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Google Brass Set 2023 as Deadline to Beat Amazon, Microsoft in Cloud (theinformation.com)
807 points by devhwrng 61 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 821 comments



Googler here. My opinions are my own; I have no non-public knowledge on this topic.

I do not understand the hyperbole around this report. Nowhere does it say that Google plans to shutter GCP if it doesn't reach #1 by 2023.

> said people with knowledge of the matter.

As in, people who may not have even been at said meeting which took place nearly two years ago, under a different VP and now a different CEO, and saw some meeting notes.

> The group’s leaders told staffers that if Google couldn’t reach a certain size with its computing and storage business—two of the most commonly used cloud services—the cloud unit might never become profitable, the person said. To reach such scale, they said, Google would need to be in a top two position in the market.

So it's not about being #1, it's about being profitable.

In other words, this was a conversation about literally every product at an executive level ever.

You set goals, you decide what happens when those goals are met. Furthermore, there is no concrete assertion here that what happens if this deadline is passed. "at risk of losing funding" can literally mean anything from changing FTE allocation to capital expenses to a million other things that get discussed at an executive level.

And finally:

> A Google spokesperson declined to comment prior to the publication of this story, but after it appeared released the following statement: "Reports of these conversations from 2018 are simply not accurate."

There may be some truth to these accounts--reality is often between the lines--but this is extremely soft on details and actual first person accounts.


> So it's not about being #1, it's about being profitable.

The problem Google has with the developer community is largely around the fact that Google has a long history of pulling the rug out from our feet. There have been 3 stories on HN in the past couple weeks alone about Google products which have either been dropped or changed significantly such that they are no longer viable for developers to use.

Google has lost a lot of trust in the community and if Google management wants to avoid this kind of reaction, they need to build a reputation for stability. Years of dropping products people rely has eroded much of the good will people used to have for Google.

Amazon doesn't drop products. Microsoft has spent decades building a reputation for having a long term reliable product road-map.

Google is fickle and doesn't seem to care when they screw people over by changing terms underneath us. As the old saying goes—fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.


This is the entire problem. Swap “Google” for “AWS” in the article and you’d have legions of folks calling foul on the article. Instead, most folks are nodding along to the article going “yep, seems like something Google would do all right…”

Google’s problem remains its reputation for turning things off.


The issue is that folks here think GCP is the same thing as Google Reader. That's absurd.

Google is currently building a massive $500 million datacenter outside of Reno as we speak, and has 10+ billion invested in their datacenter cloud offering buildout this year alone.

GCP and the entire physical infrastructure isn't going to get "turned off" if it isn't #1 in the market in 3 years, that's just silly.

https://9to5google.com/2019/07/01/google-data-center-nevada/

https://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2019/02/13/google-i...


The issue for me isn't Reader itself but what it says about the disconnect between Google management and us, the users of Google products. That seems to have happened around the time Google went from _having_ a "user base" to being effectively ubiquitous. I can't speak for others, but Google of the 2000s "got" the hacker/nerd mindset in a way that was the closest thing to empathy I've ever felt from a corporation. That sounds naive to write down here in almost-2020, but that was how it felt at the time. When Reader died, so did that feeling, and now all of us are running around unsure if the Google products we personally care about are the ones Google management care about. Leaks like this one do not inspire confidence in that.


Free consumer products are not the same as paid enterprise services. The markets are entirely different, and ascribing the fate of Google Reader as a sign of anything on the B2B front doesn't make sense.


> Free consumer products are not the same as paid enterprise services.

They may have different revenue models, but there is little difference when it comes down to management killing services which aren't profitable.

If there is a difference, it is that Reader could be maintained at little cost, while GCE (when it gets the axe) could potentially be costing google hundreds of millions per year to keep running.

There have been plenty of other cases where google has burned bridges with the technical crowd which they should have embraced as champions for selling services. Killing off XMPP support was another prime one for me, and absolutely affected paid enterprise customers as well.


Reader could only be maintained at little cost if its dependencies were stable. But stable infra doesn't get you promoted, so every service needs to be staffed indefinitely (to keep it on the upgrade treadmill) or killed gracefully before prod explodes.


These same arguments can be applied to GCEx 100x more. So the point stands.


To be fair, the switch to mobile-first did more to kill XMPP than Google did. It's a lot better now a decade later with all the XEPs, but now there's nobody there to talk to so it's too late.


Just a cursory look at killedbygoogle.com will show you a list of products that fall in the category of not free and used by business (Hired by Google) and/or were products that developers integrated with their own software that was killed.

As a developer or a company, why should I trust Google as a platform?


It's not just Reader and all the other services. It's really crappy customer service too. Reddit's got a good thread going about someone that paid up on GSUITE that got their account locked. You have to hope a tweet goes viral to get help.

https://old.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/ecacki/gsuite_sus...


This is not an economic problem. It is a trust problem.


That's irrelevant. Its about trust, commitment and sticking it out. Google's penchant of throwing shit against a wall to see what sticks seems to prevent them from applying themselves to increase the stickiness of their shit.

You simply cannot trust Google to do right by me, the user. That's it.


See, the thing is though, that they kill stuff that DOES stick as well. There's plenty of stuff in the Google Graveyard that was still widely used, with large user base, and they kill it anyway. There's no consistent logic to their killing of products. Sometimes they simply don't want to update it, sometimes it's purely internal politics (G+), sometimes there's just no reason we can find.


What people believe about them matters, not whatever internal rationalizations may or may not have occurred.

Aside from their bad reputation for killing products, they also have a bad reputation for providing next to zero human support services for their products - even if you do pay for them.


And yet, the gsuite accounts I pay for can't use Google Home properly.


AWS has launched a hundred small products which anyone can signup for on the spot, it’s not that different than consumer product releases. And it’s also not the opaque enterprise sales process of Oracle and IBM where things move at a way slower pace.

It’s somewhere in between and if Google started launching a bunch of new DB and other infrastructure products I’d be worried about adopting them individually - not worried that the entire data centres and business divisions getting shut down. Because Google will probably move on to another product without thought of the last one.


Feelings often don't make sense, but you can't 'logic' feelings away that easily. Or I can't, anyway.


Agreed that Google isn’t going to announce one day that they’re going to demolish all the datacenters in 30 days, but that doesn’t mean that GCP has any guaranteed future either. If Google leadership decides to walk away from cloud hosting, it’ll come in the form of reallocated engineers, reduced headcount, smaller conferences, and a general transition to “maintenance mode”. (At which point it’s a corporate backwater and everyone who can transfer out will.)

But for companies picking a cloud platform tomorrow, that’s a fate as good as death! AWS and Azure won’t slow down development and new features, so a couple years after GCP stops being a priority, it’ll start also being a bad deal, and a couple years after that it’ll be a straight-up strategic liability. THAT is why anything other than full-throated support from Google leadership for indefinite GCP investment will lose them business.


And maybe they won’t kill it, but I ve had a number of times platform changes killed features I used. Thing is, with a company I pay for I can vote with my wallet. With Google it’s just sending a message and hoping it doesn’t end up in nullspace somewhere.

Google is just too big as a company, and if they replaced every human in it with drones no one would know the difference. There is no human face or point of contact or any accountability and it’s becoming a problem.


My girlfriend was able to get on the phone with a tech support person for her small business ads and I was shocked she was able to even talk to someone at Google over a phone without being a major company with a big monthly bill.

The woman was still snarky to her and unhelpful but still a real human was available.

A lot of this has to do with our own perceptions and trust. Purchasing decisions are never fully rational or information complete.


Ads are the only place afaik where you can get to speak a human. Try Youtube for instance :)

In any case, its a free market, but buying from vendors who I can talk to if something happens, has way more value to me than a ‘free’ product.


> that doesn’t mean that GCP has any guaranteed future either.

Nothing has a guaranteed future.

> AWS and Azure won’t slow down development

As long as it's paying off, they won't, and AWS maybe for longer even if it isn't. But Microsoft is no stranger to making investments in offerings and letting them stagnate or outright killing them if they don't pay off.


And which Enterprise product we are talking here?


Every API they have ever released is eventually placed in WONTFIX. It's not like you have the source code.


While Google Reader might be the most popular of the tools, that got offline'd, doing so is a common pattern with Google. According to gcemetery.co[1] Google has already killed 164 products, with each one having an average lifespan of approx. 4 years.

Just have a look at "API" and also "Services"...

[1] https://gcemetery.co/google-product-lifespan/


Google is always building new data centers to handle traffic growth for their own services. GCP infrastructure wouldn't be turned off, but re-purposed for internal growth.


Bingo.


On the other hand the, in comparison tiny, cost that Google Reader and other was in the budget, would have given Google so much good will. It was in other words cheap positive PR.


Killing Reader was massive strategic blunder, which in fairness to Google was probably not obvious to see at the time. But then to repeat that with Maps API,Google+, Sketchup and Wave (perhaps wave was first) just cemented Google's untrustworthy reputation.


Sketchup?? Huh. Glad I didn't get into it, then. This is the first time I've heard that, and I thought I was up to speed with the stuff Google dropped.


SketchUp was acquired from Google by Trimble in 2012 >> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SketchUp


It doesn't matter, a datacenter can always be repurposed for their own internal product lines.

To be perfectly honest, i would rather go with a company that provides cloud as one of their main products rather than a company that has it as one of their many products.


> Google is currently building a massive $500 million datacenter..

Money talks. Culture talks louder.


> 10+ billion invested

These are big numbers to us, but it's about 1/4 of their quarterly revenue--i.e. they bring in 16 times that number every year.

Don't think they wouldn't sell it to Amazon or Microsoft in a heartbeat if they decided to exit the cloud business.


Yeah, GCP is not the same as Google Reader, more like Google Maps. But that one recently had some changes that royally fucked some businesses over by changing pricing and quotas, so maybe not so absurd after all.


Exactly. If they just don't improve their pricing in line with AWS/Azure (which means massive capital investment, always subject to economy shifts in the cost of money) then people will be looking to move.

All the cloud offerings are massively more expensive than owning/leasing unless you have large dynamic scaling requirements. There will be middleware in the future to allow cloud agile / hybrid operation, so maybe cloud compute will become more commodity, as opposed to the current Rolls Royce pricing. At that point will Google be interested? Depends how much marginal cost is involved compared to running data centers just for themselves.


It could be like what they are doing with Google Fiber where it doesn't die suddenly, but it doesn't grow either.


Google piled massive resources behind Google+ and look where that is.

Personally, I don't think Google will yank the cord on this entirely, but they may just stop piling resources into it and/ or significantly increase prices to ratchet up profits. They don't have to drop the whole cloud to really screw up a developers life, just screwing with one API I rely on can kill a product and they've already done exactly that.

The problem is with Google you just don't know what's going to happen. Microsoft and Amazon are both known and neither plays games with their products.


Investments in data centers and infrastructure can mean that the Google Cloud may live on, but different offerings in the cloud might change with little notice.


Surely you realize that GCP is not a single product offering, it's a collection of products.

https://cloud.google.com/products/

If you wanted to make a comparison, you should compare Google Reader to Traffic Director or DialogFlow


Even if they don't just "turn off", why would I want to invest in a cloud platform that only staff enough to keep the lights on, while there are cloud platforms out there that continue to provide new features to make my development process less painful?


Those datacenters don't only house GCP you know. I'd be willing to bet GCP only makes up a comparatively small portion of their datacenter computing resources.


So gcp is costing Google a lot more than Reader, that only bolsters cynicism.


>Google’s problem remains its reputation for turning things off.

I'd put it this way: Google has a reputation for turning things off, but its _problem_ is an inability to stop doing that, to commit to its users/customers. In other contexts this could be written in terms of addiction.

If I were Sergey and Larry, this would be the thing I'd be retiring over, and I'm not sure Suchar can change it.


If Satya Nadella could get Microsoft to move beyond its Windows-all-or-nothing pathology, someone in charge at Google (including the two founders that vote-control the entire company directly - they can de facto hand Sundar the power to act as he needs to) can trivially put a stop to the relationship commitment issues at Google.


Its far from trivial to change an entire corporate culture on a dime.

From everything we have seen of Google's culture, working on new projects is exciting and is absolutely the way to get promoted.

Doing maintenance work, especially on products that aren't wildly successful gets you no attention, no staff, no funding, and probably more than a little tongue waging.

The CEO cant just change all that with directives, even if they do something extreme like a "No Depreciations" policy, products are liable to be depreciated in all but name (Joe the intern takes care of it every 5th Tuesday, technically not depreciated) by sheer corporate momentum alone, nobody wants to be stuck with a dead fish, even if its now illegal to openly comment on how much it stinks.

It would require change at every level of Google to place value into fixing/improving existing projects, rather than all the glory going to greenfield development.

Considering the kind of "kingmaker" culture Google's mentality breeds, ie what gets me ahead is gathering resources to focus on my project, changing things to a setup where contributing to other peoples silos is welcome and common is going to be an extremely difficult prospect because virtually all the people with power inside Google got that way by carefully tending their fiefdom, they aren't just going to throw that all a way, no matter what any executive says.


Its far from trivial to change an entire corporate culture on a dime.

You can say that, but when it's a response to the fact that Microsoft did that EXACT THING on the the scale in which they did it your statement doesn't hold any water. Go back in time and walk onto the Microsoft campus in Seattle and tell anyone that will listen in say 1995, 1999, 2001, 2007, or 2012 that Windows licensing is a dead end and see if you don't get lumped in with the loonies talking about the end of the world.

To say that Google can't do it is more an indictment of Google's leadership as opposed to the enormity of the task. To thinking a company with a 934 billion dollar market cap (Alphabet) can't figure out how to do enterprise software support if it wanted to, what a joke.

Edit: spelling.


Jeff Bezos in 2002:

“All teams will henceforth expose their data and functionality through service interfaces.

Teams must communicate with each other through these interfaces.

There will be no other form of interprocess communication allowed: no direct linking, no direct reads of another team's data store, no shared-memory model, no back-doors whatsoever. The only communication allowed is via service interface calls over the network.

It doesn't matter what technology they use. HTTP, Corba, Pubsub, custom protocols -- doesn't matter. Bezos doesn't care.

All service interfaces, without exception, must be designed from the ground up to be externalizable. That is to say, the team must plan and design to be able to expose the interface to developers in the outside world. No exceptions.

Anyone who doesn't do this will be fired.

Thank you; have a nice day!”

https://gist.github.com/chitchcock/1281611


I am not sure why you are saying Microsoft transformed, its still the same old one now trying to embrace Linux as it runs as the main workload on Azure instead of windows. This is just done for survival, otherwise Microsoft would have gone to irrelevance.

Windows and Office licenses are still the main driver for Microsoft, just with accounting tricks and office 360 made into cloud revenues. This is an investor story to jack up the stocks. They are no better than google when it comes to platform lock-in. On top of it having used Azure services, I can say without a doubt its inferior to Amazon and Google cloud experience.

Microsoft didn't transform it's just that enterprises who hold up upgrading Windows and Office did so after windows 7 debacle to Windows 10. This is just cyclical uptick, not really transformation, its just lucky Nadella. The only good thing Nadella did is, didn't take any disastrous decision to thwart the uptick by embracing Linux and trying open source, by understanding that if it's not done Microsoft will go the IBM path to irrelevance.

In the process Microsoft having an old relationship with enterprises helped them to move some workloads to Azure even though it is an inferior service, by supporting Linux and showing commitment to it for financial gain not out of goodwill towards open source.

Still today Microsoft relevance on mobile is due to its office products, otherwise it is as good as irrelevant on mobile application and development front. It's alive on mobile just due to proprietary platform lock-in to .NET. Now made it open source to try to increase the share as it's not as useful given the rise of nodejs, Python, rust and other platforms.


Windows has not seen a payed upgrade for 5 years - that is in itself a major change. We'll see if they continue on this road, but for now their announced plan is that there will not be a new paid update of Windows. This clearly cuts down on one of the revenue streams for Windows Licensing.

Microsoft is the largest single contributor to Linux development. They have a large hand in Kubernetes. .NET is open source and runs on Linux/Mac natively. They have released and are maintaining the most popular lite IDE/editor of the decade simultaneously for Linux/Mac/Windows, and it was open source from the start. MSVC has a Clang frontend.

That they are not relevant on mobile seems a non-sequitur. The discussion was on whether the Microsoft Windows-first culture has changed, and it clearly has. They have clearly embraced open-source as a good strategy for them, and are making massive investments in it.

I would also note that Azure, while having all sorts of unexpected limitations, is at least much more transparent about pricing than AWS. The Azure UI almost always includes pricing information on the resources you are creating, which AWS carefully segregates away.


This licensing does not apply to enterprise editions and volume licensing, I believe you are still looking at consumer market which Microsoft already lost to a Apple and lately google chromebooks.

The major revenue stream for Microsoft is still old long term licensing deal for office combined with windows and than related server technologies to support office applications.

The model changed from licensing+upgrade fee to new subscription fees. This can be office 360 subscriptions which get you office products and windows or volume license subscriptions. Depending on the type of subscriptions these are classified as cloud or windows and office revenue. Azure come into picture as those companies having volume licenses have applications in legacy .NET which they move to Azure.

Microsoft is supporting Linux today because they lost the battle of technical superiority and most of the azure workloads for supporting internal business apps run on Linux. They ported .NET to Linux just to have those old accounts do not move out of azure and Microsoft proprietary eco-system easily and move them to subscription with long term contracts.

Majority of the revenue effect you see is just because Microsoft abandoned product updates for old versions and forced customers to move to windows 10 and above by making old one economically very expensive. So Nadella was lucky because he got the benefit of the cyclical revenue increase due to enterprise upgrades which companies didn’t do for many years.

Obviously adoption of Linux as primary driver for Azure kept those old customers from moving out of Azure to Amazon or google, even though technically azure quality and services were inferior. A company will not move to amazon or google unless there is significant exponential gains. If the old vendor can still support and give something which is not bad but not the best, customer will still stay on and here Nadella was good not to bash Linux like Balmer.


It’s just as easy to move .Net Framework workloads to AWS as it is to Azure.


Companies prefer to purchase services within an established contract than to go ahead and sign a new one with new provider and go through the bidding process.

Also .Net is synonymous with microsoft so there is no reason to trust AWS, it's not their priority, they are a Perl and Java shop in general.


AWS is always bragging that they have twice as many Windows VMs than Azure.

AWS a Perl shop?

All of AWS services treat C# .Net Core as a first class citizen.

- CodeBuild has prebuilt C# .Net Core images for building apps. For licensing reasons they don’t have prebuilt Windows/Framework containers but their instructions are so clear that I was able to build one before I knew anything about Docker

- Lambda has native support for .Net Core 2.x and the C# SDK for AWS has a template to build a custom runtime for C# 3.x

- Speaking of which, the AWS SDK and plug-in for C#/Visual Studio and the corresponding Nuget packages are excellent and fully featured.

- The CloudFormation Developer Kit supports C#

- There are CodeStar and ElasticBeanstalk getting started templates for .Net Framework and .Net Core

What are they missing?


AWS was built to support Amazon website which is built in Perl and still internal AWS core code might contain perl. Probably over the years they might have moved slowly to Java. I don't work for AWS so can't say much.

Regarding support for .NET whatever AWS does microsoft will always be way ahead of them. Microsoft is not elastic.co that AWS leech on and put the original guys on the side and don't contribute back. AWS is really like a leech on open source now trying to leech on Kubernetes.

They can do this with small open source project, not with the projects supported by google or Microsoft. Like when it comes to Kubernetes AWS is playing catch with Google. So AWS Fargate and other services are still inferior to Google managed K8s. Indeed microsoft at present is ahead of AWS in managed kubernetes services. Its just the initial head-start and developers who are familiar with AWS proprietary API's find it hard to believe that in such a short time the skills they learned is no longer cutting edge and google or microsoft proprietary API's overtaken them in performance and ease of use.


AWS was never built to support amazons website, it was never the result of amazon.com's internal code-base of "hosting" getting made public, it was never amazon's excess peak server capacity, etc, it had virtually no relation to the hosting of amazon.com at all, it was an independent project that might have benefited from a lot of the general design principles of how amazon.com was built, but that is it.

All of these things are widely believed myths that have little to no basis in reality.

It certainly was not designed as some kind of Perl hosting environment.

It didn't even host Amazon.com at all until many years after the fact.


And they just moved off of Oracle to Redshift after years of effort...


Regarding support for .NET whatever AWS does microsoft will always be way ahead of them. Microsoft is not elastic.co.

Can you give one concrete example of where MS has a feature for .Net that AWS doesn’t have?

The only one that I can think of is that their lambda equivalent works with .Net Framework.

Amazon doesn’t care about EKS, it’s just a check box option to say they have it. Elastic Container Service is far more integrated with AWS.

Have you actually used AWS? Care to enumerate how it’s “inferior”?


I did use AWS for good 5 years and every time it's been inferior, e.g. launching times of EC2 instances were double that of Google Cloud, better than azure though (might have changed with new instance type may be), N2 and N1 instances in gcp are usually faster in start, stop delete cycle than AWS as recently as last week. Networking stack between regional nodes is not as performant with higher latency than google cloud with its andromeda network stack, on top its more expensive than google and microsoft for bandwidth. Even though I put critical comments for GCP on this article, I feel AWS fare no better, indeed I feel its worse.

I have yet to see any good open source project by AWS team in the wild like Kubernetes, Linux Kernel Namespaces and Cgroups, Map Reduce from Google or .NET from Microsoft. So far what I have seen is that AWS just leech on other open source like PostgreSQL to build Aurora and RDS service without really contributing back to PostgreSQL, because postgreSQL comes with BSD license AWS can just leech on it. Same for elastic search and many other open source they leech on. I am still waiting if they are really just leechers or giving back to the open source community. Like Amazon Redshift is based on an older version of PostgreSQL 8.0.2, and Redshift has made changes to that version [1], but nothing is made open source because BSD license do not require it. This is just one big example but there are many. For open source community and contributions I feel Google and Microsoft are much better than Amazon and AWS by miles. It's just that due to early start AWS is reaping benefits by leeching on open source.

[1] https://docs.aws.amazon.com/redshift/latest/dg/c_redshift-an...


It seems like you were much more on the infrastructure side than the development side. The discussion was about .Net. What was your experience with the SDKs to judge where AWS was behind MS supporting it?

How does open source help an end user who is deciding which cloud provider to use?


AWS is infrastructure as a service with some priorietray API's to provide platform to build applications. These platforms are build from open source projects which does not have GPLv3 or AGPL license. So AWS is largely an IaaS service not really a platform, open source library or system development company like Google or Microsoft.

AWS does not develop .NET SDK, as I mentioned in my earlier post there is no contribution of AWS in development of .NET, so they just provide infrastructure support of what ever Microsoft and the open source community releases.

In general microsoft acts as a steward to develop .NET and related infrastructure on Azure, then AWS copy and launch it as .NET infrastructure as service. They play catch up with Microsoft in this area.

I will stand corrected if you can show me that AWS (i.e. Amazon) has active open source .NET framework core developers in their internal team developing and enhancing .NET SDK or CLR open source versions.

They do the same with AI and ML Services. It is built using TensorFlow, sci-kit learn, pytorch, CNTK and various python and C++ open source libraries. Again I have yet to see example of AWS (i.e. Amazon hiring core developers of these libraries and release open source versions). They don't develop these libraries just leech on it to create it's own API's. I have yet to see any framework from AWS like TensorFlow, Keras, Pytorch and CNTK.


Again, the discussion was about AWS being behind Azure with respect to support for .Net. When deciding which cloud provider one should go with, why should I care as an end user which company did more for open source?

There is nothing to copy as far as .Net. Microsoft releases a new version of .Net, all AWS has to do is make sure that its SDK’s support it. But there usually aren’t any breaking changes.

As far as the other services that I could see needing to support, the only ones that I can think of is CodeBuild and lambda. For those two, you can create custom Docker images and runtimes respectively.

And the other question, are you a .Net developer?


> I am not sure why you are saying Microsoft transformed, its still the same old one now trying to embrace Linux

I'm one of those persons who upsold friends, families and at least one boss on to use Linux.

I'm not a business analyst but I can say that Microsoft has transformed. I still prefer Linux as does a number of fellow sysadmins and developers, but Microsoft has changed to the point where they are not a problem to us anymore. Azure portal works equally well from Firefox on Linux as from Internet Explorer or Edge on Windows.

> as it runs as the main workload on Azure instead of windows. This is just done for survival, otherwise Microsoft would have gone to irrelevance.

The best reason for transformation in fact: because the subject realizes it is in their own best interest to change and it improves their situation.

> Windows and Office licenses are still the main driver for Microsoft, just with accounting tricks and office 360 made into cloud revenues.

I don't know.

> This is an investor story to jack up the stocks. They are no better than google when it comes to platform lock-in. On top of it having used Azure services, I can say without a doubt its inferior to Amazon and Google cloud experience.

I've used Amazon (two years, narrow experience) and Google Cloud (two years, broader but possibly shallower experience, certified) and now Azure lately.

So far, inferior is not the word I would use. I'd possibly stick with different or something neutral.


Office 360 hasn’t been a part of cloud revenues in years.

.Net Core is open source and available for Macs and Linux. It’s almost 5 years old now.


Well, .NET Core and their approach to Open Source is what makes "new MS" decent (from my pov)


One great book on how the culture of an entire giant company can change is "Who says elephants can't dance" by Lou Gerstner. He was the CEO of IBM who orchestrated IBM's transformation from a mainframe supplier to a service-oriented company. My take on the process is this - the change can be done and has been done when there is an existential crisis. The crisis may not be apparent from the outside, but company internals can notice a terminal decline of their core product/service and has an impetus to change the direction. Even then, it's not easy. I would argue that Microsoft had to make somewhat of an about-turn from Windows because first the Internet and second the Cloud was putting pressure on their core business threatening to make the OS a marginal player. I don't think Google is in that position, at least not yet. Google Ad business is not facing any terminal threat. Thereby it is much harder for Google to make a culture change because simply the pressure to make the change is not there at an organizational level. [Edit: Prepositional corrections]


Microsoft’s culture didn’t change one little bit until after they started having trouble recruiting.

I doubt Google will learn anything until most people stop thinking a Google job is the best of all outcomes.


They're already there on my part. Between their firing employees who organize or complain that their corporate slogan apparently now is "Be Evil", their chaotic product decision making, and their toxic internal politics, I have absolutely no interest in working for Google. Furthermore, I've noticed that the Google workforce seems to be becoming less.... Googly.... recently (disclaimer: I work down the street from the Googleplex and see many Googlers as they do their daily migrations). As in, they're now hiring a broader selection of people who aren't just the top 5% in class. What that tells me is that they're having more difficulty on the recruiting front and having to cast their net wider.


When I first wrote that sentence, I said "until people", but it occurred to me that being shunned by a small group of engineers probably barely registers on any metric that a large company would pay attention to. It wouldn't be actionable until the well had been running dry for a while.

I mean, shit, I work at a place where many of my favorite people have moved on to other things, few have been replaced, and yet we're only just having sincere conversations about how to fix our culture problems. That had to wait for one of the ringleaders to quit.

So far as I can tell from my minuscule keyhole, Sergey and Larry are the ringleaders. They'll never quit, and it'll take hitting rock bottom for them to have a change of heart. Not unlike Microsoft, after their stock began to tank.


Your comment really resonates with me. I worked at google for many years and I eventually got tired of exactly that. Inside the company we complained about all the problems they still have, canceling projects, no way to talk to a human not even paid support to talk about your whatever being turned off. It was really irritating.


Every major tech company has changed its culture based on a changing landscape.

Apple - look at Apple’s revenue and profit mix over the past 10-15 years its apparent that they were able to change. Of course the change after Jobs came on is well known.

Microsoft - was “Windows first” during the Balmer era.

Facebook - was in danger of being made irrelevant after mobile. They were making a lot on games hosted on their platform.

Amazon: AWS and their move toward services even internally.

Netflix: went from shipping DVDs and had to become a tech company in the era of streaming.

And then there is Google....


Microsoft has changed. A lot.

But there still seems to be a fight going on in the cockpit.


I think Google needs to explicitly spin out a Google Product company that is customer focused and develops/maintains/supports platforms and applications. It would be distinct from Search and Ads and would instead sell them (and other customers) access to Google data centers and GCP.


I think Google needs to explicitly spin out a Google Product company that is customer focused and develops/maintains/supports platforms and applications.

Honestly, and I'm more of a Google side-eyer than a hater, but I'm not sure they're capable of this, it's just not in their DNA. I've been saying "Google is bad at product" for a long time, like a "high PR" long time, and this mindset has been greeted with continual killoffs and usability stumbles (current Android is kind of a mess UI-wise, e.g.).

I simply don't think they're capable of putting a division together that could be relied upon. Heck, Alphabet might simply kill that off after a few years!


s/Suchar/Sundar/


Another perception is that of killing hierarchies of user accounts / pulling rugs on projects e.g. if links are established between adding someone who once broke the rules and whatever they might be working on now, with no way of reaching someone human for support...

... where one of the few ways of rectifying the situation is to get a top posting on HN in the hope that a Googler will see your plea for help.

I mean, that's probably mainly related to Android dev but I've seen plenty of stories to support that feeling:

E.g. (just a random example) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17431609

My perception might be misguided / influenced by being in a perception bubble, however that is my reality and AWS or AZURE just seems a whole lot safer. So, why should I as a developer invest any time in GC? I did attend a Google dev day re machine learning++ in Melbourne a couple of years ago, and the products seem nice and all, but the competition isn't exactly lagging behind.

My recommendation would be to really address this issue of human support and trust.


Also AWS is just the best at marketing their services. They did what Google did with search. We always say we "Google" things.

Developers these days say "Chuck it in S3" or "Run it on EC2". I feel they have a strong advantage because they've kind of come to own the language of the cloud.


Developers these days say "Chuck it in S3" or "Run it on EC2". I feel they have a strong advantage because they've kind of come to own the language of the cloud.

After many years of working with AWS almost exclusively, I recently started a new $DAYJOB where our primary public cloud provider is Azure. A couple of days ago I was chatting with a co-worker about something, and he literally says "I think we should just chuck it in S3 and call it good" (paraphrased slightly, due to my imperfect memory).

It struck me as odd for a few seconds, and then I realized that exactly what you are talking about has taken place. S3 is so dominant that it's become the default label for object storage in the cloud.



Exactly.


Actually, most of the time we say "in the cloud" rather than naming a specific hosting provider. Definitely Amazon has the first mover advantage and accumulated reputation first, but it's hardly unassailable.

Still... I think the bigger problem isn't whether or not Google plans topull the plug or not, but that it has a reputation of pulling plugs to such an extent that people factor that into a decision of using their services.

When it's something as big a choice as a cloud provider that can cast a long shadow over their offerings.


In addition, I remain cloud agnostic as well. As a student, I stick to whichever platforms can give some free credits. At the moment I have some cloud infra on google and some on aws.


That’s a good thing not to tie in to proprietary api’s, indeed every cloud provider is doing it and after Google’s recent management shuffle to bring in management from Oracle making them alike.

Try using apache-libcloud to make your deployment and programs cloud agnostic. Also try using smaller alternatives like hetzner or scaleway.

Once you go down this cloud rabbit hole you will be hold hostage to whims of these providers, where they can shutdown any service at their will or ask to pay an arm and leg. Also try to have non USA cloud providers as another backup option in the long run.


I don't think I've ever heard AWS-specific terms applied to GCP or Azure infrastructure.


Amazon and Microsoft are much better at support though. I doubt you’ll see a lot of Google cloud in the European public sector where I work for instance. Google simply doesn’t know how to work with us or give us the reassurances we need to trust them.

I’m by no means a AWA or Azure fanboy, I’m on the team that hopes we get a solid European alternative, but until we do both Amazon and Microsoft are leagues ahead of Google.


I remember vividly talking to a GCP saleswoman. I was asking her about technical things and process/pricing and she just kept saying things like "We're talking with $FIRSTNAME about that." And I was like, 'who is this $FIRSTNAME guy?' and then I realized it was the CTO. This guy is so far divorced from anything technical or policy it's absurd, he just produces content for his 1- and 2- up bosses to look good in press releases, and he has no input to the way anything is done. But GCP had identified him as the way into the organization, and was totally uninterested in engaging with anyone else other than giving away swag.

Contrast this with AWS. They have expert engineers, pre- and post- sales, helping you find good ways to solve your problem. I could ring a senior guy on his cell right now if needed. The only problem with AWS is cost and complexity, it's the fast path to developing a $20k/day cocaine habit. But the AWS dealer will definitely come to your house to deliver at 11pm.

(It is a bit of a change from 10 years ago though, when everything had to be paid by credit card. Gave the accountants a heart attack. Gave me an ulcer from thinking about everything halting because the fraud control might reject the bill without warning...)

Azure definitely isn't in that league, still want to sell to the whole enterprise, getting promo stuff requires them to sign off at five levels, lawyers are involved in everything. In short, their dev relations are shite.


To illustrate your point about AWS, at my own workplace there are a few AWS people who are actually in our office once a week, sitting nearby just so they can be easily available to answer questions and work with us to design our architecture or assist in troubleshooting issues. I honestly can't imagine Google providing that level of dedicated support.


Funny thing about plus, reader and wave: that was the kind of stuff that people who are now in positions to make infrastructure decisions got worked up about. It's the sort of image damage that may have seemed minor and acceptable at the time that can come back with a very large multiplier in the future, especially given the kind of prominence those products once had.


You're correct! I've never thought about that before but when they killed the RSS reader it really left a bad taste in my mouth. Now that I _do_ have the ability to make decisions at the company now, the bad taste did transfer over.


This was genuinely not a factor when we signed a 1E8 deal with GCP. What was a factor: (non-exhaustive)

* Access to their developers for core services

* Discounts available

* Quality of support

* Access Controls / Audit / Budgeting

* Dev Tools around Infra

* Future Roadmap

Not one of us ever would have chosen the shutdown of Plus/Reader/Wave as a factor. As a startup we hard pivoted in order to succeed. No surprise that members of the population of products have to die for the population itself to survive.

And the group making these decisions are a bunch of Unixheads who were some of the first members on The Old Reader. We made a few hundred million bet that GCP will be around and capable for the next five years (and probably for the five after). I am confident this will play out in our favour. I'd put money down except for the fact that I already did effectively by recommending the deal.


I agree that this seems to be a narrative that exists only inside the HN bubble. The fact that a multi million dollar business decision is being made not by running numbers and future roadmap but by one guy in the meeting saying "wait! they shuttered Reader, my favorite RSS reader. Oh no, these other guys killed Zune, my favorite music player. Wait a minute, don't tell me these are the same people who killed Firephone. Ok, we're going with Fujitsu cloud guys" and everyone nodding their head in agreement


True. But not everyone works at a multi million dollar business. Many start using cloud platforms in small companies and side/school projects and build up knowledge from there which eventually affects bigger companies: "Hey! Should we use the platform most of our people are already familiar with, or the one Bob used for his 500 line hackathon app last weekend?"

I'm not actually worried much about the multi million dollar companies using Google Products because then they start actually caring about you. When I worked at a place that made them significant ad money, I got splendid sub hour support. But Google is among the most disrespectful companies towards smaller actors while still trying to get as much money out of them as possible I have ever interacted with. E.g. Just recently it took us 3 weeks, 5 chat support sessions and 2 interventions from their supposed expert team to get an inappropriate "customer photo" shot 4'000 km away from maps/search removed. Or the whole Youtube ContentID disaster, or getting forced into G+ just for them to close it, etc etc.

Don't think anyone really cares about 1-2 products being closed that they were using, it's just a lot a things that add up and changed the perception of the company quite a bit over the years.


you're missing the point. Google has a bad habit of shelving services that people use. If it's never happened to anything you use, good for you, but if I was in a position to make a choice like that I'd be very hesitant to go with a company with such a history of shutting down services.


If people can't tell the difference between free consumer products and paid enterprise services (appengine has been running since 2008) then they have bigger problems when it comes to decision making.


This was the Hire by Google sales pitch.


Google Maps is a paid enterprise service, and while they didn't discontinue it, they did increase the price by 14x.

Of course, personally I chose AWS over Google Cloud well before that, because Google Cloud's authentication is so complicated and their examples so indecipherable.


Reputation does matter but depends on circumstances. We are discussing using a certain in-development chip from a giant company with a reputation of completely and utterly failed delivery of a chip in a related area (and lying to public). The first question I've asked - if they failed that thing just recently, how do we prepare for them possibly failing our new project? This is a serious problem to consider.


“Confident will play out in your favor” ...

Do you mean you’re confident this choice will be a decisive competitive advantage vs. having gone with AWS or Azure?

Or simply confident they won’t be gone before you have options?


I intended to mean "It will have been the right decision to not weight the loss of Reader/Wave/Plus highly."


The thing is that a long term roadmap for a startup is 3 years. So you're going to look for things that are going to get you 3 years down the road cheaply, and then you still aren't that big, you have gigabytes of data, not hundreds of terabytes of data, so pivoting to another cloud provider isn't a big deal. Now, scale up to a company that has a monthly IT spend of 50 million dollars. You aren't moving that much infrastructure between cloud providers on a dime. Past a certain scale, there is a huge incentive to standardize on a vendor that has a 10 year time scale. We know AWS will be there in 10 years. Will GCP be there in 10 years?


I suspect the 50 mil / month guys will choose between AWS/Azure/GCP based on credits + discounts because all these clouds will be around 10 years from now. But it's true that I have no experience at that level (only from 0 to 9 mil / month) and the calculus could be completely different. I don't actually know if they could get greater commitments at that spend but it sounds likely. That's more than half a billion a year. Huge.

Perhaps someone who's made the decision on that can share.


What's a 1E8? I couldn't find an explanation on its meaning.


It's 100,000,000 represented in scientific notation. In this context, a $100M company.

1E8 = 1 * 10^8 = 100,000,000 (xEy = x * 10^y).


A 100 M $ business.


Thanks, guys. I should have been clearer. It was on that order in committed spend[0]. The business itself is valued in the billions.

0: Maybe I'll say "on the order of a hundred million" next time.


Googles reputation was pretty much the decisive factor when a couple of years ago we decided to move from Heroku to AWS instead of GCP. Besides a prettier web interface GCP didn't really had anything going for them in comparison for our use cases, so why take the chance of having a rug pulled even if that risk might be quite small.


Absolutely. I like GCP more than AWS or Azure, but I don't use it because I don't trust that individual services will be available long term. Meanwhile, AWS sends me emails about minor service changes that may affect me well over a year in advance. (MS has a reputation for long term support, but the Azure UI was just so terrible. Maybe they've changed it by now?)


> Maybe they've changed it by now?

I think they might have.

I used it about a year or two ago and remembered the UI as horrible. I then had to use it a few weeks ago and didn't have the same negative reaction I had the first time I used it.


Azure UI is poo-poo'd compared to ARM templates, Azure Blueprints or PowerShell scripts.


Amazon have been on HN recently for poor customer service with respect to billing for cloud services:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21694835

Google could potentially win by being the least bad not the best.


Having said that, AWS also have a long track record of reversing charges where a dev fucked up and ran up a huge bill accidentally.

I am _extremely_ dubious you'd ever even get a person on the phone to talk to at Google if your CI/CD pipeline or platform automation had a bug that resulted in thousands of dollars of charges racking up over a weekend. I know people who've done that on AWS and had the entire bill waived, and then had AWS technical people call and help them debug and fix the broken (non Amazon) systems.

I'm not sure there's a company on the planet with a worse reputation amongst devs for "customer service" than Google. Pretty sure they're not going to be winning any developer mindshare on _that_.

If your 5-6 figure ad buying team get a say in which platform you deploy on, maybe _their_ experience with Google's legendary "customer support" is different. Buy the only known avenue for developers to get problems with Google accounts looked into by a human being is pretty much to make as much noise on Twitter/HackerNews as you can and hope some random Googler steps in to help...


Ah yes the "try getting someone from Google on the phone" trope.

I've used GCP at 2 different places. One with a 10k/month spend and another with closer to 200k/month and received the same level of service. In both instances I've had direct access to engineers to get shit fixed when needed, phone/email/gchat.


I've had a real person from AWS support proactively reach out to me because of some issue and I have a $1/month spend.


So if your monthly GCP-spending exceeds the salary of 2 engineers, you get access to at least 1.

Sounds great!


GCP has a free billing chat support open to every customer, big or small. It's open 24/7, they can reverse charges (although obviously you'll need a pretty solid justification for 4 figures), and they'll happily jump on a call if you ask them to.

https://cloud.google.com/support/billing/

https://console.cloud.google.com/support/chat


I have no experience with Google support, let alone GCP support. But what I've heard both from inside and from customers, is that unless someone happen to want to help you with your specific problem, it can be a bit of hit or miss situation to get help. Maybe it's different with now GCP, but until I hear first hand experience telling me otherwise, I'm not even considering moving our cloud business to GCP.

We're running production systems making a significant amount of of our revenue, and when, not if, shit hits the fan we need someone with intimate knowledge of the internals to give us undivided attention until it's resolved.

Sometimes it's because we fucked up, sometimes it's the perfect storm of internals working unexpected - all of the time our systems are not working and our customers depend on them for their daily work.


Is this story (which popped up on HN less than a week ago) better service?

http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/2019/12/13/why-nukemap-isnt-o...

Google letting the Google Maps API rot on the vine even as they raise their rates for developers and exactly zero support for effected users is a perfect example of how they are pulling the rug out.

Also, as has been mentioned, if your option is tolerating seriously crappy support or having a service pulled entirely, most people would take the crappy support.


No one likes a poor customer experience. But businesses will always choose a poor customer experience over the risk of a business shutting down.

That said, do you have any anecdotes about Google Cloud's customer service? Customer service from Google for app developers is non-existent.


It took us about half a year to get billing set up with them. Completely pointless shit show that basically every other company on the planet manages, with Google's own unique weirdness about talking with icky customers.

It was an unpleasant process, and then we dropped them anyway (but not because they suck at billing).


Poor customer service is not exclusive to Amazon, google directly shut the product down which cannot earn search scale revenue. If you see comments below being downvoted by google PR for examples.

I believe all these large cloud companies be it amazon, google or Microsoft deploy army of PR people and campaigns to downvote or try to remove comments which are critical. Especially I have seen this on HN, earlier when I commented on Amazon. Now can see here when it’s critical of google.


This is the same logic my extended family uses when they tell me that their phones eavesdrop on their conversations to target advertisements. Just because it's possible and fits your narrative doesn't make it true.

No brand or PR team that I've ever been near has the capacity to monitor and then manually downvote this kind of thing, even on major sites, let alone a niche news site like HN. Who has the budget for this?


> No brand or PR team that I've ever been near has the capacity to monitor and then manually downvote this kind of thing

Astroturfing and reputation management are a thing. Also, big companies have a large number of employees some of who hang out here and will simply take offense by association, which could be more than enough to explain the effect even if the company itself has nothing to do with it.

HN is no longer niche.

> Who has the budget for this?

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and whole pile more if they wanted to it would be a round off error on their budget but besides one of those I don't think there was ever hard evidence that this happens.

Reputation management is becoming more and more important to brands.


> Who has the budget for this?

Every enterprise, basically.

You subscribe to social media monitoring as a service, they monitor the fire hose and flip on the bat signal as needed.

It’s dirt cheap, relative to not knowing what’s said about you.


> Who has the budget for this?

Ummm, Google(/Alphabet)?

You might have heard of them? Fourth biggest company (by market cap) on the planet? They have budget to do all this shit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_(company)

Pretty sure they wouldn't even notice the costs of downvoting every single negative comment about them on every single website they're already crawling and mining for keywords and sentiment...



It's possible, but the reputation management people also worry a fair amount about getting caught astroturfing or running bot nets. There are a lot less risky ways of accomplishing the same goal- pushing positive stories, honestly responding, using SEP techniques to get ahead of negative news in search results, etc.


Please educate yourself. Here's just one example. https://www.firstpost.com/tech/news-analysis/samsung-distanc...


> Especially I have seen this on HN, earlier when I commented on Amazon

Just curious - how do you "see" this? What exactly are you seeing?

I am not really sure if you have some magical HN karma level to see any special activity here. If so, I would be curious what that is.


Same for Facebook. You cannot make any negative comments about react or other Fb tech


What, you mean I could paid for reading and posting HN? Where do I sign up?

The claim of a covert army of astrotufers / reputation management firms was silly when it was made back in the day on Slashdot and it's still silly today. If nothing else, it would never pay well enough for people to keep such a juicy secret.


I keep seeing you blame any downvote you get on external factors. To me it looks like you're just trying to find excuses and cannot accept that people may be downvoting you for legitimate reasons.


Funny enough I just got an email from YoutubeTV last week basically saying the following:

Effective immediately and without warning, YoutubeTV will not have a dedicated channel for Seattle Sounders games (the whole reason I got YoutubeTV was because they were advertising they would do that) and all the previous Sounders games you’ve recorded are now gone effectively immediately (even though, once again, they sold me on their “infinite DVR capacity” that lasts for two years).

Great customer service :-/


Google not just terrible here, it’s just void in terms of customer service. We had an outage due to GCP glitch , there were no way to report even. Recently I heard about bare metal offering , tried to talk most of sales i talked wasn’t aware of GKE term. I wasn’t able to get pricing eventually after 2-3 calls . It’s probably top secret


Eh, I have to point out that AWS has many services that receive such scant updates that they are effectively dropped products.

There are a lot of things that AWS produces which never receive adequate polish or timely updates. I’ve been in betas for more than a few new offerings and was stunned at how incomplete and buggy these offerings were. More than a year later, they remain in a half usable state.

Google dumps things it’s not committed to making great. AWS maintains numerous things which are half usable, poorly documented, and incomplete. It all depends on the context, but in some ways I prefer drops to half-assed products.


True. But if I build a tool that depends on a half-arsed service my tools keeps on tooling. Its about predictability. I'll soon find out that I can get a better service elsewhere, in the meantime my investment is not a complete write off.


> he problem Google has with the developer community is largely around the fact that Google has a long history of pulling the rug out from our feet.

This is merely a symptom of the real problem Google has: a contempt for humans that aren't Googlers. Everything about Google - as a company and their products - speaks of an institutional contempt for the normies outside their walls: everything from the interview process through the complete inability to respond to criticism with anything other than a "you're holding it wrong".

Google's high-handed behaviour around "oh your account got locked, fuck you", or "we shuttered this thing that people depended on, fuck you" is a product of that contempt. You're a Googler or you're shit.


It's absurd to compare loss-making consumer products with a business that's the only shot for Google diversifying beyond ads and that has companies paying hundreds of millions of dollars over decade+ contracts. Urs says enterprises don't care about this aspect of the Google brand. What they do care about is Google's reputation for technical excellence and security.


Windows on the desktop is hardly a profit center for Microsoft, but they have the good sense not to kill their reputation for reliability.


It's also interesting that Google is willing to suffer an unprofitable product for many many years (YouTube) without being fickle and cutting it, yet other products aren't even given a fair shot before getting the axe.


Other than profits, YouTube has many problems that no other product has - like dealing with bad content, detecting and enforcing copyright infringements, comment spam, storage costs. After going through all these headaches, the profits seem even smaller.


I agree your sentiments here. The goal for Alphabet is to make Cloud platform business profitable not shutting it down. From this article it looks like it hasn't been so since 2014 after GOOG gave it full attention. And to be profitable, Alphabet execs thought it has to be within top 2 to be profitable, I am unsure if that's true, given the cloud business is still a slow and painful transition process for Fortune 1000 businesses(some more advanced than the others).

Been using AWS for 8+ years since their first inception of S3, then 6 years of GCP. This year I had first hand experience with Azure. I just happen to think GCP has the most cutting edge cloud native technologies and services (GKE is much better than EKS or AKS, IMO; BigQuery is awesome). But AWS has a first mover's advantage and MSFT has the dominant enterprise customer base so pushing additional add-on sales is much easier. Those are GCP are up against.

Perhaps the market is big enough to accommodate top 3 players to be profitable. And GCP needs to do a better job in support their product & services not discontinuing them abruptly.


Google has cool things in GCP, but I struggle to imagine them being _popular_, cool, things.

If your product or project is big enough to require the scaling and capacity that GCP offers then you’re also probably big enough to be risk-averse about predicating your product’s viability on a platform you don’t control. The way I see AWS and Azure’s success: they replaced server colocation, dedicated server rentals and shared hosting for application hosting because they eliminated the costs and burden of systems administration and hardware maintenance. If you’re a company that did move to AWS/Azure - provided you stuck to their commodity offerings (App Service, EC2, RDS, Azure SQL, etc) you can move back to your own hardware just fine. For other things like S3/Azure Storage which are hard to move in-house, at least it’s easy to separate that from the rest of your application.

But what does GCP have that is cool - but without associated costs of what is essentially vendor lock-in? Without a solid contract/guarantee from Google that some binary I wrote that uses a GCP-exclusive service _will_ be supported for a minimum of 2-5 years it’s hard for me to justify risking it.


Google is not dumb and realizes this, which is why they're pushing so many tools that prevent vendor lock-in. K8s entire pitch is you can seamlessly go from a cloud offering to your locally managed K8s in a datacenter. Our (small) company has done it, it works very smoothly.

Their 'serverless' batch/stream processing works this way as well, with Apache Beam you can deploy effortlessly to GCP for large compute jobs (i've spun up hundreds of nodes in minutes), and also run it against on prem spark clusters with zero code changes.

So Google realizes being late to the game means they have to offer something more, and what they're offering is a lack of vendor lock in.


I feel it would be enough for Google to become a customer to GCP for it to become profitable.


I imagine the Search/Ads SRE team would tell the GCP team that they can have their infrastructure when they pry it out of their cold dead hands.


Yes, it could have been Google's competitor making up these stories so enterprise customers would stop and think before switching, it is also better for competitors's sales to pitch on the potential of a shuttered GCP, which you can tell full well if I was a sales I would be referencing this article.

And it wouldn't matter of there wasn't even an ounce of truth there, Google's reputation on future roadmap, communication, marketing and product dropping has always been on the negative.

Google needs to work hard to earn customer's trust. That is the basic fundamental of doing business. Microsoft is still working their asses off because of what they have done during IE era.


> Google needs to work hard to earn customer's trust. That is the basic fundamental of doing business. Microsoft is still working their asses off because of what they have done during IE era.

This. A thousand times this!

Once hero of the 2000's, Google is turning into the villain; meanwhile Microsoft has embarked on their redemption storyline.

Microsoft is a fantastic developer-centric company that has made their platform attractive to even Linux users. Google shuts down all the things you use, prices small shops out of freaking Google Maps, won't pick up the phone, ...

Google should hire Satya Nadella.

Doesn't Google understand that we should love them? That we should think they're a cool company? They've strayed so far from that. They might as well be Oracle.


Google cloud head Kurian [1] is a former Oracle executive, how can you expect him to work differently when he has spend decades in oracle.

I believe google cloud platform might be slowly turning to be similar to oracle, if things do not change to care more for users. As many people noticed google like oracle started changing their products in such a way as to have lock-in like oracle.

So it’s just a matter of time when they start behaving like the old Oracle to use the lock-in to ask for price hikes.

[1] https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/16/google-cloud-ceo-greene-bein...


What are examples of Google changing their products to have lock in?


Additionally, he didn't have a particularly developer friendly reputation at Oracle -- and that's something they'll need within Google to attract the people who will continue to build the pipeline of features they need to attract customers.


Interesting observation.

Kinda make me consider the comparison with the changes to Map API pricing earlier this year. Exactly the sort of sales weasel and lawyer driven revenue booster you'd expect to have come directly out of Ellison's office...


You've totally drunk the Kool-Aid. Microsoft is on a redemption storyline? Windows 10 is a complete shitshow and this will likely be the last windows machine I ever personally own. Meanwhile LibreOffice suits all my needs fine where MS Office used to stand as they slowly tried to strip away the concept of software ownership and move to SAAS. Nobody uses edge anymore and Xbox is a joke. Maybe they are hustling on the B2B side, since they seem to have skyrocketing profits somehow, but I have almost no faith in them as a consumer at this point.


It’s not Google’s competitor making this story if you look at previous blog and critical comments from last few years you can see, google has internally been struggling on how to get more profit out of Google’s users. Also google PR is launching active campaign to muzzle voice by downvoting critical comments and blogs. Happened yesterday to my comments on HN and might happen to this comment as well.

Google used search for additional revenue by first make advertisement appear as legitimate search results by using a non prominent and small font text “Ad” in front of ads. But these are on top of search result. So asking users and company to pay to be on top of search results.

Launching new service and then offering free to attract developers and users and if it failed to generate revenue shut them down. [1]

As google is faltering on revenue in cloud, they started using security as pretext to scare the users of gsuite [2] and take away the functionality and force them to toe the google line and soon there will be change in charges and conditions.

Also shut down of gcp is a legitimate concern, google doesn’t care about users, they offer free to gain traction and if can not generate revenue shut down the service without regard for users.

[1] https://killedbygoogle.com/

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21806595


I don't want to comment much on these threads because I am a googler and anything I said will be taken with pile of salt. But about your [2], from the thread it looks like Microsoft is doing the same thing -

> Microsoft’s Office365 will make a similar change in October 2020.

> https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/office/blogs/end-of-su...

So read of that what you can.

And I don't even want to comment on killedbygoogle.com. I don't see many Google Cloud or paid products there. And there was a similar Microsoft site posted here couple of weeks ago.


You can comment freely what you feel right, you work for google doesn’t take away logical arguments and that’s what the debate is about. I am not a Microsoft fanboy, they are no different and so is amazon when it comes to cloud lock-in.

I would have hoped in yester years that instead of Amazon api for cloud, companies would have adopted an open source standard, or just use API from openstack and extend them.

But that didn’t happen now cloud API are new windows kind of platform lock-in of old Microsoft. Personally I use apache-libcloud [1] to make my service as cloud agnostic as possible.

Also try to use a non USA company as backup mostly in Europe given strong privacy laws unlike US firms.

[1] https://libcloud.apache.org/


>Also google PR is launching active campaign to muzzle voice by downvoting critical comments and blogs. Happened yesterday to my comments on HN and might happen to this comment as well.

Source?

>As google is faltering on revenue in cloud

Source? They don't break this out in earnings so I assume you're just reading tea leaves here?


I don‘t believe they don‘t care about users per say. It‘s more the fact that they are blessed and cursed with the single most profitable business model the world has ever seen. Nothing is going to beat the profit margins of their ad business. It‘s very hard to then go to other models where the margins are much slimmer.

I still say cloud is their best bet besides ads. They absolutely do have to diversify. Once regulation hits it‘s gonna be tough. So cloud needs to be profitable when ads aren‘t growing 20% yoy anymore.



> Nowhere does it say that Google plans to shutter GCP if it doesn't reach #1 by 2023.

No, but it also doesn't say they're in for the long haul in case they don't end up on top and with Google's well documented and long history of killing products you really can't fault people for wondering if it is wise to build on top of GCP no matter what the advantages.


> Google's well documented and long history of killing products

How long will this tired meme continue to have legs for? Sheesh. Google is not going to shutter GCP right after spending billions of dollars on datacenters and fiber cables. The fact that HN is even entertaining the concept is embarrassing and speaks volumes about fall in the quality of discussion.


What you’re describing is actually the sunken cost fallacy. It’s entirely reasonable to assume Google execs treat the investments as sunken costs that cannot be recovered with GCP, because they rationally should.


Counterpoint, rational Google execs can't keep their jobs after spending 7 years sinking $Bs/year into unrecoverable investments in a product they eventually shutter. Google+ didn't require new physical infrastructure, and the other "Google kills xyz" stories are about small fry stuff.


Countercounterpoint, rational Google execs _definitely_ can't keep their jobs after spending 7 years sinking $Bs/year into unrecoverable investments in a product they eventually keep alive spending yet more $Bs/year.


The 'small fry stuff' runs in the 100's of projects and that adds up, and not all of them are really small fry either.


Google spent quite a bit of money to run fibre in Louisville and then just abandoned the half buried cables. This kind of thing isn't unexpected for Google.


The problem is that Google has a credibility problem wrt supporting their products over long periods of time. Even if this particular report is wrong, it's still "true" in that sense.

For potential users, why should we take the risk when there are other competitors that don't have this problem?


If they'd even make some sub-brand explicitly for "shit we're serious about and promise we'll continue to invest in for a really long time"—and then actually stick by that—it'd go a long way. I think it's having no reliable indicator of their level of seriousness or commitment to a given product or service that's the main source of irritation for people. It's all just "Google" and who knows what the hell that means, this time.


In theory, they use the "beta" label for this. In practice, they've been sloppy in both directions, with Gmail being in beta way too long.


At this point my imagination says it would take 5-10 years of vocalized committment to any one thing for them to make a dent in their reputation.


I think it's one of those "the best time to start was 10 years ago; the second best time to start is today" sorts of things.


Google could fix this credibility problem in a single step by simply saying "We won't materially change documented functionality of services A, B, or C in the next 5 years. Upon breach of this promise, we will pay any affected user $10M".

If they did that, I'd trust them. If they breached my trust, I'd get a cool $10M. They wouldn't shutdown the service because of the extreme financial disincentive to do so.


That opens them up to a ton of liability (what if something unforeseen happens), for very little gain. I can't imagine any company doing something like that.


Then maybe don't be in the infrastructure business?


Really. Google seems like a corporate incarnation of Engineer's Disease.


There are lawyers for covering the obvious foreseeables. For the rest, there are more lawyers.

Providing credible hostages is a good way to build trust. Such a promise would be fairly credible if drafted properly.


The gain is hundreds of millions of dollars of new business that they are currently losing to competitors who don't have a reputation for dropping services.


You just gave the potential upside without highlighting the very real downsides.


I semi-seriously wonder if they just brought back Google Reader and seriously supported it how much goodwill they'd regain. Not that they haven't killed hundreds of other products, but that one just sticks out so much.


Given Google's track record of killing products people depend on, I can imagine the hesitation managers feel when they consider moving mission critical applications to Google.

Risking losing funding if they don't surpass AWS or Azure is a scary thought. It's a shame because GCP is very good from what I've read.


I will believe Google is serious about supporting GCP when they decide the job of interacting with their customers and partners is worthy of being labeled a 'Googler'.

Since it seems the majority of support and service at Google Cloud is made up of TVCs, with 2 year 'life spans', it seems Google is just hedging their bet, no need to bring people on permanently if you're going to downsize in 2-3 years. In fact, is it entirely coincidental that the goal is to be #1 in roughly the same timeframe as the TVCs are allowed to work? Seems like the same sort of lack of commitment to GCP that Google place in their workers.


Google has a graveyard full of products that have been shuttered. Imagine the risk in the decision - Do I bet my entire organization’s IT infrastructure on a product line that Google may just decide to disappear? It’s a trust issue. Trust is earned over time. I personally hope GCP stays and grows.


I think that what you’re seeing here on HN is a big problem that Google has — they’ve eroded the trust that they once had.

Perception matters. When you see the lack of trust Google has vs Amazon and Microsoft, you know you have a problem — both companies have track records of less than trustworthy actions.


Betting on Google’s offering is like betting your business on Bing. It might work but it’s an also-ran. And that’s before this leak. Time for leadership to clarify hard, ASAP.

Infrastructure should be built on rock, not sand. Google has sold too much sand.

Businesses need to focus on their next battle not finding a replacement API, web toolkit or cloud.


>So it's not about being #1, it's about being profitable.

Stop, do you mean that despite cutting the corners with technical support and having a weaker offering than the competition, GCP is not freakin' profitable?


> You set goals, you decide what happens when those goals are met. Furthermore, there is no concrete assertion here that what happens if this deadline is passed. "at risk of losing funding" can literally mean anything from changing FTE allocation to capital expenses to a million other things that get discussed at an executive level.

No customer is going to sink risk into a statement like that. Everyone wants to know that the investment increases and only increases.


In regards of profitable, I hope you also consider internal cloud computing usage as it were used by an external party.

E.g. if stuff like AlphaGo, Youtube, or the Search Engine used tons of cloud computing resources you should not count it as no profit made (actually loss because of power consumption, server housing, networking, ...), regardless if those cloud resources were anyways unused. Then it's up to your colleagues then to make the profit.


Saying it might lose funding if it doesn't reach this goal is a pretty clear statement of " we may shut it down"


the problem is the timeframe. the decision is a sound one - at some point google has to cut its loses. but not in 3 years -- thats too early. if you want to be in the cloud business, you have to commit to trying to make a run for it for at least 5-7 years. it will take that long for the business to build


Google Compute Engine launched in 2012, so this would be 11 years they would have been trying at it. That seems like a perfectly reasonable timeline.


The article goes into more detail that it was a 5 year plan. Their source told them about meetings that took place in 2018 and they agreed on funding until 2023.


Instead of spending time posting stuffs here, could your Googlers get back to your work to improve GCP's quality? Poor availability, of no help customer support, and slow fix of any problems is killing GCP.


Google is an ad company that just happens to make other tech. They need to bifurcate the two in meaningful ways to re-establish trust.


The article does say that there was a discussion about "exiting the business"; that's sufficiently terrible to be news, even without anyone explicitly talking about shutting it down.


I can't imagine a more damaging leak for Google Cloud. A company that's already notorious for abandoning projects now has a public date for when they'll abandon cloud. How could anyone in their right mind start building on GCP? They may as well shut it down today.


Maybe this helps GCP as the leak now makes this reputational for GOOG. They’ll have to keep it running to prevent people leaving because of the leak so they’ll do something drastic like pledge 10 years of support or something.

This is what has always terrified me about GCP. The business mode wasn’t there so I haven’t done anything serious since they killed/overhauled app engine years ago (aws seems to always make stuff better and I think Microsoft has bet the whole company on azure).


It always seems to me Google won the Search Engine battle, ads became their revenue source, and that is it. Android came out of necessity and stupidity of Microsoft at the time.

Comparatively speaking they are incompetent both Technically and Manageability, compared to Amazon and Azure, or to better phase it compared to Jeff Bezos and Satya Nadella.

It remains to be seen now Google CEO Sundar Pichai, now also Alphabet CEO will change. ( I could never understand how Google Cloud also had a CEO )


Google could very well be a one hit wonder. Coming from someone who works at a company with one successful product and many failed ones: Maybe they are too wealthy to want a second success. Life is cozy.


In addition to search I'd say:

  - Gmail

  - Android (and Google Play)

  - Drive

  - Maps

  - Chromecast

  - Google Home
  
  - YouTube (+Premium)
are super successful.


There's no evidence that YouTube is profitable[1]. In fact, there's no evidence any of this is profitable.

Android, Gmail, and Maps make money from ads, not from charging users directly. That makes them the same business as search.

Hardware businesses like Home and Chromecast usually aren't profitable, and Google (like Amazon) is likely using them to keep people in their ecosystem.

That leaves Drive, which might have some good margins, but they give it away for free to many users...

1. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/24/technology/youtube-financ...


Every day that Youtube exists without competitors it further solidifies itself as the only video platform like itself that will exist.

Gmail makes money from business users and I would go as so far to say that if it doesn't make more money that Drive now it will make more money in 10 years from people who have lived their entire lives inside of a gmail account using it for business.


Gmail makes money from enterprises that use Gsuite.


It said in the article G Suite might account for the bulk of Google Clouds revenue, since its combined in their financial reports with the infrastructure stuff and G Suite is extremely popular.


If the metric for success is revenue then, no, they are not by any sensible measure super successful. Their revenue combined it’s a small fraction of search/ads.


By that standard, practically all other companies are failures, since practically all other companies pale in comparison to Google search. So I would say your claim is absurd.


How much money have they made off of Chromecast?


I'm not sure, but as of 2017 55 million Chromecast devices had reportedly been sold:

https://venturebeat.com/2017/10/04/google-has-sold-55-millio...

Anecdotally it's pretty popular with folks I know in Columbus, OH - admittedly they tend to be on the tech savvy side.


Units sold != success. Moviepass had a heck of a sales run without ever being successful.


> Maybe this helps GCP as the leak now makes this reputational for GOOG.

Nope. Engineers know this product is dead. There's no way they'll risk their time and money on something Google doesn't believe in. We've been bitten time and time again, and adopting GCP is about the riskiest move you can make: hitching your entire project to a dying technology platform.

Since no one will be willing to make this gamble, GCP's growth rate will flatline. Exactly the condition Google said would cause them to shutter it. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Their platform just died today.

It's sad, because Spanner is actually really cool tech.

I bet Google engineers and PMs on GCP are reading this right now and already thinking about their future within the company.

In the future, we'll probably be able to look back at today as a major shift in strategy for Google.


Yup, best time to eat at Jack n' the Box is right after the ecoli scare.


>pledge 10 years of support or something.

Totally gonna believe them


No they won't. This is ridiculous hyperbole. They've barely shuttered any real enterprise projects and even those were miniscule in usage.

Google is a trillion-dollar company and GCP has the potential to be bigger than their ads platform. It's not going anywhere.


> No they won't [shutter GCP]. This is ridiculous hyperbole.

From the article:

> The group even talked about—and eventually dismissed—the idea of leaving the market entirely

That's good enough reason for anyone to get off GCP.


Why so much significance to such a minor line in a meeting years ago? What about the part where it was dismissed? Or does that part not matter?

I don't know how else to explain this. AWS and Azure are massive profit centers and GCP is slowly catching up. Cloud computing, machine learning, big data, IoT, and more have trillions in potential market cap.

It's completely nonsensical to consider that a company this big with this much investment already will exit that opportunity.


> It's completely nonsensical to consider that a company this big with this much investment already will exit that opportunity.

Most big corporations will exit any market, no matter how big if that market does not turn a profit.


Cloud computing is massively profitable.


Interestingly we don’t even know if Azure is making a lot of money because Microsoft obscures it even harder than Google in their financial reports.

Microsoft has one hell of an enterprise sales and marketing machine though, probably the best in the world, so I’d assume they are doing quite well, even if they are mostly reinvesting it.


For amazon maybe, with their thrifty leader JB but i don't think Google's datacenters are exactly cheap.


Is it for them, though? Sounds like it isn't, unless they can get to #2, hence the urgency.


Which as per my previous comment, should mean companies profiting from cloud will continue to profit from cloud.


I suspect this is down to how it's phrased by someone who may not be familiar with strategic planning.

It's common for businesses to work out several scenarios and estimate their outcomes. Then you look at the investment outcomes of those scenarios.

So quite plausibly there might have been these scenarios:

1. Invest More + High Growth

2. Invest More + Low Growth

3. Maintain Investment + High Growth

4. Maintain Investment + Low Growth

5. Divest

You pretty much always want to canvass the option to quit a business. You need it to keep your other estimates honest. Anything else is not only giving into sunk cost fallacy, it's flat out denying its existence.

So rejecting "Divest" doesn't mean it was ever a serious contender. It may be there mostly in the interests of completeness.


I can’t imagine Amazon execs having a discussion about getting out of the cloud business.

But Google doing it seems totally believable.

See the problem?


Dude, You're comparing apples and oranges. It makes no sense to compare GCP in 2017/2018 which is when the article refers to this conversation to AWS which predates it by 10 years. You don't think that AWS execs and Amazon execs had conversation about profitability in 2006?


AWS started 13 years ago, in 2006, with S3.

GCP started 11 years ago, 2008, with App Engine.

No, AWS and Amazon leaders did not even remotely discuss that possibility 2 years ago...


Google has offered cloud computing with the release of app engine almost a decade ago. They kept it running this whole time and have only added to the platform.

The entire discussion in the memo seems to be more about how much they want to compete at the level of AWS rather than being in cloud computing at all.

Based on the developments and investment so far, it’s clear GCP wants to be a serious contender.


Again, having the option numbers crunched is not the same as discussing it or seriously considering it. "Quit" and "Do Nothing" should always be included in scenario planning. Especially the latter, because by ordinary momentum it's usually what happens.

I expect Amazon plans have included scenarios such as "quit machine learning" and "don't invest in on-premise units".


>> The group even talked about—and eventually dismissed—the idea of leaving the market entirely

> That's good enough reason for anyone to get off GCP.

I fail to see how this is even a reason to get off GCP, yet a good one.


The fact that it was on the table indicates that it could be on the table again at some point in the future. These are the wrong signals to send.


Nobody sent these signals. It was a minor discussion a long time ago. The billions in investment and growth of the platform are the exact opposite signal.

You seem to be reading this as if the CEO just announced that they're not sure about GCP anymore.


The article does not make it out to be a minor discussion and it was only 18 months ago, hardly 'a long time'. To me it is quite shocking that as short as 18 months ago Google would still consider pulling out of the market but then again, that is exactly the same play they did with other products so it probably should not surprise me.

> The billions in investment and growth of the platform are the exact opposite signal.

At Google's level I would not expect less than billions in investment, the growth of the platform is for now still substantially lagging behind the competition as far as I know, the bulk of the companies I look at are solidly in the AWS camp or in some cases running on Azure, Google is still the exception but getting more common over time. I look at about 50 companies / year so that's a relatively small sample but they are typically well funded start-ups or later stage established companies.

> You seem to be reading this as if the CEO just announced that they're not sure about GCP anymore.

No, that's not how I'm reading it.


The fact that it was mentioned in a meeting doesn't mean it was on the table. I'd more concerned with management if they weren't talking about exit points for a risky venture. A perfectly necessary point of consideration and I don't doubt that the same topic came up at Amazon and Microsoft.


For Google, if this is still a 'risky venture' then they are simply in the wrong business, they have the scale and should be able to offer their infrastructure at a cost that is quite profitable. There is plenty wrong with Amazon but they have never ever given off signals that they might withdraw their infrastructure offerings from the market. Microsoft also hasn't but then again, they do have a history of launching stuff and withdrawing it again (Xbox the notable exception, that took forever to take off and they stuck with it). Google has taken products off the market not because they weren't profitable but because they weren't profitable enough. That's the nightmare of early infrastructure adopters who will - by that time - be bound hand and feet.

If you're in competition with the likes of Amazon and Microsoft and you intend to go after the same customer profiles then you would do well to ensure that your messaging is what those customers expect and that every outward signal you give is that you're in it for the long haul, with a much longer horizon than the companies that are going to be your customers can oversee so that the trust becomes implicit.

That way if some internal document gets released it doesn't look as though you are still undecided.

Anyway, no need to take my word for this, let's just see how it plays out in the longer term.


Agreed.

Google obviously has a firm grip on what they’re willing to call unacceptable losses for an investment, but they need to realise that there is reputation damage every time they axe one of these projects that they don’t seem to be accounting for at all in their decision-making.


How about the leak where they were debating killing it off?


I was thinking of both of those (considering killing it + the 2023 deadline) as a single leak.


Someone re-titled this HN post to be way more pro-Google.


What was the original title? This comment chain reads a little confusing now.


Something along the lines of "Google execs considered cutting GCP, later decided to set 2023 as a deadline for improved financial performance."

A few months ago, someone I know who is close to the issue mentioned something along these exact lines to me. I shortly moved all of my GCP projects to a self-hosted server. Glad I did it.


I'm curious what sorts of things you had running and how complex moving off was. I'd expect any cut to have some announcement period, which I'd expect to be longer than a few months, so you may not have needed to migrate so soon.


Agreed, this is a disaster. A lot of leaks simply don't matter all that much-- Apple might get annoyed at iPhone leaks, but they probably don't affect sales one bit-- but this is dead serious.

I hope Google's C-suite is treating this article as the PR equivalent of a Sev-1 servers-on-fire emergency, because it is. If they don't come out swinging today and announcing that they're all-in on GCP for the long haul, it's toast. It may be toast even if they do.


Urs, as is typical, responded to the concern prior to the emergency: https://twitter.com/uhoelzle/status/1187607276988723200?s=19


Someone needs to invent an adblock for stupid meme gifs. That page is fucking unreadable, holy cow.


e: nm :)


It’s an industry standard term: https://response.pagerduty.com/before/severity_levels/


Cloud is making a bank for Google and growing triple digits YOY. They are not abandoning it. They do want to pass the competition, obviously.


Stadia would probably crumble alongside GCP by necessity too, right?


Stadia will be gone long before 2023.


You're not wrong


Stadia is a brute force attempt to grow GCP revenue


The Stadia pro tier fee is just $9.99/mo. The GPU and CPU you could consume playing a AAA game on that (yes, even on the purported "medium" settings) for just a few hours a day surely far exceeds what it could be sold for wholesale.


They don't have to match what it would be sold for wholesale though, just need to match the marginal cost. A graphics card that can run a AAA game is less than $500, so I don't think they are losing much on $9.99 a month. That's over $100 a year, and if each users plays 3 hours a day you can have 8 users using the same hardware at different times.

Now I don't think they are using consumer hardware, and there are other costs as well, but it seems realistic that they are making money off of it.


That's assuming people play games in well-defined shifts. I find it more likely to have 8 users play between 8pm and 11pm and zero users for the rest of the day.


Time zones are a thing.


Games are latency sensitive and thus region sensitive. Multiplexing opportunities here are poor. Stadia is a terrible idea business-wise as Google has defined it.


I'm on the fence on Stadia - compute hardware prices keep dropping like a rock. What if we see viable $200 gaming rigs in 10 years? But I digress

Google can utilize dark GPU hardware for numerous tasks. For example, YouTube video transcoding, ML, and Cloud batch processing.


> What if we see viable $200 gaming rigs in 10 years?

Games, like websites, seem to expand to fit the available space. Today's smartphones would beat a ten year old mega-powered gaming PC.


Our two positions are not mutually exclusive. The price of even a top-line gaming rig could drop significantly over the next 10-20 years.


Latency is, too, especially in things like first person shooters. Someone in LA doesn't want to be using surplus GPUs in NY for Call of Duty.


Sure, but if they can spot-price other loads on them the rest of the time, I could see it working out.


But they don't, that's the point.


Don't forget weekends vs weekdays.


Don't forget that they're selling the games, too--and some Stadia games are up to $10 more (!) than their non-Stadia counterparts.

(Incidentally, and you lose the game if you cancel your Stadia subscription.)


> (Incidentally, and you lose the game if you cancel your Stadia subscription.)

That is a factually incorrect statement. You lose access to any games you claimed for free as a benefit of your Stadia Pro membership if you cancel your membership; you regain access to those games if you renew, but you will not gain access to games that were offered for free during any interval where you were not a subscriber.

You retain access to any game you paid for, _even_ if you paid a discounted rate as a result of being a Stadia Pro member, even if your subscription is canceled.


>That is a factually incorrect statement.

Oh, so if I cancel my Stadia subscription I can still play the games?


TLDR: Yes.

As far as I can tell from [1] the situation is:

* Per-game purchase price.

* There's a free 1080p streaming tier.

* There's a $10/mo 4k streaming tier, which also includes discounts on games and some free games.

* However, you won't be able to convert your Stadia-purchased games into local games or Steam codes.

* And of course you won't be able to close your Stadia/Google account and still keep your games.

[1] https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-06-06-google-stadia-...


Thanks for the info. I've been considering a new console purchase and had basically ruled out Stadia immediately due to the subscription requirement. This changes things a bit but I still don't like the fact that I can't play something without a connection to the big Google. I suppose this is just what it feels like to be part of a generation falling out of the marketing window.


Will account closure or suspension of other google services result in loss of access like the stories we've seen for Gmail?


> (Incidentally, and you lose the game if you cancel your Stadia subscription.)

What. The. Fuck.

First, they took our physical games and media away. Then they made us subscribe. Now they take away everything when we stop paying for our subscriptions? I can't even conceive of what the next step will be -- will they charge us for having memories of their IP?

We need to reduce copyright terms and kill this cancer of IP hoarding. The rent-seekers are taking ownership away.


> Now they take away everything when we stop paying for our subscriptions?

They take away the games you claimed as a Pro subscriber - similar to how PS+ works. If you claim a game on PS+ and quit PS+, you lose those games.

If you buy the game you can keep it and still play it even after you're done subscribing.


You are reacting to a factually incorrect statement. You do not lose access to games you paid for if your Pro subscription is canceled.


Don't forget that they value new ways of spying on users at a non-zero dollar amount, and probably intended to slap ads all over the interface (maybe—maybe—not the games themselves) to make up the difference, or at least were holding that possibility in reserve in case it was needed or they just wanted to kick returns up a notch later (I'd be shocked if it didn't come up in any "decks" used to sell the project internally).


Fair, and that was certainly the YouTube model— years of free video hosting to saturate the market, now preroll and interstitials everywhere with "YouTube Premium" just a click away.


unless all those compute resources are just sitting idle anyway, so why not get something for them, even at a (deep) loss


it's more of a forcing function than anything else.


Stadia was dead before it went live.


By this strategy, which disregard customer confidence completely, considering that Stadia isn't exactly well received, I seriously doubt I will put my money on it getting anywhere.


Stadia runs on the edge, not in their cloud.


Nice try, Bezos.


So much for the usefulness of my GCP Cloud Architect cert...


Glass half full.

Think how good your rates might be for the last six months of 2022!


"That timeline was devised early last year, after an intense monthslong debate among senior leaders at Google and its parent company Alphabet over the future of the cloud business, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told The Information."

Can't imagine a leak like that happening. This leak could very well have been planted by MS or Oracle to help them sell their own cloud to clients.


I think you underestimate how political Google has become internally.


The extent to which Google and Microsoft have switched places from where they were a decade ago is hilarious.

https://amp.businessinsider.com/images/50a25c45eab8ea8c41000...


Hah, I love that comic. Here's the full one: https://bonkersworld.net/organizational-charts


That comic, by the way, is one of Manu Cornet's Goomics (i.e. originally Google-internal comics).


The irony of an AMP link..


Google hasn't replaced Microsoft. It's joined it.


I picture search engine team laughing secretly (or openly?) looking at this post? Is that an accurate imagination?

I don't work at google so I have no idea of knowing what it's like.


Why? They're the people (including ads) that keep the company afloat. GCP is just another sideshow, albeit a large one.


For one thing, there is a lot of resentment about their lower quality bar. I am not a googler and never have been, but GCP has hired a lot of people I wouldn't hire even on a dare.


Ironic, because GCP's user experience was great and there's some really cool tech that went into it.

Turns out that setting absurdly high hiring bars doesn't mean much if you don't make products people like, and kill off the ones that people do.


This leak could very well have been planted by MS or Oracle to help them sell their own cloud to clients.

You can't plant a leak, if it's planted by a 3rd party it's either a lie it's or a leak.


CTOs and CEOs who matter do not give shit about these sort of leaks. Google cloud is unlikely going anywhere because it is the same thing on which Google runs. Unless Google itself is shutting down the marginal cost of providing GCP to the rest of the world is less (still in billions though).

What would one prefer ? Google top brass not setting deadline to beat competition? Google not trying to be market leader ?


It’s not, though. Search and Adsense still run on Borg, not GCP.


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