Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google Google Google "I just wanted to post a kind of wrap up of the stuff from Google lately.

The new Google Desktop, specifically the Sidebar is kinda cool, but mostly pointless. Google Talk is cool, and I think the fact that it is open and Jabber based will mean that you will see a RAPID exspansion of the 'built on top of Jabber' applications that will extend its functionality. However, a lot of the new Google stuff suffers from one common theme: lack of integration.

Why do I need a Google Talk window? Why can't my buddy list live inside my Sidebar? Why isn't the whole Hello! messaging system deprecated and moving to somthing Jabber based? Also, why doesn't Sidebar have the the extremely cool context function that Beagle Dashboard does on Linux? (Honestly, that's what I thought the cool of Sidebar would be.) Why didn't my Talk profile just start up with all the Gmail accounts that are in my Gmail contacts list?

Sidebar has some cool stuff. The autodiscovery of your browser stuff into the Web Clips box is pretty neat, and the kind of thing that only a good client app could do. Sidebar, however, isn't nearly as cool as Tiger Dashboard or Konfabulator. Not even talking about the 'slick' factor, but the fact that Dashboard and Konfabulator are stupid simple to write modules for, whereas Google Desktop means 'DontNET' only. Google Talk might be cool, again, one day, but the voice stuff isn't nearly as good as Skype's P2P stuff, it's not cross platform, and unless Google wants to open up their (supposedly great) proprietary audio codec, you won't see external support there. At least Skype is releasing binary API versions of their system.

Now, I think Google providing mainstream support for things like VLC and Jabber is great, but I guess I am missing why I should buy into the Google 'way' if it doesn't really give me 'better'. The whole Windows-Centric thing, right down to Blogger For MS-Word is starting to grate on me too. They finally added RSS support to Go"


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