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Posts for Tag: chromeos

Browser tabs: on top or below?

I'm pretty slow to catch on here, but it just occurred to me that tabs on top, like the Chrome browser has, are the best choice for people working on smaller (laptop) screens.

Usually I am working on a larger external monitor connected to my laptop. I never run the applications full-screen because the monitor has ample resolution. So then, the location of the tabs really don't matter mostly.

However, in the office they've introduced a "new way of working". Which means ditching all monitors, and have flexible work places. So I am now forced to work on my laptop screen. The screen has quite a bit of resolution: 1280x800. That's good in the horizontal area, but 800 pixels are too short vertically. The solution is to run everything fullscreen (hmm, DOS deja-vu) and use the screen as optimal as possible (auto-hiding start bar, no browser status bar, etc).

I'm a Safari person. I use it on my Mac all the time. Mainly because it is fast and I can sync my bookmarks. However, I didn't really get before what the fuss was about when those tabs moved around during the beta 4 period, but is starting to dawn on me now: Tabs on top are much more favorable than tabs "below". You won't notice this until you are using limited screen estate.

Look at the picture below. Both Chrome and Safari running fullscreen on my D630 laptop. Notice how much more content space you have with Chrome? And I think the title/tab bar and toolbar are quite bulky, so you can gain even more. That's not just a small gain, it is a huge increase!
Of course, if you see ChromeOS in this perspective, the tabs of Chrome being actual "task switchers" this all makes sense.

I'm still favoring Safari at the moment, because Chrome on Mac OS X does not yet have bookmark sync (don't start with comments like "use delicious" etc.. I won't). Once this is available, I may switch pretty quick. Unless Apple makes the tab position configurable in a new Safari drop. The old Safari 4 beta had a "tabs on top or not" tweak possibility but unfortunately this is gone in the final. I guess it's long forgotten now, but I was re-triggered by the attention chromeOS got and my personal experiences working on a vertical resolution challenged screen.

ChromeOS - BeOS in 1999: see a similarity? ChromeOS can be everywhere

ChromeOS seems to be redefining computing for many users. The concept of a "cloud-only" environment is new and really takes some effort to understand. With ChromeOS, the user won't need to worry about files and folders anymore. Users only need to worry about content. Photos, Movies, Documents, etc. Hopefully with a sensible name.

I'm not sure how Google wants to go forward in managing this without the legacy concept of folders and files, but we'll see.
[edit] @luclodder indeed commented that Google is already doing this in gmail using tags and search.

Back in 1998, 1999 there was a small company called Be Inc. Their success on the desktop was not what they expected and Jean Louis Gassée, the CEO of Be came up with the "brilliant" idea to start making so-called internet devices. Lightweight devices running BeOS. The iPad, archived on Scot Hacker's site here: was one example. Be wanted to be inside every device. From your fridge (ordering milk if needed) to TV (web experience).

The idea never took off, and eventually Be Inc was bought by Palm and we never saw anything from BeOS or iPad again.

It does seem though that the time is now right for these devices. ChromeOS seems to be made for lightweight devices.

Most people now think that ChromeOS will be for lite netbooks, a laptop like computer that you carry around. But Google could take this much further. ChromeOS can essentially run in any device.
Imagine having a small touch-enabled screen in the kitchen. Connected to the internet, you are just a few clicks away from ordering groceries. Or check your email while waiting for the oven, or load that latest recipe from that cooking forum.

ChromeOS can run in your TV set. Streaming the latest movies. Playing the latest games. Chatting with friends and relatives. Or even in your car. Guiding you towards that new restaurant you want to try. Streaming your favorite radio channel.

Just regarding ChromeOS as a means for an even lighter netbook is shortsighted. It looks as if Google is reaching beyond this, it wants to be everywhere.

1984 and 1999 all over again?

Playing with Chrome OS - not very functional - a few screenshots

I downloaded a VM image of ChromeOS and booted it in Virtualbox.

There's not a lot there. ChromeOS essentially is Chrome running fullscreen on top of a linux distro. As you can see, they haven't done much in the preference department yet. Everything points towards the local drive, no sign of real "cloud" power.

It boots ok, just in 10 seconds. It browses ok. Works fine, youtube also plays ok-ish.

However, try to save a file and it will. Try to open the downloaded file, and it won't do anything. I even got it to hang on this.

Nice browsing OS for now, not much better than the Wii web experience though. Low resolution, low functionality. 

Of course, once there are advanced webapps, like that functionality will increase drastically. Once the resolution gets increased as well ;-)