Monday, September 25, 2006

Google takes over world

Google is going to take over the world one online ad supported program at a time, and Microsoft is beginning to show fear.  The software giant has just announced its plans to begin distributing lower end versions of word on its website. The release comes at a strange time for Microsoft, with constant delays of its next generation operating system, Vista, have even the most faithful Windows users doubting the companies credibility. I think Microsoft is doing what it has to, in order to survive.  But is the future of computing at stake?

Freeware, the term given to free computer programs, are often ad supported and at times open source (the ability for the user to edit the programs by getting into the code). This may seem far-fetched, but in the future advertisers may begin to take over our desktops in an effort by companies like Microsoft and Google to produce programs faster and cheaper in a never ending race for our screens.

But what is the price to consumers? Besides cheaper and possibly even free programs the price is privacy. Even now the highly touted Gmail (Google mail) has code inserted into it that scans your e-mail and sends advertisements based on what words it finds. So if you e-mail home about how you're out of money, it is likely that banking advertisements will pop up with low interest student loans.
Google and Microsoft have changed the way we manage with the information in our world. But how much longer is it, with advances like this, until this information is controlling us?

John LaRue
DI columnist

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