Pros and Cons of Google Chrome...

UPDATE: Since posting this article Google has updated their terms of service for the Google Chrome product. Still not entirely consumer friendly it is *much* better than the original and even carries a Google apology along with the terms of service amendment.

Is it just me or does that new model car on the road make the model only 1 year older look like it has aged decades? You know the feeling. You put down a massive amount of money on a new car and 1 year later the new model comes out. Your car looks completely outdated at that point. I suppose we can chalk the sensation up to good design.

Speaking of which.....I hopped on the Google Chrome bandwagon as soon as it was released. Switching back to Firefox 3.0 gave me that old car sensation. Is Google onto something? I wouldn't say that they have completely changed the landscape but they have created something very useful.

Pros --

  1. Javascript heavy web apps load a heck of a lot faster. Noticeably faster. I mean *really* fast.
  2. The minimalist design is worth mentioning. The amount of screen real estate available for websites is increased without sacrificing necessary browser features.
  3. Desktop shortcuts for your favorite web applications: Similar to Mozilla's Prism offering you are able to create desktop shortcuts for any web app that you frequent. Handy.
  4. The name....Google Chrome. While I may not have tricked out my car, I have tricked out my internet experience.

Cons --

  1. Third party cookie support...ugh. This is the biggest con for me and something that everyone should be paying attention to. Google Chrome allows for third party cookie support out of the box. You are then required to turn this feature off in the options menu if you so desire. My opinion: By default, all browsers should disable third party cookies thereby creating an opt-in solution vs. an opt-out solution. <sarcasm> I wonder if this has anything to do with DoubleClick? </sarcasm>
  2. Privacy. Google Chrome has the potential to leak massive amounts of information about you....the internet user. While nothing catastrophic in the way of an overflow or other attack has been discovered, the potential is there.
  3. As per usual, the Google terms of service is not very consumer friendly.

Google Innovation Event

I spent the day yesterday at the Google Innovation for Businesses event in Atlanta, GA.  The topics covered were squarely focused on the enterprise and, based on the audience, well received by small to mid-sized businesses.

What I found most interesting was not how to apply Google Maps to the business world or how to take advantage of the newly integrated Postini features.  Don’t get me wrong…..that’s all good stuff.  But the coolest parts of the presentation came when Google spoke about how they run their business and what some of their key drivers are.

For example, David Girouard listed 5 notions for innovation.  From Google:

1.  Be open and transparent.

2.  Ideas come from everywhere.

3.  Focus on the user, iterate and improve.

4.  Scale matters a lot.

5.  Security matters even more.

We also got a peek at how MOMA functions.  It was a great advertisement for the Google search appliance.

The point of the entire event was to showcase the Enterprise-level products that Google currently offers.  They are great.  They all work.  Really well.  So why isn’t Google the preferred vendor of choice for email retention, secure messaging, corporate intranets or web security?

The answer is in the cloud.

You see, one of the primary focal points of innovation at Google right now is cloud computing.  That’s obvious to anyone even remotely paying attention.  The problem lies in a corporations willingness to allow their confidential data to be stored with Google and not within their own LAN/WAN infrastructure.

This issue was addressed at the Google Innovation event, albeit not very well.  When talking about security Google said [paraphrasing here]:

Your data is more secure at a Google data center than at your own company.

And they had a few good points to back it up:

  1. The biggest source of lost data is laptops.  On average, 1 in 10 laptops are lost or stolen.  Presumably, very few of these devices have whole-drive encryption (or any encryption for that matter).
  2. Another popular leak of data is the autocomplete feature in Outlook.  You draft a message with confidential information and intend on sending it to “Frederica” (an employee).  Autocomplete accidentally sends it to “Fred” (a vendor) due to your quick fingers.

At the end of the event I was overwhelmed with great ideas regarding how to apply Google products in trying to solve enterprise issues.  I never heard a significantly compelling argument allaying the fears of company confidential information being placed in a third party’s hands (a Google data center, in this case).  I believe Google’s arguments but the Enterprise does not…….well, not yet anyway.

Some Spreadsheet Love...

I saw something today on the Google Spreadsheets site that was so cool my mouth opened and the word "wow" came out of it. Sure....sure....it can be argued that I don't get out much but lets stick to the topic at hand. Google Spreadsheets now allows anyone to collaborate on a file WITHOUT LOGGING IN (emphasis Google). No kidding. Setup a spreadsheet. Post the link. And watch the collaborators trickle in.

The fine folks at Google Operating System have already setup an example for us. Check it out while there is still significant activity. And think of the possibilities for your specific business...

Cloud Computing, Google-Style...

A hat tip to the Google Operating System site for their overview of Kai-Fu Lee's cloud computing keynote.  As more data is shifted to the cloud the points mentioned in this article will become exceedingly important. Kai-Fu Lee on Cloud Computing [Google Operating System]

This is also a good time to mention Microsoft's Live Mesh announcement from Ray Ozzie.  Similar concepts...different approach.