I love Google's products. The other day I learned that Chrome had been released for Linux, and then that led me to also discover Wave (granted, it's federated and open-source). I started a project for an extension to Wave on Google Chrome. Then I had to get help building it at Google Groups, which will notify me of replies via Gmail. Now I'm posting about all this on Google's blog service.
I know there are non-Google alternatives for some of these. I formerly used Firefox, but now I'm getting attached to Chrome - although WebKit and the lack of Java sometimes get annoying. I tried JavaForge for project hosting but was disappointed. I use non-Google forums frequently (when I'm into forums, anyway). I have email accounts with Opera, Microsoft, and maybe some other sites, but they don't work as well. I have a Wordpress blog for general topics. You might call me a Google fan-boy, but out of what they do they do much of it best.
Google was founded by some young entrepreneurs who challenged the big players. The company still has that youthful, small-company air, but now it is the big player. Some people say Google is becoming Microsoft; I think Google is just doing well. But having only one or a few big kids on the block is a bad thing. Who's going to be the upstart that keeps Google on its toes? Is anyone concerned enough to do that right now, or does that youthful air reassure most of us that the big G is harmless? Is there enough creative talent not employed by Google to challenge it? Should we expect the nemesis to emerge from Google itself when things get bad enough? In the meantime, how should we regard Google products? And for all of your answers to the above: Why?