Speeding up the Internet, with fins and stripes and Chrome

Being a good geekette, I’ve just downloaded Chrome.  In fact I’m using it to type this right now.  And very cool it is too, but you know that already because you’ve read the reviews.  

Chrome runs separate processes in separate tabs.  One result of this is a leaner, fitter, faster browser.  It gives memory back when it’s finished with it and for that reason alone it took about 15 minutes to become my browser of choice.   

But as the Google dudes say:

“Google Chrome is a massive, complicated product that will need to load billions of different web pages so testing is critical.

“Fortunately here at Google we have an equally massive infrastructure for crawling web pages”.

That actually made me laugh out loud. 

In the meantime, I have to ask myself what is it about Google that makes it cool like Apple is cool and like Microsoft isn’t?  It’s tempting to think it’s the minimalism.  Certainly the video ‘If Microsoft made the iPod’ is a classic …

… and the most expensive and classiest piece of online real estate is all that white space on the original Google home page which I still prefer to the iGoogle version, arty though that is.

Google’s minimalist look has an interesting history.  It sounds kinda cute that the Google home page looks the way it does because that is what Marissa Mayer‘s mom would like.  But Marissa Mayer’s mom isn’t a sweet old lady making apple pies; she’s an artist.   Marissa’s an engineer, among many other things, and it’s an inescapable conclusion that part of what makes Google great is that it’s a place where there’s a strong and clean engineering aesthetic as well as a strong clean visual aesthetic.  

In other words, that Google is great because the engineers believe that simple is cool, even though they know that simple is really hard.

Maybe.

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2 responses to “Speeding up the Internet, with fins and stripes and Chrome

  1. I certainly preferred the white space of the original Google page. As a total non-geek I would ask you if there is any way I can get back to it.

    I also adore the variants they have on Google to celebrate different days. The Olympics ones were lovely. I wish I had kept copies of them day by day.

  2. Hi Tam – nothing easier! Up on the top right of the iGoogle page there’s a link which says “Classic Home” – that’ll take you back to the original, which I also feel is best.

    There’s a charming story from the very early days at Google that the team would get an email every so often saying something like “47” or “52” or “38”. Never more than just a number. The dudes at Google are intimidatingly bright, but even so it took them a while to work out that the number was the number of words on their home page and that someone out there liked it and was holding them to account.

    The Chinese Games doodles are here: http://tinyurl.com/6b2etw

    And oodles of Google doodles here: http://tinyurl.com/5b86ww

    Cheers

    Ben

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