I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about what would happen when/if Google becomes obsolete.
At present it seems almost impossible to imagine the end of the search giant. It being present in my life to the extent that I use it every day, to say the least. My workplace (and my own domains) run on google apps, and after the pain of running my own mailserver, having google take over lifted the load considerably. On Monday I'll receive my new Nexus 7 which will accompany the Galaxy S2 and Asus TF300 I have. All of which run android and utilise the play store, provided by google.
The thing a lot of people seem to forget is that google is, at its heart, an advertisement company; not unlike facebook. The difference that leads to this omission in peoples perceptions what I like to refer to as the 'iPod Effect'.
When I was younger, in high school, and worked retail on Saturday mornings at a local consumer electronics shop I would get the same question over and again.
Would you recommend I get an mp3 player or an iPod?
The way Apple's marketing team, or Steve Jobs himself, or a combination of all had advertised the iPod made it seem like an alternative to the mp3 player; whereas in fact, they are one and the same. Or, more accurately put, an iPod is just a subset of the generic mp3 player category.
This same effect is still prevalent and only a couple of days ago my, quite obviously Asus, tablet was repeatedly referred to as 'iPad'. Almost as if one can purchase either a tablet OR an iPad.
Bringing me in a wide circle back to why Google has 'Apple Effect'. Perhaps it is to do with their motto or just how it they are perceived as a generally philanthropic company by providing all these amazing free products for users.
Either way, the perception that they are not out to do harm has, in part, made them highly successful and has acquired them a HUGE number of service users who in turn have developed the kind of reliance on them I admit to having seemingly making them too essential to fail!
However, as is often the case, things must run their course. Like the tide coming in and then retreating I find it hard to believe a company will last ad infinitum. I made it clear to my friend that I doubted any 'ungooglication' any time soon, however when they would inevitably be replaced as they , in the beginning, replaced others (Yahoo, Alta Vista, Ask Jeeves) the replacement would inevitably be an improvement as was the case when google initially took over.
In summary, After Google (whenever that is) won't be the end of days it would seem if that day were suddenly tomorrow. Like the slow, yet constant take-up of alternates to IE, it'll be a trickle rather than a torrent and more likely than not we'll not even realise it's happening, until we're all using the AG Alternative.