After a couple months trying out Google's Chrome OS powered tablet, the CR-48, and countless conversations about the company's vision of the future I've reached one conclusion - the future of the cloud is not in my browser.
It may be powered by standards-based technologies and work over the usual Web protocols, but it has to look better than this.
If you haven't yet seen Google's Chrome OS, just take a look at the Chrome browser. That's it. It's a browser without a close, minimize or resize button. You're eternally stuck inside that browser screen to do any and everything you want. There's no other menu, there's no nothing.
Chrome OS seems to be saying that, just because everything exists in the cloud and is built using HTML5, that it has to look like it too. The user experience has to relate the technology. Rather, the cloud-based operating system that most strongly contradicts this thought will likely take the lead.
I don't know about you, but this isn't the cloud I envision myself, and my future computing experience, living in. The cloud operating system will need to be a seamless experience, a fully transparent layer connecting the user with their data and online processing without them being any the wiser. As a matter of fact, it should give an even greater control over the display of information, not less. The idea that the future of the cloud looks like a browser seems preposterous. Why do we need to give up user experience, some tried and true organizational features like desktops, folders and taskbars, for a life contained in an un-minimizable browser window?
[Image via SocialBarrel]