Google ran out of bandwidth? ... Google?

For a while there a few days ago it sure seemed to some as though the Google Chrome development team had proven again that no matter how much bandwidth is made available, someone, somewhere, for some reason, is going to need or want more.

Instead, what really occurred was a lesson in the everyday risks that can come with free-wheeling corporate blogging.

Here's what was posted to the Google Chrome Releases blog on Friday by program manager Mark Larsen:

"We were not able to issue a Dev channel release this week. Our test team did a great job in qualifying two Stable updates and a Beta update this week, and we just didn't have the bandwidth to push a Dev channel release. We'll get an update out early next week. Stay tuned for some exciting new features we hope to land in the Dev channel."

Which prompted a ZDNet blogger to write:

"It sounds like there isn't going to be a dev channel release of Chrome this week - simply because they've already updated the stable, and beta channels this week, and simply can't do any more because they ran out of bandwidth. ... You wouldn't think bandwidth at Google would be an issue, but it sounds like it can be."

An industry analyst sent me the ZDNet link yesterday, noting: "I thought this was pretty funny -- Google running out of bandwidth."

By which time the Google-sucked-up-all-its-bandwidth report already had been picked up by this blogger and this one and this one ... and this one that appears to be informing a presumably thunderstruck Chinese audience ... and, I believe, this one, although I don't speak the language.

One can only imagine the fallout were such a Google bandwidth crisis actually true: Service providers would be rushing out press releases touting the depletion as proof positive of the need for bandwidth caps. A congressman might smell a headline opportunity. Heck, Wall Street might wonder if the recession has hamstrung Google's R&D. ... Bailout?

But, alas, the facts once again get in the way of a great story:

Google's Larsen updated the blog post yesterday:

[Edit, 11 May 2009: Change 'bandwidth' to 'test capacity'. Sometimes the colloquial jargon we use at work translates imprecisely for a public audience.]

Ah, test capacity; colloquial "bandwidth," not real bandwidth. Well, it's still kind of interesting to learn that even at Google -- $129-billion-dollar market cap Google -- resources remain finite.

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