See, I have the exact opposite take on the cookie thing. They were doing something EVERYBODY had been doing for two years to set a cookie in safari specifically so gmail users didn't have to keep logging in. Again, that's intent. Their intent was to make it so OSX users didn't have to keep typing their password into gmail every time they opened it.
The wifi thing, another example of intent. Their intent was to provide an alternative to GPS by having a triangulation map based on public wifi hotspots. Not something nefarious. Good intent. They got crucified for it though. Microsoft has a very powerful Washington lobby, and Patton Boggs as their legal stormtroopers.
But it's how the PR is handled sometimes. The Wifi thing could have been handled better. The cookie thing, while not a big deal at all, simply shouldn't have happened. You don't take chances like that when Apple and Microsoft are clearly out to get you.
As for Google+, it's a hell of alot better than Facebook. I know that. Even though the userbase is rapidly growing I don't think it's even half the size of Facebook yet. But this is a superior user experience. It's nicer looking, easier to user, and ironically I'm not getting bombarded by advertising here like I am on Facebook which has turned into a scrolling infomercial.
The thing with Google is every argument for them being "evil" is a reach. Like, it's actually an argument that has to be made. There's no one thing they've done you can point at and say "oh, that's clearly evil". Not without repeating some spin that Grassroots Enterprises or the fake group Consumer Watchdog or the paid shill Florian Mueller dreamed up because they were paid to dream it up.
My favorite recently being the whole YouTube thing. Microsoft COULD make a compliant YouTube client for Windows Phone right now. They have the talent. They have the API's. But instead they've intentionally made non-compliant versions of the YouTube client ON PURPOSE TWICE so they could get their own users angry at Google for something that isn't Google's fault. To Microsoft, using their own users to lash out at Google with their failed "Scroogled" campaign is more important than giving their users the YouTube client they want.
Also, there's the whole fact that there's an actual negative political campaign against Google at all. Microsoft spent 100 million dollars hiring Mark Penn, a negative political campaign expert, to attack Google. That's just amazing to me, and a new low in tech. And I consider that. And I consider that Google hasn't made a negative ad against anyone. They don't even have a budget for it, let alone a 100 million dollar one.
Google takes the high road. And despite the attempts by paid pundits to paint all companies with a broad brush, Google is different. And that matters to some of us.