Google’s rug-pulling frenzy continues

The latest victim of Google’s recent spate of service-killing is Google Code. While the service itself is still running, its usefulness is being dramatically reduced: downloads are being phased out.

The reason? Abuse, according to Google. Apparently nefarious types are using the service to distribute [insert something bad here]. Instead of allowing the (technically-savvy) user community to get involved and suggest solutions, Google unilaterally shut it down.

Sure, I get that this is a free service, and as such, Google has no legal obligation to leave it intact. But stranding users like this is no way to make people love you. I’m already re-thinking my current use of Google services, and I’ve altogether stopped using new Google services. What’s the point of switching to a new service – no matter how good it is – if it’s going to disappear in a few months?

Google is a rarity among modern tech corporations: it’s run by engineers instead of accountants, lawyers and MBAs. That has worked well for Google in the past, but I can’t help wondering if those bottom-line numbers are starting to sway Google’s head honchos. The power of those numbers is seductive. Once we lose Larry and Sergey to the dark side, Google’s days as one of the good guys are numbered.

About jrivett

Jeff Rivett has worked with and written about computers since the early 1980s. His first computer was an Apple II+, built by his father and heavily customized. Jeff's writing appeared in Computist Magazine in the 1980s, and he created and sold a game utility (Ultimaker 2, reviewed in the December 1983 Washington Apple Pi Journal) to international markets during the same period. Proceeds from writing, software sales, and contract programming gigs paid his way through university, earning him a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) degree at UWO. Jeff went on to work as a programmer, sysadmin, and manager in various industries. There's more on the About page, and on the Jeff Rivett Consulting site.

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