That's the headline in a New York Times article (requires free registration) by Gary Rivlin. The story talks about how the Google honeymoon is over and now, because of the way it's becoming just as corporate as any other big tech titan, it is now the first company to come along in a long time that stands any kind of a chance at challenging Microsoft's dominance. One sign, according to the story, is the amount of resentment that's building up against the company in Silicon Valley due to some questionable practices. Suggesting that history is destined to repeat itself, this is one of the better parts of the story (there are so many):
To place Google in context, [former Excite founder Joe Kraus] offered a brief history lesson. In the 1990's, he said, I.B.M. was widely perceived in Silicon Valley as a "gentle giant" that was easy to partner with while Microsoft was perceived as an "extraordinarily fearsome, competitive company wanting to be in as many businesses as possible and with the engineering talent capable of implementing effectively anything."
Now, in the view of Mr. Kraus, "Microsoft is becoming I.B.M. and Google is becoming Microsoft."
Kraus, by the way, is currently the CEO at Jotspot. Perhaps a better yardstick for the aforementioned resentment turned up in the headline of a recent Motley Fool article by Seth Jayson. Read the headline: Google: Now 10% More Evil. The story referred to Google's blacklisting of CNET reporters for using Google's search engine to reveal some of Google CEO Eric Schmidt's personal information. That blacklist isn't just for CNET's News.com though. It's apparently for other CNET Networks properties including ZDNet. Last week, while doing some fact checking for a story I'm working on, I called Google's PR but had to leave a message. I asked for a call back even if ZDNet was on the blacklist just so I knew that was the case. I never got a call back. Of course, two could play that game. But, as you can see from our scooper on Google Talk (Google's new instant messaging service), that's not our style.