Google Leading Web 2.0

An article from LinuxWorld brought something to my attention today. The article speaks about Goggle’s use of AJAX and the fact that developers started making use of AJAX and other Web 2.0 objects after Google.

Google Maps was Ground Zero. Within weeks of Google Maps’ debut, developers were creating custom overlays to blend the mapping service with outside data streams. HousingMaps.com brought in CraigsList.org real-estate listings and used Google Maps to illustrate the locations of advertised houses and apartments. ChicagoCrime.org used a public police database to add pop-ups pinpointing reported crimes in Chicago’s neighborhoods. Other hacks blend Google Maps with weather information and lists of Wi-Fi hotspots, with a pedometer program, with traffic and weather reports, and even with a scavenger hunt game.

AJAX, the main technology behind Google Maps, has been around for ever. The question that I have is that, why do developers only flock on to knew technology after Google has had their way with it? It is obvious that Google is constantly leading the way when it comes to Web Development, but why? Think back to the inception of GMail, when Google started offering 1 GB of email storage. It was just storage space, so Yahoo or Microsoft could have easily done this in the past. But it took Google doing it before these other companies decided to up their space. Why is Google always in the forefront and everyone else chasing at their heels?