Around the Office: Google’s Page Speed Service, Microsoft’s “open surface”, more

On Thursday, Google launched a service that automatically speeds your webpage load times. This new service, known as Page Speed Service, fetches content from your servers, analyzes and rewrites your pages by applying Web performance best practices and serves them to end users using Google’s worldwide servers.

Roberto thinks Google’s new service marks a new direction for its Web optimization efforts, going further than simply making recommendations to the development community.

But it’s not only about optimization. A post from Search Engine Watch suggests that this service is offering “tricked out hosting”, given that Google will be making your pages faster by answering page requests. You will still have to have your own Web hosting, but the service will get the content from your regular host and cache it on Google’s servers, making it as much as 60 per cent quicker to load.

Google says that Page Speed Service is currently free of charge to a limited set of webmasters, but it’s intended to be a paid service. You can apply for Page Speed Service here.

Daveed has been watching Microsoft attempt to get on the open source bandwagon. It has, in fact, coined the term “Open Surface” to describe a situation where the APIs, protocols and standards for the cloud platform are open, but not the underlying platform.

No one is forcing Microsoft to be open source and they could just ignore this so-called movement, but Daveed reckons that Microsoft’s sales and marketing department are keen on branding Microsoft as open source — likely because of the flack they may get from people asking them why their code is not open source.

Rather than just saying open source is not appropriate for their business model, Microsoft is saying it is open surface, which sounds similar but might be a totally different kettle of software patents, relying on their client’s presumed ignorance. This is a prospect that Daveed thinks is mighty dangerous.


After getting a new laptop, Wayne has learned a lot about LCD technology through the problems he’s had… and has made some startling discoveries. While some manufacturers have warranties for dead pixels, it’s really hard to know the quality of the LCD screen because a display class is rarely, if ever, made clear to consumers. So you can buy a brand new laptop or LCD TV, and find that you’ve got dead or stuck pixels on the screen when you get it home.

The International Standardization Organization association came up with an LCD classification scheme, which has since been revised to have various classes from Class 0 in which panels are completely defect-free, to Class 3 that permits as many as 5 full bright pixels, 15 full dark pixels, and 50 single or double sub-pixels stuck on or off.

As it stands, we have no idea whether we’re getting a class 0, 1, 2 or 3 display. If consumers start pushing for this information, manufacturers will have to put it out there.

Until then, Wayne’s not saying don’t buy an LCD device, just that you need to know what you’re buying or you will find yourself with a display that is effectively broken, but not broken enough to get a new one.

2 comments on “Around the Office: Google’s Page Speed Service, Microsoft’s “open surface”, more

  1. Wayne on

    About the Page Speed Service:

    I recently ran into trouble with one of Google’s caching services overriding a page change I was trying to make. At first, I didn’t actually understand what was going on because the source code of the web site was correct, but the rendering of the page was wrong. Then I found that there was this call to some Google JS code that I didn’t recognize that lead me to the problem. Google was overriding the area of the site I was trying to change with that JS call. Great!

    Deleting my session history resolved the issue for me, but got me thinking about how the site was rendering for other people. Would it show the updated change or not?

    That’s the trouble with cache systems. They’re great when things don’t change (much), but not so good when you’ve got to update things and they’re not compliant. A simple change could have you running in circles for at least an hour…



  2. Brent Kobayashi on

    Hi Wayne,
    Good point about caching issues. As web developers, we often deal with (short term) issues with a clients local cache. It will be interesting to see if this becomes an issue with Google’s Page Speed.

    Thanks for commenting!

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