@"Free then charge for it"
Ok before the "No such thing as a free lunch" brigade pipe up, the lunch until now has been payed for by Google's advertising and lets face it, Google have grown very profitable from doing just that, but now they are getting more greedy. That is going to back fire, big time.
Up until this year Google's business model has been basically give it away for free, then use the data drawn in for advertising. That's ok and lets face it, Google profits have been very good up until now at doing exactly that. This freeness has in turn encouraged many developers to build onto Google's API's which in turn has been sending even more data to Google. Google's been loving this because they are getting ever more data to datamine, in an ever increasing number of ways, not least of which gaining huge profits from advertising.
However now we are seeing a new Google. A more greedy Google seeking to have it all ways against developers and its going to back fire on Google big time in the eyes of small developers. Google's greedy managers seem to forget most developers are one or two coder businesses acting as a small business start up. Most of the apps on Android for example are made by one or two developers (and most are barely profitable). Therefore most of the data Google is drawing in is coming from apps written by these developers. That is going to stop now. Small start ups need to know their costs up front to even evaluate the viability of their business model to see if they can even earn a living. Well now Google have just wiped out the majority of them and put others on notice using other parts of Google to back away from Google before Google move the goal posts again. Sure a few will have $10k+ per year to pay Google, but the vast majority won't have any where near that much money.
So Google will loose out from existing apps, (either being abandoned and not supported or being withdrawn completely), but its even worse than that for Google, because just think how many new apps would have been written to use Google's APIs and now will either not be written or will be written with only open API's completely bypassing Google's new found greed. Google will loose more than they will gain from fleecing developers now, but then I guess as a company ages the greedy power hungry Office politics types take over and they don't think about anyone but themselves and they want to change everything into a more controlled and greed obsessed organization. Its why older organizations are often less fun to work for as the office politics types by that time infest most of the company with their power hungry rules and narrow minded greed.
Well now, Google have just destroyed any enthusiasm to use any of their server side code base for a lot of developers. That in turn means far fewer apps being written to use Google's server API's but at least its a big and far better opening for competitors against Google, which is a good thing for everyone but Google. I thought Google's high up managers were smarter but clearly not.
There is no way I would now ever risk using one of their server side API's or services even if they say its free (now) because Google have now shown they are willing to change their thinking later and so undermine developers after luring them in with the belief its free, not as in a free lunch, but free as in that free lunch is already paid for by the considerable advertising money Google have been up until now earning.
As a small developer myself the Google message is now abundantly clear. From this point on, I will never use or ever even consider using any Google server side API or service from this point on simply because I cannot base any start up on such deep uncertainty as Google are now showing they are willing to inflict on small developers. They are killing their golden goose, which is many small developers working for Google and the profits Google will earn from fleecing the developers will be small compared with the money Google will loose from pushing hundreds of thousands of developers to take alternative routes away from Google API's. Its a good thing really, but not for Google.
So Google's greed has just shot themselves in the foot. If they come out with a pricing model from day one and do it up front and explicitly clear, locked in writing, then ok, we can work with that, (if its even financially viable), but this free and then we will think about what to charge you later has got to stop. It isn't a viable way for any new start ups to ever risk using any Google's services from this point on.