It was too good to last. The idea that a company like Google could go from zero to hero and stay true to what got them there. But money (and investors and management and PR people and…) talks and then next thing you know Google is speaking legalese and covering their asses with the best of them.
I’m sure you’ll think I’m blowing this out of proportion, but I don’t think so. This is a trend I’ve been noticing, from booting people from their AdSense program without cause to trying to quash RSS with Atom. Google is forgetting about what got them to the table, and how fickle a user base can be. If it turns out that AllTheWeb.com (or anything coming from Microsoft or the open source community) is better, I’ll switch in a heartbeat. Why wouldn’t I? Google has no lock-in.