17 April 2008

First look: AT&T’s Pogo browser beta tries too hard, fails

First look: AT&T’s Pogo browser beta tries too hard, fails: Page 1
Moving on, we tested Pogo on a dual-processor, dual-core AMD Opteron 2210 with 1.80GHz CPUs, 2GB of RAM, and a NVIDIA Quadro FX 560 video card with 128MB of VRAM running Windows XP. On this machine, the remainder of Pogo's features actually displayed, but did not do much else. We found that with even minor use, the browser slowed to a crawl, animations built into the UI were laggy, and at some times, unusable. Performance was extremely poor when even trying to perform basic functions like clicking UI elements.

We decided once again to step it up and run Pogo on a dual-processor Opteron 256 with two 3GHz CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA 8800 GT video card with 512MB of VRAM. From here, we were finally able to use Pogo enough to actually find out how well it works—for the most part, anyway.

I just love how the silly little demo flash movie on their website for this shows this being used on a laptop...

This beta, though it is just a beta, is really, really embarrassing for AT&T. Please don't mistake the testers' inability to get this thing to run correctly as a sign that their hardware wasn't up to the task -- instead, know that this is just a sign of incredibly poor coding. Even the smallest, simplest type of computer program will run slowly on a really fast computer if it's coded inefficiently.

I've seen 3D type interfaces like this, but they don't need anywhere near the amount of hardware that this thing needs to run correctly -- hell, Apple has a nicer interface than this, and it runs on an iPod! (Which isn't a bad piece of hardware, but you have to understand, is kinda of slow when compared to your average desktop.)

All this aside, I wish them the best of luck (once they fire whatever 3D guys they have working on this). Pogo is apparently built on the Mozilla platform, so it's got a lot of power behind it, and AT&T is just the kind of huge company (with huge financial resources) that could help challenge Microsoft. I don't specifically like AT&T anymore than I do Microsoft, but if AT&T decides to try and help break Microsoft's monopoly on the browser market (through whatever means), then I'll go along with it, at least for now!

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