Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Has Google lost the cool?

I really like my Google stuff.  Blogger, Gmail, Groups, Picasa, Maps etc. etc. etc.  

So why on earth would I be concerned about Google losing the cool factor?  Well at home I run Ubuntu - the first little warning for me was that Picasa on Linux is a wine app.  It offended my sensibilities some, but they had at least made a good installer and it was easy for me - I don't remember the details but it's on my desktop and works so it must have been easy, or I would have pissed and moaned back then.  

They have kinda pissed me off with Chrome.  I mean sure it renders quick and has the cool, visual thing about where I go, I can just click the x for a new tab, and the interface is super clean.  But Google provides no help with a Linux or OSX version.  I went to the trouble of installing Crossover Chromium - a good effort but even CodeWeavers knows it not very good.  So now, like some street corner crack dealer, Google has  given me a taste of the new browser drug and ruined me for Firefox - but I gotta run windows?

For most companies I would not care, but Google started off so cool and they've hired all sorts of smart OSS guys that are presumably Linux and Mac users.  Why then are new Google applications targeted so relentlessly at Windows?  I know that's an overstatement but only by a bit.  Is it really so hard to make the cool stuff cross platform?  Do the non-windows users of the world really mean so little to Google that they don't even bother to give us a semi-elegant hack anymore?

Has Google already gone lame and big business on us?  Do Guido, Stevie, and so many others need to look for the next cool place to work - are they even vested yet?  I hope I get some spam from Google before the end of the week saying all their stuff is available for OSX, Linux (in Deb and RPM) as well as windows.  They could even blow a little smoke up my skirt about how cool they still are.  While they're at it maybe they could update the spell checker in Blogger.

Thanks for reading my rant - Mike


duane said...

**Why then are new Google applications targeted so relentlessly at Windows?**

could it be...wait for it...the money?


Mike Coon said...

Certainly it could be the money. The point is though, that the incremental cost of making these apps available on Linux and MAC is pretty low for the boost in cool factor. My college age kids are all about the MAC and my geeky friends are all about Linux even if they mostly run Windows to make a living.