Desktop Apps Coming to the Web: Google

In this article, a Google engineer makes a couple comments on Google Maps. That's not what I find interesting though. While Google Maps is amazingly slick, it has some major usability holes IMHO (no ability to save your location, no ability to do multiple-stop trips, an odd propensity to label streets with names that no one actually seems to use). Those problems aside, there is no question that the design of Google Maps fundamentally changed what people expect out of a Web app – and that is a good thing. So, if I didn't find the Google Maps bit interesting, why am I pointing you to the article? About half way down, you get this: “A number of people are now working on a Linux port of Google Earth, but Rasmussen did not offer a release date.”. Fantastic to see that Google is continuing their commitment to support Linux in their apps. I've commented on this before and was extremely happy to see this reaffirmation. I also found the comment “According to Rasmussen, Google's design philosophy centres on end user loyalty not money, going beyond the browser's lowest common denominator, to develop simple Web applications that are as dynamic as native applications, and to launch early and often to learn from users.”. I'd have thought it was clear that, for Google, “end user loyalty” and “money” are inextricably tied and quite possibly always will be. The kind of lockin you see with Microsoft just will never be possible for Google. In the online world, the barriers to using another search engine, another ad publisher, or another are exponentially lower than switching something like an OS.
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