Anil Dash, the veteran blogger and developer, weighs in with an essay suggesting Google has reached an inflection point of development he calls its "Microsoft moment."
The development last week of the Chrome operating system is what Dash describes as the point "when the difference between their internal conception of the company starts to diverge just a bit too far from the public perception of the company, and even starts to diverge from reality."
He suggests that Google's emphasis on developing applications for Android and not for the rival (and more popular) iPhone suggests it has lost its original approach to open-sourced, service-to-all building. It is designing for corporate strategy, not for users. Its communications strategy has changed, too, into a mainstream media emphasis.
"The era of Google as a trusted, 'non-evil' startup whose actions are automatically assumed to be benevolent is over," he concludes. It is reaching a point where whatever it does, "anything caused by stupidity or carelessness will instead be attributed to malice."
Google long ago said its mantra was to do no evil. "Is Google evil? It doesn't matter. They've reached the point of corporate ambition and changing corporate culture that means they're going to be perceived as if they are. Whether they're able to truly internalize that lesson, accept it, and act accordingly will determine if they're able to extend their dominance in the years to come."