Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chrome's auto update argument has just been disabled

A short note: When I have criticized Chrome for putting out half baked features on the web, the usual defense is that Chrome auto updates and that the release cycle is so short that developers will not be locked in to a version where the feature is half baked only. OK, but now Chrome is available as an MSI packet, and that changes everything!

I was anticipating that move, having experience not only in web development, but also in network administration. The key to getting into any organization is deployment through Active Directory group policies. Setting up and deploying an MSI-packet is expensive and not something an organization will do on a bi-monthly basis, unless there is some really critical security fix needed. They will not do it in order to fix a broken HTML5 feature.

What does this mean

If corporations, universities, schools, hospitals and other organizations decide to use Chrome, we will see a significant rise in the usage of old versions.

So providing an MSI-package makes it more appealing for corporations to roll out Chrome, but it still is work to do all local modifications, like setting proxies and home page. That's a hurdle big enough to discourage most organizations from updating on every release. Such aggressive updating will not happen. Are we clear on that?

Ergo: Rolling out half baked features in Chrome just became a really important problem for us all and failure to see that from the Chrome team is simply irresponsible. You can't have the cake and eat it too, and that simple rule applies to Google as well as everybody else.


It seems that the Chrome MSI-package is half baked as well! How ironic. It's basically just a wrapper around the install exe-file. Furthermore, this means I've not yet been able to determine if the auto-update feature is disabled. But if not, what sysadmin in his or her right mind would allow self-updating software on the computers of the network?