Is Google merely doing everything that we are thinking about doing or are they truly leading us down the next phase of the Internet. It would be safe to say that Microsoft lead the way. They did things that other people truly never dreamed about doing. First the OS, then the Software now the Internet. Oops…. wait, Microsoft does not lead us in the Internet anymore. But who does??? Is it truly Google or is it someone else? Netscape, AOL and Yahoo certainly lead for a long time. In order to lead you need followers. You need copy cats. Does Google have any real copycats and does it go beyond their "simple UI" (check out the recent changes at the Duke Blue Devils web site – yeah I said Duke)?
When it comes to things that are new you would have to say that Google is having its way. But of the things that they have touched, what is truly groundbreaking. Certainly the Google Appliance, certainly the Advertising scheme, and most certainly their ability to stand up to the Justice Department (yeah I am tossed on that decision but at least they are groundbreaking). Yeah Google Video is hot and I guess they did create Maps 2.0. By the way has anyone seen the new Yahoo maps? Very good implementation (if you have not tried it yet http://maps.yahoo.com/beta/index.php). Well then they are groundbreaking I guess.
What I believe is remarkable about their success is that they have done a lot of this on a mostly open architecture. What I mean is that they are gaining all of this momentum without selling much of anything. What they are proving, I believe, is that there is truly a place in this world for the Service Oriented Architecture. Duh! Anyone can see that, I know. But think about it, the architecture has been around for a while and many (successful) software companies utilize the architecture on a daily basis. Heck we are even building it into our next release. But if you sit and think about it they are creating a huge demonstration of what life will be with this architecture available to developers all over the globe.
So, back to the debate, are they leading the way? Were the first or just the biggest. Read around a bit (even through links on this site) and you will see what is going on. It is all over the place.
Quite frankly, I could care less who created it, marketed it, stuffed it in our bellies … it tastes good!