To promote Chrome, is Google playing cheap?

Google’s Chrome is right on track to unseat Microsoft’s Internet Explorer from the web browser throne and the folks from Mountain View are trying every trick in the trade to push their software to users computers. Even employing un-Google like approaches such as full page ads in newspapers and outdoor hoardings (albeit with an incorrect URL).

So far so good, but today when trying to create a presentation on Google Docs, I got an alert that said “You’ll soon lose the ability to edit this presentation” and prompted me to upgrade to a ‘modern browser’. The problem here was that I was already on a modern browser, the latest version of Mozilla Firefox (my browser of choice). So what is that modern browser that Google wants us to install? Chrome of course.

Google says Mozilla Firefox is outdated

The system requirements for Google Docs clearly mentions that Firefox is supported. So why call Firefox 10.0.2, of all things, an outdated browser when according to Google it is a supported browser?

But on Safari, there’s no such message. Why? Because both Chrome and Safari are both WebKit-based while Firefox is Gecko? Or because Safari is hardly an opposition in the browser wars? (Internet Explorer isn’t fully supported, they say)

To me this is nothing but a tool in fulfilling Google’s goal of browser domination. I have been an admirer of Google and many of the things the company does (I nicknamed my son Googool), but some of these albeit little incidents is slowly taking Google off that pedestal.

Google seems to be sacrificing cross-browser capabilities in a blatant effort to push forward Chrome. It is the leverage of Google’s overwhelming Internet presence that has helped Chrome adoption accelerate. Now it is the same presence that Google is apparently misusing.

  • Jesse

    I think Google Docs is just incorrectly checking the user agent. Regardless, Google is taking their sweet time to fix it. This should be a simple change, and it’s been broken for weeks. This goes back to one of my main problems with Google Docs. Google is slow to address issues of concern to users.

    If they do not correct this soon, Google could find themselves in legal trouble. Allowing such a message to persist could be interpreted as deliberately anti-competitive.

  • I second this. I’m a synthesizer fan and I loved the Bob Moog Doodle idea. But what a kick in the face that they had the audacity to call my freshly upgraded Firefox 12 “not a modern browser”.

    This is Microsoft behavior, and I’ve been hating Microsoft for more than 20 years. Guess it’s time to hate Google a little bit too.