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QOTD: How Much Are Google's Services Worth?

Google today announced to the world its Chrome OS, which is just another piece in the puzzle to forming the complete Google-powered environment.

The core of Google's value is still what it can offer all internet users email, maps, translations, document and calendar collaboration, instant messenger, picture and video sharing, and perhaps above all, categorization of information.

Google is branching out, though, with its own web browser, mobile OS and ecosystem, and soon an operating system for netbooks to integrate it all together.

Some traditional office applications can be replaced by Google's cloud-based services, even leading some business to pay the Mountain View, Calif. company for corporate use of its apps.

The goal of the Chrome OS when it launches in the second half of 2010 is to integrate all of the Google services into one cohesive environment. The Chrome OS will be free, and we're guessing that the standard use of mail, documents, calendar will also be free. But at some point, Google's software will begin to push out similar offerings from Microsoft and Apple – software and services that users currently pay for and attach value to.

Assuming that Google's software and services could eventually replace your current paid-for products, how much are you willing to pay for the search giant's present (or eventual) offerings? More or less than what you are paying for now from Microsoft or Apple?

In other words, our QOTD is: How much are Google's services worth to you?

Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • FIVE BUCKS
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  • steiner666
    As much as I'm currently playing: $0. Google is just one of the many free search engines i have in firefox, I dont plan on using their OS, just as I dont plan on using chrome, and for the same reason: i'm not a basic, noobish end-user who just wants to check my email and read articles on my netbook (dont own one) while sippin' on lattes. I need the add-ons and features of firefox and the ability to play games and such in a windows OS.
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  • farrarj
    It depends--If Chrome OS were as advanced as Windows, I would be willing to pay a microsoft-like price tag. Unfortunately, Chrome will not be as advanced as other established operating systems; and it will not be compatible with most of the software I use. It is ideally suited for just the market it is going into: inexpensive, low-powered notebooks. It must be cheaper than OEM Windows Xp (about $20) so free is about right.
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  • the_one111
    steiner666As much as I'm currently playing: $0. Google is just one of the many free search engines i have in firefox, I dont plan on using their OS, just as I dont plan on using chrome, and for the same reason: i'm not a basic, noobish end-user who just wants to check my email and read articles on my netbook (dont own one) while sippin' on lattes. I need the add-ons and features of firefox and the ability to play games and such in a windows OS.
    /Agrees.

    Since when was giving out a free OS or search bar "new"? I really don't see how Chrome is anything special... Especially not compared to Ubuntu.

    Anyone who does anything over check their facebook or sending tweets (both of which I would never do) won't get Google Chrome. That right there is my estimate of (maybe) 20% of PC users. The other 80% will be divided and simply won't get chrome because it's new and they don't know how to install it or don't need to waste their time installing a OS that will do the EXACT SAME THING AS ANY OTHER.
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  • lowguppy
    I really dislike the concept of paying for an OS. More often than not people pay for them behind the scenes in the price of a retail computer, or they pirate them. MS has actually taken a pretty soft stance on Windows piracy, as they understand how much of their business is based on market share, and a windows user is a windows user, legal or not. Apple gets props for only charging $50, but really, if you price out the parts in a Mac, you're paying a lot more for OSX than any version of Windows. Netbooks is a good place to start, but I'm interested to see how much they're able to scale it up.
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  • tenor77
    I don't use gmail or chrome so google is all I use. Hence an answer of $0.00.

    Would I pay for a google program? If they made something worthwhile I suppose, but right now we're not there.
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  • fulle
    If I was going to give an actual value, I'd say Google should pay me a small amount of money for all the adds they show me, and data they mine from me. I accept personal checks, PayPal, and direct wire transfers, Google.
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  • nekatreven
    I tend to be in the critic's seat of could-anything and web-based-whatever. The Internet breaks sometimes and I don't care how far we progress, that will simply never change. I want to own (not rent) the things I buy and I don't want to have to depend on outside services and networks much more than I already do.

    I'm not opposed to getting excited about real innovation (like the anti-virus software that scans from the cloud-side and runs your files through 5 different products faster than your own system could run them through 2) but I think we're on a big wave of hype right now.

    I don't think the late adopters have anything to worry about either. Cable TV and landlines may cost a little more, but we still have them (partially) because satellite TV goes out when it rains and VoIP goes down with the Internet.
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  • fulle
    Google already knows my full name, social security, bank account numbers, PayPal info, and all that... So, I figure they should have some money sitting in my account by the time I'm out of work. Right?

    /discuss.

    Where's my money, Google? Where's my money man?
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  • Free o/s, i think not. This is like getting "Free" Rent, only Google gets to put cameras in the shower to watch your wife.
    Google doesn't make software, they buy good software (keyhole etc..), thinks of a way to hide the fact they are privacy perverts and say its free.
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