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Worried your cloud service will die? Get open source insurance

InfoWorld - By killing Reader, Google may have done us a favor, focusing attention on the power of open standards and open source in protecting us against the whims of service providers.

A collective moan arose from users following Google's inexplicable announcement that it plans to shutter its popular and widely used Google Reader service in July. No suprise that when Google launched another service, a note-taking add-on to Google Drive called Keep, many were skeptical about using it. As Om Malik said, "What if I spend months using the app, and then Google decides it doesn't meet some arbitrary objective?"

This is a specific example of the general problem of service providers deciding to change direction and leaving customers high and dry. It's a problem open source and open standards address well, and while we're watching Google's internal politics mess with the online happiness of millions, it's good to be reminded we have alternatives.