Google’s introduction of its Chrome Operating System is causing a lot of debate in the high-tech sector, with some pundits mulling whether Google has taken its free software model to the edge in its attempt to battle Microsoft. eWEEK asks readers what they would pay for Web services the thrist of Google’s cloud computing efforts.
Does Google dare charge us for the things it offered us free for years? That breaks the contract doesn’t it? Didn’t we, by logging into Google Accounts, agree to let Google serve us ads for the ability to use Web services? That was the deal implicit in us using Gmail, et al, right?
The problem with free is that if you offer Web services free from the start, no price point looks attractive thereafter. Consumers feel ill used, slighted and taken for a ride. Even if consumers did agree to pay they would call for higher quality of service than Google currently provides and the company still regularly has outages that don’t discriminate between Google’s consumers and it’s paying customers.
No matter how important Google Web services have become to their users, Google is stuck with free. When you start with free and become really successful with it, you get stuck with free.