By Harry McCracken | Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 10:46 am
Microsoft’s Tom Rizzo has blogged about Google Apps. The business-oriented version of Google’s online suite may have a low pricetag–$50 a year per user–but Rizzo argues that using it involves all sorts of unanticipated hassles and expenses that add up to a “Google tax.”
The post is not without its reasonable points–for instance, I still don’t understand how companies can completely standardize on Google Apps when it requires an Internet connection. But when a tech company helpfully “analyzes” its competitors for customers and prospective customers, everybody knows what the conclusions are going to be in advance. So the whole exercise seems kinda pointless.
Anyhow, I don’t remember hearing about a Google tax before, but the notion of tech companies and products levying secret taxes isn’t new. In fact, it’s among the most common forms of criticism. For instance, we all know about the Apple tax–also known as the Mac tax–in part because Microsoft likes to bring it up:
And hey, Microsoft itself is frequently accused of being a tax collector:
Actually, a lot of big tech companies like to tax us:
There may be companies and products which have escaped these types of accusations–I can’t find any evidence that anyone’s ever talked about a Casio tax or a Western Digital tax, for instance–but the alleged taxers are everywhere. Can we all agree that this synonym for “more expensive than you’d think” has run its course and move onto another one? Here, I’ll make a couple of suggestions to get the ball rolling: