The Baffling Thing About HuddleChat

Kevin Heisler at Search Engine Watch:

The success of Google App Engine depends on developer trust in Google.

So it would seem either Salar Kamangar, Vice President, Product Management had no clue HuddleChat was an “Attack of the Clones” app or he gave the greenlight for a product launch knowing many in the developer community would likely view Google App Engine as a Xerox machine for copycat product developers.

That’s really the baffling thing about HuddleChat. Even if you think it’s OK to copy someone else’s application feature-for-feature, the big fear for developers with something like Google App Engine is that you’re trusting Google with all of your source code. Why should small indie web developers trust Google when the first example app is a Google rip-off of a small indie web app?

It’s not just that someone used Google App Engine to clone Campfire — it’s that Google did it. And you can’t argue that HuddleChat isn’t a Google product: it was developed and “designed” by Google employees, using proprietary Google technology, and is hosted on Google servers. Whatever Google employees develop is owned by Google.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008