Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Quick Bites: Google Chrome

For those of you who thought that no major technology news would come out during the Labor Day weekend, check out the prematurely released comic book hailing Google Chrome, Google's long rumored entry into browser wars. By the time you are reading this, the (Windows only) beta may even be available for download. The official Google announcement is here.

If the software lives up to the promise of the comic book, then Google may have a real shot of taking market share from IE and Firefox. More significantly, if they can supplant the operating system with the browser, then they'll have a much more credible opportunity to take on desktop software with their web-based applications.

Interestingly, even though all of the search blogs are reporting about Chrome, I haven't seen any analysis on what this might mean for web search.

12 comments:

Fernando Diaz said...

To write the obvious: Ways it will influence search:

1. setting default engine
2. browsing data being sent back to mountain view

both of these are probably modifiable but even a small percentage of folks don't opt out, that's a lot of data and users for session analysis.

Daniel Tunkelang said...

Sure. Though I think Google is the default search engine for most. The second point is more interesting--not sure how much browsing data Google gets already. But I imagine they'll face a privacy backlash if they get too aggressive on this front.

p.s. Using Chrome now. No bugs, and feels zippy. But I notice the lack of my Firefox extensions, most notably those that block ads.

David Fauth said...

As far as web search, if the Javascript engine is exponentially faster, it should allow for richer UI's (JSON, etc.) that should make for better web search.

If Google's vision of moving towards a desktop platform, that should influence both enterprise as well as web search.

Daniel Tunkelang said...

Well, based on a few hours of normal use, Chrome seems to live up to its promise. Unfortunately, the lack of an ad blocker is a show stopper. Back to Firefox for now.

fernando diaz said...

"Google is the default search engine for most"

yes. it's a defensive move. ms has 80% market share on browsers which is a nice way to display any new search technology they develop. esp if it integrates well with the general MS experience. cf Google apps, facebook.

"not sure how much browsing data Google gets already."

for users with opted-in toolbars, it'll be a nop. for everyone else, it'll be opt-in (I hope) but results in a ton more data depending on how they instrumented the browser. i'd love to hear back about opt-in/opt-out defaults and monitoring network connections between the browser and mountain view.

jeremy said...

In terms of how Google Chrome supports HCIR, check out their search term highlighting scrollbar:

http://blogoscoped.com/files/google-chrome-browsing/waxy-large.png

It's a nice example of the overlap between HCI and IR.

But I've seen it before. In particular, check out this screenshot, from a toolbar developed at UMass in 1999:

http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/donbyrd/Papers/DocViewer-ScrollbarPaper.HTML

Does it look surprisingly familiar? Hehe. Oh well, I guess it's better late than never.

(Here is the full paper, from 1999: http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/donbyrd/Papers/DocViewer-ScrollbarPaper.HTML

jeremy said...

Correction: here is the direct screenshot for the UMass confetti scrollbar:

http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/donbyrd/Papers/DocViewerImage1.gif

jeremy said...

BTW, on the issue of privacy, here is Google's Matt Cutts claiming that no surfing information gets sent to Google, and that the only time query information goes to Google is when Google is selected as the current search engine.

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-chrome-communication/

Chrome is open-source, right? So we could always check and verify this, could we not?

movie buff said...

poor Firefox... they're gonna take more and more of a hit as Chrome inevitably gains in popularity

FD said...

worth noting from terms of service,
"17. Advertisements

17.1 Some of the Services are supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions. These advertisements may be targeted to the content of information stored on the Services, queries made through the Services or other information.

17.2 The manner, mode and extent of advertising by Google on the Services are subject to change without specific notice to you.

17.3 In consideration for Google granting you access to and use of the Services, you agree that Google may place such advertising on the Services."

Daniel Tunkelang said...

The interface innovations are interesting, though I think Firefox is doing quite well with the Awesome Bar, and is facilitating more innovation through add-ons than I expect Google to stimulate. Open source is nice, but Google really needs to create an ecosystem like Firefox has.

That said, I don't see the interface innovations as the main show here. Rather, the big claims are around performance and robustness--and the stakes are the ability to compete with desktop applications.

Re privacy: I think Matt Cutts is telling it as it is. This doesn't seem any more invasive that what Google is getting already.

Re taking market share from Firefox as opposed to from IE: I'm not sure many people will switch from Firefox. A lot of us Firefox users like our add-ons. But maybe even fewer users will switch from IE, given that they haven't already. The only lure I can imagine is if switching Chrome is a practical prerequisite for using free applications that otherwise would cost users money--money they haven't already spent.

Re terms of service: I did hear that they're a mess. But I imagine Google won't do anything stupid, no matter what's in the TOS.

jeremy said...

More details on what information Chrome sends back to Google, and when.

I find it very interesting that "auto-suggest" is enabled by default, which means information is being sent back to Google by default. Only by opting out, rather than opting in, can you change this information-leaking behavior. Since most people never change their defaults, this means that Chrome essentially monitors everything that you do:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10032047-2.html

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Quick Bites: Google Chrome

For those of you who thought that no major technology news would come out during the Labor Day weekend, check out the prematurely released comic book hailing Google Chrome, Google's long rumored entry into browser wars. By the time you are reading this, the (Windows only) beta may even be available for download. The official Google announcement is here.

If the software lives up to the promise of the comic book, then Google may have a real shot of taking market share from IE and Firefox. More significantly, if they can supplant the operating system with the browser, then they'll have a much more credible opportunity to take on desktop software with their web-based applications.

Interestingly, even though all of the search blogs are reporting about Chrome, I haven't seen any analysis on what this might mean for web search.

12 comments:

Fernando Diaz said...

To write the obvious: Ways it will influence search:

1. setting default engine
2. browsing data being sent back to mountain view

both of these are probably modifiable but even a small percentage of folks don't opt out, that's a lot of data and users for session analysis.

Daniel Tunkelang said...

Sure. Though I think Google is the default search engine for most. The second point is more interesting--not sure how much browsing data Google gets already. But I imagine they'll face a privacy backlash if they get too aggressive on this front.

p.s. Using Chrome now. No bugs, and feels zippy. But I notice the lack of my Firefox extensions, most notably those that block ads.

David Fauth said...

As far as web search, if the Javascript engine is exponentially faster, it should allow for richer UI's (JSON, etc.) that should make for better web search.

If Google's vision of moving towards a desktop platform, that should influence both enterprise as well as web search.

Daniel Tunkelang said...

Well, based on a few hours of normal use, Chrome seems to live up to its promise. Unfortunately, the lack of an ad blocker is a show stopper. Back to Firefox for now.

fernando diaz said...

"Google is the default search engine for most"

yes. it's a defensive move. ms has 80% market share on browsers which is a nice way to display any new search technology they develop. esp if it integrates well with the general MS experience. cf Google apps, facebook.

"not sure how much browsing data Google gets already."

for users with opted-in toolbars, it'll be a nop. for everyone else, it'll be opt-in (I hope) but results in a ton more data depending on how they instrumented the browser. i'd love to hear back about opt-in/opt-out defaults and monitoring network connections between the browser and mountain view.

jeremy said...

In terms of how Google Chrome supports HCIR, check out their search term highlighting scrollbar:

http://blogoscoped.com/files/google-chrome-browsing/waxy-large.png

It's a nice example of the overlap between HCI and IR.

But I've seen it before. In particular, check out this screenshot, from a toolbar developed at UMass in 1999:

http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/donbyrd/Papers/DocViewer-ScrollbarPaper.HTML

Does it look surprisingly familiar? Hehe. Oh well, I guess it's better late than never.

(Here is the full paper, from 1999: http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/donbyrd/Papers/DocViewer-ScrollbarPaper.HTML

jeremy said...

Correction: here is the direct screenshot for the UMass confetti scrollbar:

http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/donbyrd/Papers/DocViewerImage1.gif

jeremy said...

BTW, on the issue of privacy, here is Google's Matt Cutts claiming that no surfing information gets sent to Google, and that the only time query information goes to Google is when Google is selected as the current search engine.

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-chrome-communication/

Chrome is open-source, right? So we could always check and verify this, could we not?

movie buff said...

poor Firefox... they're gonna take more and more of a hit as Chrome inevitably gains in popularity

FD said...

worth noting from terms of service,
"17. Advertisements

17.1 Some of the Services are supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions. These advertisements may be targeted to the content of information stored on the Services, queries made through the Services or other information.

17.2 The manner, mode and extent of advertising by Google on the Services are subject to change without specific notice to you.

17.3 In consideration for Google granting you access to and use of the Services, you agree that Google may place such advertising on the Services."

Daniel Tunkelang said...

The interface innovations are interesting, though I think Firefox is doing quite well with the Awesome Bar, and is facilitating more innovation through add-ons than I expect Google to stimulate. Open source is nice, but Google really needs to create an ecosystem like Firefox has.

That said, I don't see the interface innovations as the main show here. Rather, the big claims are around performance and robustness--and the stakes are the ability to compete with desktop applications.

Re privacy: I think Matt Cutts is telling it as it is. This doesn't seem any more invasive that what Google is getting already.

Re taking market share from Firefox as opposed to from IE: I'm not sure many people will switch from Firefox. A lot of us Firefox users like our add-ons. But maybe even fewer users will switch from IE, given that they haven't already. The only lure I can imagine is if switching Chrome is a practical prerequisite for using free applications that otherwise would cost users money--money they haven't already spent.

Re terms of service: I did hear that they're a mess. But I imagine Google won't do anything stupid, no matter what's in the TOS.

jeremy said...

More details on what information Chrome sends back to Google, and when.

I find it very interesting that "auto-suggest" is enabled by default, which means information is being sent back to Google by default. Only by opting out, rather than opting in, can you change this information-leaking behavior. Since most people never change their defaults, this means that Chrome essentially monitors everything that you do:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10032047-2.html

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Quick Bites: Google Chrome

For those of you who thought that no major technology news would come out during the Labor Day weekend, check out the prematurely released comic book hailing Google Chrome, Google's long rumored entry into browser wars. By the time you are reading this, the (Windows only) beta may even be available for download. The official Google announcement is here.

If the software lives up to the promise of the comic book, then Google may have a real shot of taking market share from IE and Firefox. More significantly, if they can supplant the operating system with the browser, then they'll have a much more credible opportunity to take on desktop software with their web-based applications.

Interestingly, even though all of the search blogs are reporting about Chrome, I haven't seen any analysis on what this might mean for web search.

12 comments:

Fernando Diaz said...

To write the obvious: Ways it will influence search:

1. setting default engine
2. browsing data being sent back to mountain view

both of these are probably modifiable but even a small percentage of folks don't opt out, that's a lot of data and users for session analysis.

Daniel Tunkelang said...

Sure. Though I think Google is the default search engine for most. The second point is more interesting--not sure how much browsing data Google gets already. But I imagine they'll face a privacy backlash if they get too aggressive on this front.

p.s. Using Chrome now. No bugs, and feels zippy. But I notice the lack of my Firefox extensions, most notably those that block ads.

David Fauth said...

As far as web search, if the Javascript engine is exponentially faster, it should allow for richer UI's (JSON, etc.) that should make for better web search.

If Google's vision of moving towards a desktop platform, that should influence both enterprise as well as web search.

Daniel Tunkelang said...

Well, based on a few hours of normal use, Chrome seems to live up to its promise. Unfortunately, the lack of an ad blocker is a show stopper. Back to Firefox for now.

fernando diaz said...

"Google is the default search engine for most"

yes. it's a defensive move. ms has 80% market share on browsers which is a nice way to display any new search technology they develop. esp if it integrates well with the general MS experience. cf Google apps, facebook.

"not sure how much browsing data Google gets already."

for users with opted-in toolbars, it'll be a nop. for everyone else, it'll be opt-in (I hope) but results in a ton more data depending on how they instrumented the browser. i'd love to hear back about opt-in/opt-out defaults and monitoring network connections between the browser and mountain view.

jeremy said...

In terms of how Google Chrome supports HCIR, check out their search term highlighting scrollbar:

http://blogoscoped.com/files/google-chrome-browsing/waxy-large.png

It's a nice example of the overlap between HCI and IR.

But I've seen it before. In particular, check out this screenshot, from a toolbar developed at UMass in 1999:

http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/donbyrd/Papers/DocViewer-ScrollbarPaper.HTML

Does it look surprisingly familiar? Hehe. Oh well, I guess it's better late than never.

(Here is the full paper, from 1999: http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/donbyrd/Papers/DocViewer-ScrollbarPaper.HTML

jeremy said...

Correction: here is the direct screenshot for the UMass confetti scrollbar:

http://www.informatics.indiana.edu/donbyrd/Papers/DocViewerImage1.gif

jeremy said...

BTW, on the issue of privacy, here is Google's Matt Cutts claiming that no surfing information gets sent to Google, and that the only time query information goes to Google is when Google is selected as the current search engine.

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-chrome-communication/

Chrome is open-source, right? So we could always check and verify this, could we not?

movie buff said...

poor Firefox... they're gonna take more and more of a hit as Chrome inevitably gains in popularity

FD said...

worth noting from terms of service,
"17. Advertisements

17.1 Some of the Services are supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions. These advertisements may be targeted to the content of information stored on the Services, queries made through the Services or other information.

17.2 The manner, mode and extent of advertising by Google on the Services are subject to change without specific notice to you.

17.3 In consideration for Google granting you access to and use of the Services, you agree that Google may place such advertising on the Services."

Daniel Tunkelang said...

The interface innovations are interesting, though I think Firefox is doing quite well with the Awesome Bar, and is facilitating more innovation through add-ons than I expect Google to stimulate. Open source is nice, but Google really needs to create an ecosystem like Firefox has.

That said, I don't see the interface innovations as the main show here. Rather, the big claims are around performance and robustness--and the stakes are the ability to compete with desktop applications.

Re privacy: I think Matt Cutts is telling it as it is. This doesn't seem any more invasive that what Google is getting already.

Re taking market share from Firefox as opposed to from IE: I'm not sure many people will switch from Firefox. A lot of us Firefox users like our add-ons. But maybe even fewer users will switch from IE, given that they haven't already. The only lure I can imagine is if switching Chrome is a practical prerequisite for using free applications that otherwise would cost users money--money they haven't already spent.

Re terms of service: I did hear that they're a mess. But I imagine Google won't do anything stupid, no matter what's in the TOS.

jeremy said...

More details on what information Chrome sends back to Google, and when.

I find it very interesting that "auto-suggest" is enabled by default, which means information is being sent back to Google by default. Only by opting out, rather than opting in, can you change this information-leaking behavior. Since most people never change their defaults, this means that Chrome essentially monitors everything that you do:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10032047-2.html