The usually uber-reliable Google was again down for a decent period of time on Thursday, killing all of it’s services including Google News, Google Mail, YouTube and of course, Google Search.
Google outages have became a little more usual of late, with services going down in February and again in March. The loss of a major Internet service such as Google is bound to cause panic due to people being so reliable on it’s services, and true to form people fled to Twitter to start tweeting about the problems.
A lot of people now use Google for pretty much it’s entire workload including its mail, docs and calendar services replacing their own desktop based alternatives. Some people even complained that they couldn’t access their online banking due to the outage, due to Google Analytics being installed.
Although it’s natural for people to criticise any service when it doesn’t stay up and online, it’s easy to forget that they are sceptible to failures of any nature just as much as any other company are and the service was only out of action for a matter of hours.
It does however raise the question, are we putting all of our eggs into one basket? If Google keeps growing and adding more services, which it inevitably will, are we going to reach a point where almost all main services are monopolised by the service (if that isn’t the case already)? Google had over a 90% market share in the United Kingdom as of December 2008, which will surely increase over time with the improvement of current services and the introduction of new ones.
I believe the saying is ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’ and that is certainly the case where Google is concerned.