Google is pushing its users further into Google+. Requiring it for the more basic and desirable features that you want. I understand that these terrific services are mostly free and they need to find ways to monetize it. Today it has taken the Facebook like step of putting you in an opt-out method for their social service, exposing more than you probably want. They are rolling out the ability for anyone with a Google+ account to find your Google+ email and email to you even though they are not in your circles.
They have announced this on their blog and I give them credit that they did this but 99% of users don’t read their blog or pay attention to the details of these services. They say they will send out an email describing it and how to access and change the settings. This is better than Facebook’s cram it down your throat and hide it methods but it seems to stray a bit from the ‘don’t be evil’ mission statement. I am supportive of them finding ways to get paid for their services. Google has forced all other email providers and cloud providers to dramatically drop their rates and give away more to compete. Google is the Southwest Airlines of the digital services industry. They are more transparent and grind away at others until they drop prices and give better service.
Keep an eye out and pay attention. Keep reading, talking and stay flexible. Don’t get married to a single email address or cloud service or any other digital service. That is what turns a company into a lone fat and lazy rooster in a full hen-house. (I’m talking to you Verizon Wireless.)