Thursday, September 4, 2008

Google Chrome, it's the application stupid

In what I believe will go down as a classic case of mishandled marketing, I witnessed in shock the train wreck of the Chrome release by Google.

The reason? they unique selling proposition is f*ked up.

The press has picked up on what it has been told: the browser wars! what a good story no? Already the derivative buzz is negative because as a browser, Chrome seems to suck pretty bad... It is not unique, it doesn't sell and it sucks so... huh.... why do I need to change from IE or Firefox again?

But the sad part is that the real story was picked up by few articles including my favorite FT. The story of course is that this is NOT JUST a browser, this is an application platform, it runs web apps and it is supposed to run them well.

I use a lot of apps from google including gmail, blogger, calendar, documents etc and I can't wait to get an environment that runs them better in a disconnected fashion and has a high level graphics API that doesn't look like 1999 web-pages.

I would have run this marketing campaign in the vein of the french surrealists with a big title that said "THIS IS NOT A BROWSER!"

Sheesh, do I have to do everything around here!

9 comments:

Juha Lindfors said...

I'd buy that if Chrome attempted to integrate with my current desktop at some level. But right now it doesn't so it feels like just another browser. Most common websites at startup screen isn't good enough. Even Mozilla's Prism is better with this regard, although not terribly good either.

Marcf said...

(WDNYAB)

We Don't Need Yet Another Browser

We do need to forget about the OS

Juha Lindfors said...

I don't want another browser either.

Actually, right after writing the comment above I found the hidden "make application shortcut" in the menu which basically does what Mozilla Prism does (or maybe more with Gears, I couldn't find out before Chrome crashed again). So there's some level of desktop integration after all. So it actually is better than I thought.

Then I tried to post this response from Chrome and it crashed again. Oh well.

Well, maybe next year.

Marcf said...

yeah, thank god they don't have a mac version. I have read nothing but horror stories. This looks bad.

A bad browser is a horrible thing to be remembered for.

TheNewsBlogger said...

Strange, I've used it quite a bit and have been completely impressed so far. Its fast, has a really light interface, and works well with almost every site that I visit. Maybe I'm just lucky? :)

Marcf said...

No, it is normal. People usually write quick to tell about their horror stories, you don't write to say "it works ok". You do in reaction to the negative noise, it isn't surprising.

Still that is a lot of negative noise.

Bill Pyne said...

I'm definitely in the "works without a hitch" camp. So far, sub-second startup time and no crashes. Every website I've visited has been rendered properly and as quickly as the code can get to the browser. I love the improvement to the UI: I have a hatred of menus.

The one hiccup I had was starting it simultaneous to starting NetBeans 6.5. My guess is that I/O was the bottleneck as my work computer's hard disk was thrashing.

You're right about the marketing. From the little I've read about the underpinnings, it's blurring the line between OS and browser. Perhaps the underplaying of this aspect is intentional to keep OS companies guessing? Don't know.

Jeff Haynie said...

it does have desktop hooks through google gears and you can expect a lot more native desktop integration through gears soon i believe

my experience was great -- it runs heavy javascript based sites very very fast. it was very stable (on windows).

it also has SSB capabilities built in

i would bet that the osx version will be out within a week or so. you can already build it from svn


good news on the "browser wars" front is that we'll have a good healthy amount of competition which should help us (the web consumers and the web developers) as the web can move forward from 1999.

Marcf said...

Thanks for the feedback Jeff, it does make sense that the desktop apps would work well. It is a shame they didn't focus on this angle from the get go. I will definitely try it out when it comes on OSX