Google Toolbar-Chrome Incompatibility A Sign Of Bigger Problems?

This week The Washington Post reported that users trying to install the Google Toolbar on the company's Chrome browser got a message saying that Google Toolbar 5 is only available for Internet Explorer and Firefox.


Major software developers such as Microsoft, with broad product portfolios, have long faced the challenge of keeping their myriad software products in sync. Not only do they have to develop killer products with new features and functionality, but they have to do so without breaking links to their other products (let alone to third-party products). Nothing will sink a new product faster than reports that it doesn't play nice with a vendor's other software.

This wasn't much of a problem for Google as long as it was an Internet search company. But it has been expanding into new areas, everything from Google Maps and Gmail to on-demand personal productivity applications and browsers. Last month Google unveiled plans to develop the Chrome lightweight computer operating system.

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Microsoft has learned the hard way about the need to develop its key products like Windows, Exchange and SQL Server in tandem. With an increasing number of moving parts, it's a lesson that Google will eventually have to learn.