Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Multiple Personalities of Google

Let me just say, I'm a Chrome kinda guy. If you don't know about chrome, it's Google's own web browser. Yes, a web browser: like Firefox or even (gasp) Microsoft Internet Explorer. Why do I like Chrome? Simple: it's fast and powerful. It loads within a second of clicking it, and pages seem to fly up on the screen. I'm also a Google kinda guy, so I like anything that gives them a platform to build on.

However, Chrome and I have a checkered relationship, like getting back together with a psychotic ex-girlfriend after years where she says she's "much better now." At first, you are amazed: it's all the good stuff, and none of the craziness; you question why it never worked out. Then, one day, innocuously, something happens, and it just flips. And welcome back to Psycho Town. You grab your shoes, and run for the door.

Welcome to my Chrome world.

See, Chrome started off great, but I noticed I couldn't use my scroll wheel on my Logitech TrackMan trackball to scroll pages anymore. Worse, I actually could...but the scroll directions were reversed. I clicked on Help, expecting to find some sort of place I could report bugs or a forum. Instead, I get the worst part of Google: there is no help. Yes, there are newsgroups...literally hundreds...that you can pore through for answers, so I did. Nothing. I tried installing drivers, updating software, even trying multiple computers. Nada. Frustrated, I said the heck with it.

This week, news comes that Chrome has been updated. I breathe deeply, and fire it up. That scroll wheel issue? Poof. Gone. Like it never happened. Chrome, why did we ever break up again? I play around online, enjoying the fast freewheeling of Chrome. I find a form, so I head to my trusty Google Toolbar to click AutoFill...

It ain't there. Wait a minute. This is a Google browser, right? And they didn't bake in their own toolbar? I shake my head, and head over to the download site for Google Toolbar. And what do I see? Yep, see for yourself. The Toolbar is only available for IE or Firefox.

So, I head on over to Google's own Blogger service to post this entry. I go to upload the image you see to the right, and what happens? You know it: the upload cannot be completed with Chrome. Sigh. Grab my shoes, and head to Firefox...

Listen, Google. I know you have a lot going on, with trying to rule the world and all. But all I'm asking for is a little consistency. You developed a great browser, but you didn't make it compatible with your own properties or software? I know, it's a beta, but wasn't that item #5 or so? Or even in the top 10? Adding a bookmark manager was more important than making the browser work with all things Google?

Call me in a while...after you're "much better now."


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