Some more speculation here:
Personally speaking, I'm totally comfortable with a social network as simply a credentialing and sharing layer running through my other experiences and touchpoints on the web. I don't need everything in one place. I am willing to admit that I might be an odd man out on this sentiment, however.
But agreed in that I don't want to see G+ succumb to feature-creep. While I do want to see some sort of API/platform to build stuff, if G+ gets crapped on with Zynga-madness, it'll make me cry.
That's exactly how their one-on-one messaging works. They have google talk but if you go to a user's profile, the message button is really an email button.
My ideal social network is a Rolodex on steroids. Just a global, searchable, tagged index that I can pull from for all my apps.
Edit: It is taggable, sort of. Head to contacts.google.com and you can search your contacts, as well as place things in a "Notes" field. There's also groups, but I don't know if they're one per contact or labelable.
It signals a greater focus on what others are doing than what the customers need. HP added bling to their laptops, Apple did nothing.
Reading about the "Lockdowns" at Facebook in response to perceived emergencies in the market makes me feel like there's some knee-jerk reactions happening. Or at least this is how it looks from a distance, I am nowhere close to any of the players in the thick of it.
In the end someone who serves a need not currently being filled will win and they'll keep winning if they keep up with how the needs of the market are changing. That's what Facebook did to MySpace and that's what ACME CO will do to Facebook when they stop filling the needs of the market.
Call me crazy but this seems like a very good time to get into the fight.
If so, what a great way to keep users actively using Facebook: I can imagine someone spending a lot of time doing other things on the site while listening to music with their friends.
In a completely unrelated note, apparently Myspace sold last week for around $35 million.
TL;DR: Yes, it's a java applet. However, if its anything like how Facebook has done java applets in the browser, it will feel quick and lightweight on most systems.
So in other words it's still slow but because of vendor pressure it's been lumped into "The OS" to hide that cost from the user?
More overhead is a tradeoff you make to use a VM. I think it's worth it usually but it is there.
I only used it on a Mac, before I discovered plugins that did Facebook integration for iPhoto (and later, that was baked in). And on OS X, no, it was not slow. I'm assuming it would be equally fast for windows.
Also, its not so much lumping the start up cost to "the OS" so much as "The OS Starting Up". How often do people reboot their machines nowadays? Once every six months? With that in mind, it's a pretty negligible trade off.
Anything to escape the awful Flash implementation of it...
I appreciate the info and he's ultimately correct. "[I] heard it here first."