Google, the "tech company"

February 10, 2021 by Lucian Mogosanu

Many a thing has been said over the last two decades about this... shall we call it a "company"? an experiment? a bizarrerie? and quite a few labels have been associated with its deliberately misspelled name, "tech company" being but one of those. Since there ain't much news here to begin with, let us take our time machines and skim through the olds; my own personal teleporter takes me back to whatever's left of 2007 on this web of ours: Google focus on software, not just search/ads:

Google, the world's dominant provider of Web search, is also the dominant provider of pay-per-click advertising, which contributes virtually all of its revenue.

Last year, it entered the software application market with products it collectively refers to as "Google Apps." This refers to a series of online software applications and Web publishing tools it provides free to consumers.

It also offers a premium, licensed version to companies, government organizations and universities. It marks a challenge to Microsoft Corp.'s MSFT.O Office software franchise, according to analysts.

Here's one for the lulzmines. Earlier the same year we found out that Google had the best workplaces at the time. This mustn't have lasted more than a quinquennial, since right about the end of the cycle, give or take a couple of years, we're being told that Google has a "diversity problem" and its continously pouring money into this "problem" doesn't really do much.

Moving on to 2011 -- 2011 was a pretty eventful year for Google, wouldn't you say? -- this is when Google really ramps up on that tech: Page is being compared to Gates not even a month after Google officially announces the acquisition of Motorola Mobility, effectively grabbing the mobile market by the balls. Yes, using the bad and ugly Android. Not only that, but about midway through the 2007-2014 prolonged-quinquennial the press reveals that Google is one of the highest-paying "tech companies" in the US.

So from 2007 on, when Google is "the best workplace evah", all through 2011, when it also rewards its employees with big piles of money, Google arrives in 2014 at a point where it has a "diversity issue" which keeps growing bigger, all the way to endless array of stupid circuses starting circa 2017, with all the firings and the lawsuits and the news coverage. Since we're doing miscellanea, it certainly won't hurt to add the political campaigns undertaken, surely, for the sake of nothing else than progress in "tech" and "diversity". Not in order to keep its position in the market, surely; and not for the purpose of spying on and manipulating gullible folks all over the world, naturally! despite the ample evidence suggesting otherwise, evidence meanwhile dead and buried somewhere in the barren wastelands of "this web of ours".

Leaving the rest of the details to specialists and moving forward through the thick pages of history, we arrive at... well, two days ago:

Microsoft Wallops Amazon in 2020 Cloud Revenue; Bigger than AWS and Google Cloud Combined

While Amazon’s AWS cloud unit had an excellent year with revenue of $45.4 billion, Microsoft blew past that with 2020 commercial cloud revenue of $59.5 billion, 31% higher than AWS and underscoring that Microsoft is by far the #1 cloud vendor in the world.

And while Google has every right to be extremely proud of Google Cloud’s $13 billion in 2020 revenue, the combined 2020 cloud revenue from both Amazon and Google of $58.4 billion still falls short of Microsoft’s 2020 cloud revenue: $59.5 billion.

Let's let that sink in for a moment: Microsoft's cloud business has yielded the company more income than those of Google and Amazon combined. I must say, it's a pretty impressive performance, but this, to my eye, isn't even the juiciest part. Sure, we can easily compare M$'s $59B with Amazon's $45B; however, a comparison between Microsoft's previously-mentioned revenue and Google's meager $13B would be way too much. The sheer numbers tell us that Microsoft may not be much of an advertising company, but while so, it's just about prepared to blow Google out of the "tech" game.

Yes, Google, the "tech company". The guys who built the first high-scale web applications before the term had been even invented; those guys who, for a very brief period of time, built systems primarily on the basis of interoperability with existing technology -- anybody remember Google Talk? you know, the XMPP client that eventually got perverted into a useless trinket, that's what I'm talking about.

Google, the company that insisted on giving shit away "for free" until eventually, foreseeably, obviously! until "for free" became an untenable proposition and people simply moved their shit elsewhere. Don't believe me, take the raw numbers: 0.02 * 1000 * 12 yields $240, which is about the same as the cost of a 1TB Samsung SSD (the Pro variety, yes?) in Romania. So it's probably much cheaper in the States -- in fact, if you're really cheap, you can probably find lower-end models that'll cost you half this price. Google's cloud may provide the "convenience" of files accessible on every smorfphone on the planet, but phones aren't really that useful, at least not for whatever services Google's providing.

Google, the wolf that cried wolf; the perpetrator of questionable search ranking practices that meanwhile turned its engine, its prime product, into a distasteful latrine where too few useful things are to be found.

Google, the "vertical integrator"; the conqueror of large intellectual territories in the field of computing, the owner of hardware and software which were supposed to give it some grip! an edge! well, somethings! Meanwhile the competition has successfully forked all of their open sores, not that it was possible get them to work without forking.

Google, a "provider of services" lacking completely in customer service. A joke so funny that it's sad.

A tired old advertising mammoth kept relevant only by its TV platform, and even that... will go the way by now paved specially for such pursuits, the same one fully embraced by its younger cousin-platforms, that of a pretend-democracy without any actual folks to inhabit it.

The trained eye will surely see how the other side has fared all these years. Microsoft has begun its invasion of the "tech" domain much earlier than Google and consequently has seen much more as they went through several failures: whether it was the kids in Romania pirating new Windows versions, sometimes before they even got released; whether it was the death of Internet Explorer or Google's mobile supremacy -- which, by the way, also swept Intel when it got in its path! Maybe it was also from Ballmer's so very stupid remarks, or Gates', or hell, Nadella's, that Microsoft learned something. Because it seems to me that they indeed did.

The official story says that Microsoft got ahead in the game primarily by focusing on customer's needs. I s'ppose I agree, only there's more to the whole evolution than just "customer needs", the dudes played and changed the game. Let's leave aside for a moment Microsoft's "tech consolidation" through the acquisition of GitHub and similar companies -- look at how many gaming companies they bought in the last few years; this doesn't in itself tell us too much about the cloud business, not unless we're explicitly introducing XBox in the equation. So what gives?

At least as far as I can see, Microsoft's strategy wasn't to "grow", at least not in the sense of importing users in the cloud by the metric ton. No, "users" were already there, in the form of companies both small and big, already using Windows and Office and needing more in terms of computing infrastructure. Hell, after the Microsoft scandal, even the corrupt Romanians, who installed 101% pirated copies in the entire state infrastructure in the 2000s -- even those use 101% licensed Microsoft Teams during these hardful times of Great covids.

So after only 35 years of existence, Windows rules the corporate market. On Linux-based cloud infrastructure, even, which should explain more clearly both the GitHub acquisition and the sudden love for Linux and open source. But regardless, Microsoft rules the corporate market with Windows, while Google rules a bunch of loud mouthpieces placed in the hands and rammed down the throats of a bunch of suckers.

Filed under: olds.
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