Dear Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt,
Alright, I got to admit that there are plenty of excellent commercial and some reasonably good open source/free survey tools available today (e.g. we are using VTSurvey - an open source solution). Interestingly, there are some excellent partially free online survey tools such as SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo. However, to enjoy the really juicy features, one would need to fork out the dollars. The pricing today on some of the commercial tools (e.g. SurveyMonkey) is reasonable, but then again why not make it free to all and generate more revenue through creative advertising approaches. I suppose if Google does not provide a free online survey tool in the near future, Yahoo or MSN would do it. If none of them, I am pretty sure a dynamic entrepreneur out there would facilitate the next frontier of the web, providing everyone with tools to do online research (A good example would be polldaddy, but they are currently only providing polling, which most existing widely used learning tools/portals/LMS already provide including Blogger).
Overall, I am a big fan of Google Labs and they have graduated some amazing tools including Google Reader, Google Notebook, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Video, Google Scholar and Google Groups 2. Also, Google Labs have many more amazing tools in the pipeline (e.g. Google Page Creator), but I don't see any online survey tool coming through yet (Hopefully wrong!). However, should Google want to do it fast, they can for example simply invest or buy SurveyMonkey and make all their wonderful features available for free. A good example to reflect would be JotSpot, which evolved into Google Docs (if I am not mistaken).
Thank you for reading and hopefully both students and educators in the near future can enjoy conducting their own surveys online easily and freely. Now, that would be a wonderful disruptive and innovative way to facilitate more research around the world :)
Zaid Ali Alsagoff
P.S. I don't know how (thinking about the millions of e-mails they receive!), but this online letter will eventually reach Larry, Sergey and Eric!