People are beginning to wonder: is Google the next Microsoft, and if so, will Google start behaving like Microsoft. Some say it already has. Google’s decision to give away its desktop search tool – a product in a category that other software vendors are just learning how to price – seems very Redmondny indeed. But for those who fear there is something sinister here, give Google a chance. Its motto -- "don't be evil" -- is unequivocal. Google and the network will enforce that standard.
On a related note, see John Battelle's utopian/dystopian Google-meets-TiVo fantasy, where television learns to leverage the power of the Google advertising platform. Doesn't seem at all far-fetched. As Battelle says, "while the details will inevitably vary ... this scenario is not only plausible, it’s inevitable."