When Being a Verb is Not Enough: Google wants to be YOUR Internet.

An article from Robert X. Cringely has some interesting speculation about Google, based on their purchasing large amounts of leased lines and building server space.

There are many other reasons beyond multimedia. The basic question about network neutrality is one -- Google relies on neutrality to exist, and buying their way out of that debate avoids having to rely on governments to "get it" about this issue. This is an important strategic move on their part given how badly governments have regulated new media.

Google is also moving into desktop applications, offering from the browser applications like Word processing which would otherwise be a separate application on our hard disks. I feel this is a bit backwards in many ways, moving us back to the old days of mainframes (Googleplex) and dumb terminals (our desktops), but it is one possible vision of the future. I don't consider this vision a positive one, given many of the monetary and compatibility (file format, wider variety of hardware platforms, etc) problems that such a service would solve are also solved by adopting FLOSS software. If the binary-only "software manufacturing" world is to fade into the background to allow faster advancement in computing, I don't think hosted services is the best replacement.