There seems to be a lot of cheer around the net this evening as the news spreads that Google acquired Writely. Is anyone else disturbed by Google's empire spreading? Evidently to the web desktop?
Here is why I do not feel comfortable with ad supported applications like email and now documents. Sure it is all automatic and no human has to know that you are corresponding with your patent attorney about some great new invention. But it is spooky to see contextual Google ads off to the right when you open that email from your lawyer, accountant, spouse, boss, customer... Google is reading your email. Is Google going to start dropping ads into Writely when I am working on a new research note? Will my fellow analysts have to see Google ads as we collaborate on a blog post?
Google has already demonstrated that their motto/mantra of "do no evil" is subject to the whims of business opportunity in China. Why should we trust them with our documents? And don't forget that the Federal government seems to think Google is a great repository of material for witch hunts. I would hate to be working on a spy thriller novel with lots of mentions of terrorists on Writely when Google's legal defenses finally break down.
Let me know if you think I am overly paranoid. It is a good thing there are other great document collaboration tools on the web.