Chrome browser will be happy to hear that now in the works is a simple feature that will allow multiple browser windows to run different Google Profiles with a simple click of a button.If you ever share a computer with a friend or family member, you've probably experienced the challenge of remembering who is logged in to accounts on Google or other services. Users of Google's excellent
The feature is not yet available but was spotted in developer documentation and first reported on by the watchdog blog Google Operating System. While this might seem like a simple matter of convenience, it also represents the convergence of a number of other trends in online computing.
Above, a mock-up of how the Mac version of Chrome might display which account is running in a particular window. New browser windows will use the same account that the last active window was using, and all browser extensions will be common across all windows regardless of account.
Incidentally, speaking from one ad-supported company to another, it's hard not to notice that there's Ad Block Plus running in the mock-up screenshot of this browser. Thanks, Google.
What it All Means
Computing in the cloud. The browser as a key to identity. Personalization of the computing experience. Those are the kinds of things we see here and in many other developments on the web, to put this news in context.
It would be great to see different browser window identities entirely partitioned off from each other, with different sets of cookies, so that you could run different accounts on Twitter, Facebook and other services at the same time too.
Consider this in conjunction with Chrome's plan to experiment with predictive background tab preloading for "wicked fast navigation" and I think you'll agree - the world of the browser looks to be very different in the future.
What's Google's economic incentive to develop features like this? The nicer it is to browse, the more you'll do it, and the more you browse - the more ads you'll see. That's not the whole story, but it is the part that pays the bills.