Google starts charging

February 25, 2007

Recently I wrote a post about how economic logic must be pushing us towards renting applications rather than buying them. Google don’t charge the user for Gmail, calendar etc.. but it seems they have just released enhanced versions for businesses for which they do charge – see this BBC news item.

Interesting move. Of course there is a long tradition for companies like SAP and Oracle to suck money out of corporations for “services” in an unending stream. Google’s charges are pretty modest by comparison. They are aiming at small businesses, as the Beeb says. So probably this won’t change the logic of the consumer market – applications free at the point of use, once you have paid your monthly fee to the ISP. Maybe rather than ads being the main income stream, Google aims to extract tribute from the ISPs.

Another treat for geeks – Cringely’s latest post is about replacing the internet. Some are gripped and others reckon Cringely has finally jumped the shark.