Their resources have not stopped lesser alternatives from doing business, even with a core product (eg. search) of their's, so it's not that. DuckDuckGo is doing quite well with search; those conversations usually talk about quality and speed of results, not on how Google is the new Altavista and how you should switch before Google deprecates HTTP for GTTP.
Well, there's an account out there with my real name tied to it that I never wanted to happen and to this day have no idea how it got there. I don't have a Google + account. Probably there was something that I clicked when I was tying my mobile phone to my Google account or something. I can't find any way to delete it either.
My YouTube account keeps telling me I should use my real name there as well....
Basically they try to make you give them things - they're an invasive presence. Does this make them evil? I don't know, I don't care. People who want to argue about good and evil are often avoiding arguing about the real issues, like whether someone's a nasty piece of work, or whether they're being abusive. When someone behaves like a scoundrel you know what sort of person they are, whether you can call them evil or not. What I do know is that my next phone is not going to be an android phone - and, when it isn't, I'll delete my google account entirely. I don't want people who treat me like that in my life. They make me feel dirty for associating with them.
In terms of private risk - well, bam. They're OS manufacturers. If they want to screw you, you're screwed. Do either of them seem to be in the habit of screwing their customers? I don't think so. Again, I might be wrong.
I think, in terms of private vulnerability, if you're seriously concerned with that, then you have to start off with the assumption that your device is a traitor. I remember back when we were playing around with using phones microphones to eavesdrop on people even when the phone was turned off. You've got a snitch in your pocket - if you want to do something private from the people who made it, leave it at home.
All that being, from my point of view, more or less equal then - (and I'm open to feedback on any of this since I'm not religiously tied to either option.) I'm currently leaning towards Windows Phone. It looks like it has a really nicely thought out interface.
A lot of it will depend on which keyboard is better. That was the reason I opted for an android for my first phone - that it had the ability to change keyboard if I didn't like it.
Windows Phone's weakest points are probably the designs of its handsets and the app availability. But I don't use many apps anyway, and the hardware, IMO, isn't worse than iphone, it's just not as good as the best of android.
The things that might lean me more towards iphone is that I want to get a tablet at some point - and I've not seen any good Windows 8 Tablets. If I'm going to be curling up in bed for some reading, I don't really want something that's heavy and hot. It's gonna be easier if my tablet and my phone are both on the same system.
It's far from a perfect solution, whatever I choose. Android has, it seems to me, the best overall experience across tablets and phones, but the pushiness of Google's a deal killer. Windows has the best phone of the two remaining (and according to some of my girlfriends the best phone experience overall anyway) and Apple seem to have the best tablet of the remaining two.
I'm not strongly tied to any option at the moment though. I might even end up getting a Linux device - though the fact that they run on Android hardware which ties back to google is troubling.
Anything that you'd recommend?
It's not a stretch to say that Google can't be trusted not to be evil if they've moved in a more evil (or less good) direction.
I do consider a shift toward less openness to be inherently less good. I don't consider Google to suddenly be this evil company.
Google is, however, to be a very powerful company (and therefore a very dangerous company by nature), and a moral regression in policy is certainly an unnerving thing to see. I love a lot of things Google has done. I love a lot of their products, projects, practices, etc. I just can't consider Google to be a safe place.
I aim for clarity (often missing it entirely), and using absolute terms such as 'good' and 'evil' reduces clarity. I'm glad that I found this comment.