Imagine sitting at a large round table over at AT&T trying to come up with ways to better your brand and service. Everyone is expressing their minds, and one individual says “how about we design a web browser?” There’s a slight chuckle in the room, and then everyone begins looking at each other with a slightly puzzled look on their faces. Finally, someone says “Hell, I’ve got nothing better. Why not!“
That may not be exactly how it went down, but that’s the best explanation that I can give as to why AT&T would actually develop a web browser… especially one called Pogo. It’s currently in a private Beta, but even if you do manage to get in you’ll need a computer with a minimum of a 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, and a video card with at least 256MB of VRAM. Now that is a power hungry browser if I’ve ever seen one.
Ars Technica managed to get their hands on the browser. They quickly got frustrated when trying to find a machine that could actually run the browser:
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.
So what makes the browser need so many resources? There is a slick 3D interface for navigating through the browser’s history as well as bookmarks (screenshot:history on top, bookmarks on the bottom):
These are the resource-intensive tasks that Ars was having problems running on the machines that didn’t quite meet the minimum requirements. While they do look awfully pretty I can’t actually see myself using those methods of navigation very often.
Pogo is a Mozilla-based browser, and so you may be wondering where the tabs are. Notice the tiny thumbnails along the bottom of the browser? Yep, that is the tab bar which completely supports drag-and-drop rearranging.
I did sign up for the Beta, but I don’t know that I’d install it even if I do get in. It does look cool, but it doesn’t sound like it’s all that functional as it stands right now. If you want to see more of how it all works checkout this video demo assembled by AT&T.