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My only question is if they are "too soon". Will those data centers be obsoletet by the time wide spread adaption of "web as the computer" takes over? Will they be able to keep that much hardware current and workable? Does it even matter?
In early returns, Google Docs/Apps has been widely panned by users and critics alike. That doesn't mean it is dead - it just means it is going to take a bit longer. Google appears to have some staying power in various markets. That indicates, they are preparred to wait it out.
Those who cannot afford laptops, I am sure they are in no rush...they can wait till they go home to their desktop. In order to justify the costs this has to be widely emabraced, somone using it once a month or just to test it, does not count.
And guess what? They mine information from everything. They actually have more information on you than the US government.
Thank about that the next time you write something personal or private to someone with a gmail account. Unlike the person with the account, you didn't even give your permission.
Oh wait, I'm sure they'll never use that info maliciously (nor any of their employees). Look at the great way they handled China.
If Google can find a way to bring your computing power to them, or should I say let you use their computing power - they will. I'm sure they'll be happy to host your apps for you - and do it for free. They'll just say "Please accept our terms, click here."