I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

Aaron Swartz:

Google gets a lot of criticism (often deserved), but it’s worth taking a moment to think of all the things they haven’t done. If Microsoft had Google’s market share in search, is there any doubt that they’d be systematically demoting or even banning their competitors in the search results? Demoting someone in Google is a virtual death sentence, and yet not only has Google never been accused of using this vast power, the idea itself is almost unimaginable.

Dave Winer in response:

Microsoft wasn’t as bad as you seem to think. They didn’t interfere with 99 percent of all Windows apps. They certainly never tried to control the platform anywhere as completely as Apple tries to control iPhone apps today. I think it’s very nice of Google not to screw around with search results. I also think if they did, they’d instantly fall apart.

Would they really fall apart? Or is it more likely that they could gradually add more features and policies that do screw around with search results, and it wouldn’t matter because most consumers wouldn’t notice or care and most geeks unconditionally love and defend everything Google does?