Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Chrome Plated

Technology is a wonderful thing, in moderation, but I do sometimes wonder whether its impact upon daily life may not be a little overrated.

Take Google Chrome, for example. For those who've missed they hype, it's a new, reasonably cool, web browser made by, erm, Google. Certainly, for those involved in associated fields, a Google web browser is a significant development. But, when all's said and done, it's just a piece of software. Does it really warrant a feature in most of the daily papers, not to mention countless blog posts, forum discussions etc?

I wouldn't have thought so, but then I am notoriously disinterested in these things. I have no doubt that, at some point down the line, it will present me with some difficulty or other that will result in much irritation before it is resolved, but until then I can't work up much enthusiasm about the product.

For a quick roundup of the bigger technology blogs, and what their pundits think of this early release beta version of Chrome, check out this article in the Telegraph. Clearly most of them worked up quite a bit of enthusiasm, leading me to wonder briefly whether this latest round in the ongoing Google / Microsoft scrap really is big news and I'm just missing the point.

But I don't think I am - I can see the ramifications, I understand the strategic importance of a fast browser optimised for web applications, I know what that could do to Microsoft (and what Google hope it could do, in the long term) and I don't really care. Even if those clever bods at Google have calculated correctly, it will take months or years before a mainstream version of Chrome makes Google Apps and their newfangled AppEngine viable threats to M$.

In the meantime, I have far more pressing things to worry about than a new web browser, even one with the Google logo on it - believe it or not, the internet is only a very small part of life, and I can go for days or weeks at a time without even thinking about it. Honest!

Billy Seggars.

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