journalists. PR was never one of the Internet giant’s strong points, nor did it ever seem to want it to be. Even though “don’t be evil” is a beautiful principle and should definitely stay close to the company’s core, I’m going to suggest an addendum to that. One that, I will argue, fits Google’s actions and, if properly introduced in the media, would serve as a very welcome image boost. But first, let’s cover a few important facts about the company’s past and present. Then, we’ll get to seeing how the addendum I propose makes sense.

Windows 8 – A Disaster In The Making

Even though Windows 8 brings many incremental improvements over its predecessor, Microsoft managed to bungle this release almost irreparably. This is one more example where great engineering is rendered futile by dumb marketing decisions and a lack of internal harmony.

In spite of having a better kernel, but due to a stubborn functional direction, Windows 8 has been, from the start, doomed to fade in the brightness of its predecessor. It’s probably one of the reasons why Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky was fired^– which is a questionable decision, since he was in charge of the previous Windows release as well.

Saving Face for Social Networking

Ever since “Social Networking” became a popular term, there must have been hundreds if not thousands of articles bashing the likes of FaceBook, usually for, but not limited to, privacy issues. The catch-all term “Social Networking” became associated in the minds of the more tech-savvy with the exploitation of information about one’s life.

This is important because we, the tech-savvy, are the people who write about Social Networking and we have cast a shadow of mistrust over the concept. But let’s see if we can strike a blow in favor of this paradigm, to bring things back into balance, for the sake of objectivity…

The Case for Privacy

When about two weeks ago, CIA director David Petraeus made the admission about the agency’s interest^ in spying on people using the ever-increasing array of “smart” appliances in our homes, it became clearer than ever that one of the greatest battle to be fought these years will be the battle for our personal data.

And when you find out about how applications such as “Girls Around Me” use publicly shared data^ to put espionage in the hands of potential rapists, you can’t help but wonder what’s next. What can we do to reclaim our privacy? Do we even need to do something? Why does all of this matter so much? Let’s try and answer these questions…

Can Google Keep It Up?

Is the company from Mountain View still the wonder-child of yesteryear? Google upset the status-quo of the tech landscape starting with an excellent search engine, working its way up with advertisement, all the way to patching together its very own Operating Systems, Android and Chrome OS.

But how much did Google actually innovate? And will it be able to keep its momentum? A former high ranking Googler believes^ that the company is beginning to stagnate, even worse, turning into something… not very friendly. And he’s probably right…

First Impressions about Windows 8 Emerge: And They Aren’t Good

Less than a month ago, I was writing^ a few thoughts I inferred from all the updates the Windows 8 Team released on their blog. Bottom line? The OS is in for a disappointing showing if the Windows 8 Team doesn’t change their rigid ways.

Now that the Consumer Preview has been released^, several pioneers and brave colonists decided to give it a try. Overall, they confirm my forecast: the OS is clumsy (at best) in its most important and profitable market: the PC…

Windows 8 Sales Forecast: Disappointing

A few years ago, long before Vista hit the market, I made a few predictions: 1, that few people will buy it; 2, that it will be a despised product and 3, that I will never install it. It’s 2012 and even Microsoft admitted^ that Vista was a failure. Also, all my predictions turned out to be right.

Now I’m back with a new prediction: Windows 8 will disappoint the most important market it has: the PC market. And it will do so, in spite of the fact that it is a great product…