Re: Ok, so it's useful and dangerous at the same time
"If they even realize it's the browser"...
Conversation I had recently with a client (abbreviated):
Me: how do you access your email?
Her: it's just there on a button when I start my computer.
Me: oh, I thought you were using webmail, do you know what your email program is called?
Her: it's just a button that I click, it says email, you helped me put it there.
Me: according to my notes from my last visit you are using Internet Explorer as your browser, is that what you're using for your email?
Her: it's not a browser it just says BT email.
...and so it goes on while I work out that she uses a desktop shortcut (which I made for her about 3 years ago) to open her BT webmail in IE (but "not in a browser").
So after 3 more years of using a browser she still not understand/remember what a browser is, and is quite sure she isn't using one. She is not untypical of my clients, though perhaps at the dimmer end of a spectrum skewed slightly towards dim.
Nothing that Google does or doesn't do will have much effect on the average person's susceptibility to the wiles of corporate marketing - they are simply cannon fodder for advertisers, and 'twas ever thus. Everyone who reads El Reg is well above average intelligence (simply by virtue of reading ability), but some of us seem to forget it, and/or we're not all above average common sense!