Google’s on a roll. Again. Today they opened up Google Earth as a free download.
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The screenshot above is from their “Google Earth download page” and to me represents a really great focus on the non-technical user. Note how they simplified the tech requirements and put it in a context most users can understand — what kind of computer they have and how old it is. It’s worth looking at the whole page to see how they’ve set up three download buttons that do exactly the same thing. The first is “I’m good. Download GoogleEarth.exe”, the second (after more traditional system requirements) says “I’m pretty sure I’m good. Download GoogleEarth.exe”. And finally, after getting to possible conflicts with video cards says “I’m feeling lucky. Download googleearth.exe”. Very nice.
Interestingly enough, when they launched the “Google Video Viewer” yesterday they went with a fairly traditional system requirement notice on “the download page”. This shows that as Google is getting bigger all the parts aren’t lining up exactly the way they should. Shouldn’t all their downloads have consistent formats and adopt the best way to explain system requirements? Then again, when you launch at least three new features in 24 hours maybe you can be forgiven for some roughness around the edges. In addition to Google Earth and Google Video Viewer, they also announced today that Google Personalized Search “is now really personalized”.
Originally published at www.onedegree.ca on June 28, 2005.