Has Google become the new Hotel California?
You can checkout any time you like, But you can never leave!
The folks over at Read Write Web sifted through the End User Licensing Agreement tied to the now-out-of-beta Chrome browser and found a few deletions that seemed noteworthy. Among them: the removal of language on how to terminate your relationship with Google. In the old agreement, there was language that allowed you to close your account by notifying Google, in writing, in advance. That language is now gone - so it seems you're stuck with your Google account for life.
We are all just prisoners here, of our own device
It's hard to imagine that Google doesn't already know more about us than we know about ourselves but, in the earlier versions of the EULA, there was a line that kept the door open to requiring personal, up-to-date contact information to use some services. That language has been removed. Whew! Now I can Google around the Web in total secrecy and anonymity, right?
Other changes to the EULA include: the removal of the age requirement to use Google. Yup, apparently, users are supposed to be of legal age to enter a binding contract with Google in order to use Chrome. Also, the barring of automated access has also been lifted. Google appears to be cool with bots using Chrome now - so long as they don't come in and start messing things up.
Plenty of room at the Hotel California Any time of year, you can find it here
Finally, there was also a line about confidential Google information that you were not allowed to disclose - Google secrets, if you will. I'm sure that makes perfect legal sense when a product is still in beta mode and a work-in-progress. But now that the Beta label is out, it's cool to tell your friends and family about your Chrome experiences without violating the agreement.
And still those voices are calling from far away, Wake you up in the middle of the night Just to hear them say...
Google user base for Chrome has grown to 10 million strong and potentially will get bigger. Versions for Mac and Linux users are in the works and, the buzz is, that Google may be looking at deals with OEMs to have Chrome pre-installed on PCs. After all, isn't that how Microsoft's Internet Explorer became the browser of choice? It bought its way into being the default browser. In the browser wars, Firefox has become the alternative browser of choice but with Google working closely with OEMS for widespread distribution and with Mozilla to incorporate similar features, users may find Chrome to be a better choice - and never return to IE, Safari or others.
Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door I had to find the passage back To the place I was before
Apologies to those of you who will spend the rest of the day with "Hotel California" stuck in your head.