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Monday, October 22, 2007

Do good Google

Do good Google

Do good Google and open source goodness

As the good ship Google steams inexorably on clocking up new profit records, releasing cutting-edge applications and quietly buying up new infrastructure, it seems many of you are growing uneasy over the search giant's grip on the internet.

Google is the classic IT success story: started as a research project in 1996 by two Stanford University PhD geeks, Larry Page and Sergey Brin hypothesised that by analysing relationships between websites they could produce a better search engine. That idea has gone on to become a multi-billion dollar household name.

But many of you cynics are unconvinced by the company's "Don't Be Evil" slogan.

In our poll, 58.3 per cent of you thought that when the chips are down, Google's own brand of ethical leadership will melt under the weight of business real politicks.

Not all of you are so cynical though; 16.7 per cent thought the face of business will change as more companies seeks to do good, not bad. A quarter of you thought it a silly question, and fair enough too.

Ethical debates never seem to go away, whether in business or not. However, this week's Open Source Awards seemed further proof that the proprietary software business model is looking increasingly shaky.

Far from a fringe movement, the awards night - and its guest list of cabinet ministers, commentators and software leaders - proved open source is a very viable ICT option.

Take our poll on open source and tell us what you think.

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