Friday, January 30, 2009

Google arrogance: Chrome vs Hotmail

Chrome is Google's new browser. So far it hasn't overtaken any of the major browsers in terms of user adoption. I have switched because it's much faster and uses less memory than Firefox. But it does have it's shortcomings (after it's just a baby compared to the others).

Now I have noticed that Microsoft's Hotmail doesn't quite work in Chrome. You basically can't type anything. So while it's good for reading your hotmail email you can't really really. 

Today, I saw Google has come out with a work-around for the problem: simply pose as Apple's Safari browser and Hotmail works fine. Minor fix! But leave it to these 2 big guys to get in a spitting match about whose fault is it and who should respond faster with a fix:

Google position: Normally you think of Web pages being faster to update than client-side software downloads. In this case though, Chrome updates near-weekly, much faster than Hotmail did. Another illustration that velocity and speed of iteration matter (We are better than Microsoft even though our browser is bare bones)

Microsoft: That's a rather naive statement. You think that Hotmail is a Web page and you expect a service with hundreds of millions of users and thousands of servers to stop what it's doing, fix a bug for a browser that the majority of its customers do not use, and spin up an out-of-band release? We've already committed to addressing this issue in our next service release (already started to roll out to the site) which IMHO is an acceptable reaction (f**k you, we've got better things to do. Call us when your puny little browser gets mass adoption)

Google: Google runs Web services with many users and servers too and we launch changes weekly or faster :-p We run gmail and we do it better than you do Hotmail )

In this case I think Microsoft is right. Why should they get bent out of shape fixing their product because a niche browser doesn't display it well? Unless of course, the niche browser is backed by an arrogant giant.


BTW, they didn't actually say the stuff in red. That's my translation :)