Provided that a developer can find and afford a "good, modern C compiler" targeting a given platform.
The thread is about application development on general-use PCs, which means Intels compiler, the MS compiler, gcc and the like on x86 or ARM.
As an addendum to the parent (I, too, have a background in ASM programming): You're working at such low level of detail that any application of non-trivial size becomes extremely difficult to write truly effectively. You just can't keep so many details in mind at once. And when you need to work as a team, not alone, interfacing code becomes a nightmare.
So of course you abstract your assembler code. You define interfaces, develop and use libraries of common application tasks, and just generally structure your code at small and large scales.
But at that point, you are starting to lose the advantage of ASM. A good, modern C compiler is a lot better than you to find serendipitous optimization points in structured code, and it is not constrained by human memory and understanding so it doesn't need to structure the final code in a readable (but slower) way.
Small, time-critical sections, fine. Small embedded apps on tiny hardware, no problem. But ASM as a general-purpose application language? That stopped making sense decades ago.
Pointless comparison without inflation adjustment. If you do adjust for inflation, CPU's have become a lot cheaper as well.
note that essentially all [...] Google servers (I expect that they probably do run the odd Microsoft server, although I have no evidence of this) run Linux
Ah, no. There may, perhaps, be some systems Google got via acquisition which are on Windows boxen, but you can bet the teams' top priority is to get them migrated. Google runs on Linux. You have to get special approval to have Windows on your laptop -- Goobuntu (Google's tweaked Ubuntu), OS X or ChromeOS? No one will even blink. But Windows will get you asked "why"? And if anyone seriously suggested building something on a Microsoft server, I think everyone in the room would pinch themselves.
Anecdotal evidence: we hired a guy who moved about 1000 miles for this job. He was a fantastic employee, and we made the right choice hiring him, but after about a year, he said he decided to move back home.
Heh, another anecdote: I moved about 500 miles for my current job, and the company seems pretty happy with me... but after about two years, I'm going to move back home.
I've found that same problem before: recruiters look at the place where you currently live, not where you've said you're interested in working.
I'm quite happy with my job in Colorado, but my family really wants to be in Utah (where we're from and where all the extended family is). So for the last year I've been trying to get various recruiters and jobs sites to look for stuff in Utah for me. There's lots of software in Utah, so it's not like opportunities should be hard to find, but all I get is (a) stuff in the Denver/Boulder metro area, where I live and (b) stuff for random locations everywhere else in the country.
Maybe I should send out some resumes with my dad's address (I actually still have a Utah area code phone number).
Actually, as it turns out it looks like I might be able to convince my current employer to let me telecommute (though likely on a different team), even though it's not generally allowed. If that works out it'll be ideal, so maybe all of those recruiters did me a favor by ignoring my requests.
Google Talk (Grand Central)
Actually, that's Google Voice, not Google Talk.
In house, Google developed Google Wave and Google Buzz.
And Chrome V8, Gmail, Google+ (including Google+ video Hangouts), Google Wallet, Google Offers, Google News, Google Books, Google Music, Google Now, Google Keep, Google Art, Google Cloud Print, Google Image Search, Google Video Search, Google Music Search, Google App Engine, Google Compute Engine, Google Flights, Picasa, Google Translate, Google Knowledge Graph, Google Shopper, Google Currents, etc., etc., etc. (I got tired of copying entries from the Wikipedia page). And of course there's now all of the hardware -- various tablets and phones, Chromecast, Chromebooks, Google Glass, self-driving cars, and more. Oh, and Google Fiber. Plus a bunch of other Google X projects, most of which not even Google employees know anything about.
In addition, nearly all of the properties that began as acquisitions have been substantially, if not totally, rewritten to provide more features and to enable them to scale to massive volumes. For example, Google Maps was acquired when it was a standalone program written by two guys. It's unlikely that there is a single line of code remaining from that original app in the modern multi-platform, massively scaled system that incorporates many different data layers, including all of the StreetView imagery (another purely Google-originated endeavor).
Actually, even if Google had simply acquired everything, it would still take a lot of innovation to rearchitect it all so it can scale for a billion users. There's a lot of purely internal innovation that is required to make all of this stuff work, like Bigtable (and now Spanner), Borg, MapReduce (and now Flume), plus all of the libraries/dev tools -- including many which have been open sourced like Guava, protobuf, Gson, Gerrit, Keyczar, and many, many more.
"Google doesn't actually invent anything" is a popular
As for why this patent legislation matters to Google, Google has always hated the patent arms race; it costs software companies money and agility, and gives them basically nothing in return.
Google is a company of software engineers, right to the very top, and nearly all software engineers hate the ridiculousness of software patents, and the way patent trolls stifle extract cash from the people who are actually doing cool stuff to give it to worthless do-nothings. For a long time Google simply refused to play the patent game at all, until it got seriously burned. So then Google began lobbying hard for patent reform, spending millions per year, and this is just one piece of that large, multi-pronged effort. At the same time, Google realized that it had to get into the patent game itself to survive, and so purchased Motorola and some other large piles of patents, and began rewarding engineers for writing patents. But Google would really prefer to fix the system.
(Disclaimer: I'm a Google engineer.)
Actually they didn't go far enough. There are provisions in this bill to protect business process patents because of lobbying by IBM, Microsoft et al.
Hopefully the Senate will fix this up.
As Obama has said he supports this bill and it has broad bipartisan support it's likely to pass the Senate easily.
Indeed, I thought that was the whole point of MS putting Skype on the NSA PRISM program.
it was a 'bad thing'.