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Of course they have a choice: charge money for the services they provide. Revolutionary concept, I know.





Charge for search? For maps? Gmail? How's that going to work when you get it for free from everyone else?

The entire reason Google's products are as big/ successful as they are is because they are free. If they started charging for Gmail, the rush to the exits would be instant. If Google started charging for Android OEMs would switch to AOSP, China, Amazon, and Microsoft would ensure a supply of free Android versions.

Apple is able to charge people for their services more-or-less up-front. Google has to wrangle fickle OEMs.


“Free” you keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Convenient is the more apropos word.


I can't get maps or gmail for free from somewhere else. Maps is far and away the best in class, and I've got close to two decades worth of lock-in on their mail platform. And we haven't even mentioned the elephant in the room which is search. I'd pay them a seriously nontrivial amount of money each year if they bundled those services into a single privacy-aware offering. Way more than they're making off me from the ads I block and ignore.

Not at all, they just bundle them.

I’m a Google One customer... I came for the drive, but I’m stuck because of the nearly 15 years of GMail and the pain it would take to clean up!


This is a false dichotomy. It's not free-for-all vs paid-for-all. Google charges for their services as well. Gsuite is "paid Gmail" among other things. GCP gives you access to extra APIs which are "paid google maps". They can move that balance where needed without causing a mass exodus.

You're comparing B2C with B2B offerings. The same concepts do not apply to the two categories.

What services are you thinking of? They charge for all the enterprise level stuff, and Google Cloud etc; but consumer facing every-day use services?

I can't see how charging for search would work, charging for Android, they already charge for handsets but it's easier for Apple because of a closed ecosystem, I doubt they could charge for Chrome, so I'm a bit confused.


They could charge for search gold edition with fewer ads and more sophisticated operators, or buy companies like LexisNexis or other subscription options.

Ads are an incredible cash cow and an amazing business, but there are all sorts of other ways to monetize that business.




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