I posted a comment on Horace’s useful post: “@Walt French Yes, goog destroyed the value proposition of many competitors. As a developer, we consider the use of Google Maps, but after reading the TOS and understanding their throughput based terms, we moved elsewhere. Interestingly and for many years, they never enforced the terms. Many websites simply ignored the terms and used Google Maps as much as necessary for display, routing and geocoding. That changed a few years ago when Google began somewhat throttling users. It is doing something similar with “Google Apps” – email and online documents. The free version is gone along with ActiveSync support (this certainly says something about the state of Microsoft).
This is familiar territory for those who keep an eye on the tech behemoths. Microsoft was very effective at killing off competitors, or as Peter Hoddie famously put it “knifing the baby”.
Finally, goog has used their streetview data collection scheme to collect an enormous amount of data, including controversially wifi snooping. Their cars and other data/media/network collection vehicles provide a freedom of movement vis a vis tom-tom and navteq.
Apple’s interesting opportunity, IMHO, is to feed user generated/contributed information (media, reviews, fixes, fun) back to Open Street Map (OSM) and begin to make their enormous iOS data pile available to developers.
A long shot, but a powerful way to change the game yet again.”