Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Chrome Proves, No Future for Web OS

It’s far to early for me to actually review of the new Google Chrome browser but my gut still says this beta is huge news. Based on what I’ve read so far, the real news about Chrome is that it proves the concept of a web based operating system will never work.

Google Chrome Beta As a web browser I like Chrome. It’s lighting fast and in the typical Google tradition it has a simple UI. It has a plain appearance like the Google home page and it’s not overly cluttered with useless icons I’ll never use. Each tab is a separate process which is a natural step in the evolution of a browser into a desktop platform. I especially love how they’ve speeded up the execution of javascript which I use on many of my web sites.

So far, the most compelling articles you’ll read about Chrome are two topics which are diametrically opposed to each other, Web based applications and privacy.

While many may look at Chrome as just another browser don’t be fooled. It’s a direct attack at Microsoft and it’s control over the who sees what on the Internet and eventually the desktop.

eWeek’s Joe Wilcox writes…

“Chrome's threat to Microsoft is much bigger than Web browsing or a new Web-based application platform. For years, Google has encroached on Microsoft's most important territory: the Windows desktop. Chrome will be Google's best attempt yet to supplant the desktop.”

Computerworld’s Heather Haverstein wrote…
Google's Chrome aims to kill Windows, make Web the OS of choice

Even Google’s says

We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build.

This all sounds great until you read what people are saying about Chromes Terms of Service.

For instance…

  • When you type URLs or queries in the address bar, the letters you type are sent to Google so the Suggest feature can automatically recommend terms or URLs you may be looking for. If you choose to share usage statistics with Google and you accept a suggested query or URL, Google Chrome will send that information to Google as well. You can disable this feature as explained here.

  • If you navigate to a URL that does not exist, Google Chrome may send the URL to Google so we can help you find the URL you were looking for. You can disable this feature as explained here.

I tend to agree with CNet’s Matt Also who wrote:

The primary problem with Google's terms of service (other than the auto-update feature that Ina also points out) is that Google allows itself too much, and restricts itself too little. I suspect that Google will actually do none of the evil privacy-busting practices that many will accuse it of preparing. My concern is that this language is so broad that Google could, if it were so inclined, invade user privacy on a grand scale. The terms of service allow it. Only Google's best intentions prevent it.

Even if I trust the folks currently in charge at Google, what about the future?

Googles Matt Cutts counters in his post:
Preventing paranoia: when does Google Chrome talk to

As the beta grows I’m hearing more and more concerns about privacy. What if every character you typed in to your Word document was sent to Microsoft? This is an inherent nature of running application on the web.

I’ll admit my customers/supporters are a little more concerned with privacy than your average user but I hear daily from folks worried about someone having access to their data. I just don’t see a future where your data exists on some a remote server under someone else’s control.
My newest quote; “From my cold, dead hard drive”.

Chrome users: To access Chromes first reported easter egg, type “about:internets” into the browser.

Update: Easter eggs thanks to our friends at CloudEight


Download Google Chrome here

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try typing crash:% into the URL bar.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find google chrome a very useful and fast browser as comparing to internet explorer and firefox. One thing which I have noticed on my computer is that as I use internet explorer and firefox to explore web pages my windows slow down as I open more pages but using google chrome it doesn’t happened! my windows performance increased using google's new browser CHROME I LOVE IT!

7:32 AM  
Blogger Corrine said...

Although I realize Chrome is beta, because of the Google name, there may be more trust by the public at large than warranted with beta software.

Aside from what I personally consider an unacceptable EULA, two serious issues have been reported. Summary and links at Security Garden: Google Chrome.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

No thanks Google.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re quote"While many may look at Chrome as just another browser don’t be fooled. It’s a direct attack at Microsoft and it’s control over the who sees what on the Internet and eventually the desktop."unquote.

Google are the biggest offenders in control of what you get to see and what you dont, and they are now so big no one dares to even try to take them to court for their multitude of offences of not listing honest and genuine sites simply because "They" have decided that the site is of no value. Google are nothing less than dictators when deciding what you see and they dont care less that they are preventing honest people from trying to get a business started. We all know that when starting up you need traffic. But how can you get it if Google decides not to list it.

There will never be any google browser or tool bar installed on any pc i control, They get into places they have no business being and taking over control of your pc.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trouble with Google Chrome is that you can't delete. If you try you will only find yourself behind the 8 ball. It is extremely hard to delete. I have been trying and have not accompished it yet. I will take IE any day. I even like Bing. Google Chrome has a few good features but it is difficult to go to other sites, I can't tell you the trouble it has caused me.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Google Chrome needs a user maunal.

4:15 PM  

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