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Google remakes its web-based Chrome OS to look more like Windows

post #1 of 62
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Google's experiment to replace Microsoft Windows on low end PCs and netbooks with its own web browser-based Chrome OS has failed, resulting in an effort to make the product look more like a conventional desktop.

First outlined in July 2009, Google's Chrome OS was supposed to improve upon the PC experience by replacing the complexity of Windows with a simple, stripped down version of Linux hosting a web based environment modeled upon the Chrome browser, running HTML5 web apps.

"People want to get to their email instantly, without wasting time waiting for their computers to boot and browsers to start up," Google stated at the time. "They want their computers to always run as fast as when they first bought them."

Google also said Chrome OS would be "going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates."

In November of 2009. the company outlined more details about Chrome OS, which at the time largely targeted Windows netbooks. Just months later, however, Apple launched its own alternative to the low end PC: iPad.

No love for Chrome OS

While Apple had trouble producing enough iPads to meet demand, Google has seen limited interest in Chrome OS at all, despite creating its own Cr-48 prototype hardware for developers and licensing the design of "Chromebooks" running the new system to PC makers such as Acer and Samsung.

By the end of 2010, Gmail creator Paul Buchheit, who had since left Google for Facebook, predicted "ChromeOS will be killed next year (or “merged” with Android)," while open source evangelist Richard Stallman complained ChromeOS was an attempt to "push people into careless computing."

While Apple's iPad seemed to obliterate the demand for netbooks, it also stoked entirely new markets for tablet computing in education, marketing, government, healthcare and a variety of specialized markets ranging from airline flight bags to point of sale devices. Chrome OS hasn't blazed any sort of trails however.

While Chrome OS-based netbooks running both Intel x86 and ARM chips were supposed to ship by the middle of 2010, Google postponed its launch plans to the middle of 2011.

New polish for old Chrome

In May of 2011, Google floated plans for subscription-based "Chromebook" hardware that could be rented for $20 per month for students or $28 for business users.

In August of last year, Gartner indicated that all alternative PC platforms running Linux would remain niche operating systems with less than 2 percent market share. The company said it did not expect Google's Chrome OS or Android, nor HP's Palm webOS, to gain any significant market share in the next few years, citing application compatibility issues.

In an apparent new bid to salvage Chrome OS, Google is now revamping the system to look more familiar to Windows users, with a Windows 7 Start-like app launcher and taskbar, and a new "flexible windowing system" called Aura that provides "rich visuals, large-scale animated transitions and effects that can be produced only with the assistance of hardware acceleration."





Chrome OS vs Android vs Windows 8

In addition to being blindsided by iPad, Chrome OS has also fought with Android for attention from developers interested in Google's future plans. Throughout last year, Google focused on tablet form factor products with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, a product that largely overlapped upon the target audience of Chrome OS.

Android 3.0 Honeycomb ultimately didn't have much impact upon the tablet market, and was forced to compete against earlier, incompatible versions of Android used by low end tablet products from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Going forward, Google now faces entrenched competition from Apple's rapidly evolving iPad and its iOS ecosystem, with the $399 iPad 2 and the new Retina Display iPad starting at $499.

The company will also battle Microsoft for the attention of PC makers trying to enter the tablet market later this year, as Windows 8 ships in a version that can run on more efficient ARM-based devices.

Google has launched a series of web-based products that it ultimately canceled, including Google Answers, Buzz, Catalog, Checkout, Dodgeball, Froogle, Jaiku, Knol, Labs, Lively, Notebook, SearchWiki, Wave, and 411.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 62
BREAKING: Microsoft sues for GUI plagiarism!

And that's Launchpad, for frick's sake. Screw you, Google. Screw you even more. Even MICROSOFT did their own thing this time around. SCREW. YOU.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In an apparent new bid to salvage Chrome OS, Google is now revamping the system to look more familiar to Windows users, with a Windows 7 Start-like app launcher and taskbar, and a new "flexible windowing system" called Aura that provides "rich visuals, large-scale animated transitions and effects that can be produced only with the assistance of hardware acceleration."

The blogger that made that post has now removed the article, no reason given.
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post #4 of 62
If you can't innovate, duplicate!!

That's downright embarrassing. Rip-off Window's look and feel, and while they're at it, snub OSX too by mimicking launchpad.

Cue the iHaters, trolls, and whiners trying to spin this that Windows/OSX does not corner the market on placement of icons, etc...
post #5 of 62
Well that makes it clear who they know their target audience is!
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post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

If you can't innovate, duplicate!!

That's downright embarrassing. Rip-off Window's look and feel, and while they're at it, snub OSX too by mimicking launchpad.

Cue the iHaters, trolls, and whiners trying to spin this that Windows/OSX does not corner the market on placement of icons, etc...

Where do those images come from? I haven't found if they're really what the Aura interface is going to look like or not. They might be real but a source link would be nice.
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post #7 of 62
I am surprised people actually take Google seriously as a desktop, smartphone or tablet alternative. They are much too inexperienced in this area.
post #8 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

I am surprised people actually take Google seriously as a desktop, smartphone or tablet alternative. They are much too inexperienced in this area.

Same was said about Apple in 2007, remember.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Same was said about Apple in 2007, remember.

And Apple proved everyone wrong. Google has yet to prove anyone wrong. Show me the people saying that web search would never take off, or that people would never need more than 100 MB for their webmail inbox. Search and Gmail are the only two products that have ever done well, even remotely. Until Google starts really showing people they have the chops for more than those two fields, then there's just no faith to be had.
post #10 of 62
I wouldn't call their Chrome OS efforts dubious in any way. There are certain things that we, as humans, require for things to work properly. Take doors, for example, they are taller than we are so we don't have to duck. That's obvious right? Take an extreme example, what if doors were the dimensions they are now but on their side? That's just ridiculous, right? Well that's putting system icons on the edge and in the corner are. You don't want them in the middle of the page you're working on.

Then there culture requirements. These things can alter dramatically over time but it's usually hard to alter a popular and well known paradigm that is in existence with a single action. Google tried this with their previous Chrome OS designs. They made the browser windows always on, and in that window were apps just as they are now as icons. Even people on tech forums couldn't see past the browser as the OS instead of an OS based on WebKit (just like WebOS et al.).

All they've done is meld the foundation browser window into the background but getting rid of the border and URL/Search bar and added some menu icons to the bottom. This is the paradigm. There is nothing stopping Google, Gnome, KDe, etc. from using this model, but most importantly it's the model that is most understood.

What might be ironic is that Windows 7 and earlier user might understand and like Chrome OS the first time they use than the first time they use Windows 8 which has removed the Start Button and common method for accessing programs.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #11 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

And Apple proved everyone wrong. Google has yet to prove anyone wrong. Show me the people saying that web search would never take off, or that people would never need more than 100 MB for their webmail inbox.

Valid points.

Quote:
Search and Gmail are the only two products that have ever done well, even remotely.

Self-driving cars. And no one knows a thing about them.

Google needs to quit doing absolutely everything else and focus on the self-driving cars. Who knows how much money is wasted by them driving around every street in the world taking pictures from all angles, compositing them, erasing people's faces, and then connecting them to their actually useful maps and compositing them. WHO KNOWS.

Put all that money (and all their other crap/gimmick projects) into self-driving cars. Get it perfect. Then sell the tech to every single car manufacturer on the planet.

They'll actually make money for a change instead of sinking hundreds of billions into YouTube, Motorola, Android, et cetera.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #12 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

And Apple proved everyone wrong. Google has yet to prove anyone wrong. Show me the people saying that web search would never take off, or that people would never need more than 100 MB for their webmail inbox. Search and Gmail are the only two products that have ever done well, even remotely. Until Google starts really showing people they have the chops for more than those two fields, then there's just no faith to be had.

Web browsing and email make up the bulk of what people who buy cheap computers do with them. This isn't a OS X v Chrome OS comparison, it's a cheap ass computer running the Windows Home Basic v an even cheaper ass computer running Chrome OS.

I don't know of any of the Chrome OS-based device getting the crapware that comes on cheap Windows machines. This could mean a faster performing system for less money than you can get a Windows system.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #13 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Well that makes it clear who they know their target audience is!

Google's target is the wall. As in "throw shit on it and see what sticks".
post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Web browsing and email make up the bulk of what people who buy cheap computers do with them. This isn't a OS X v Chrome OS comparison, it's a cheap ass computer running the Windows Home Basic v an even cheaper ass computer running Chrome OS.

I don't know of any of the Chrome OS-based device getting the crapware that comes on cheap Windows machines. This could mean a faster performing system for less money than you can get a Windows system.

Talking browsers, Google rolled out a new feature for Chrome that really does look useful
http://chrome.blogspot.com/2012/04/a...verywhere.html
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post #15 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Talking browsers, Google rolled out a new feature for Chrome that really does look useful
http://chrome.blogspot.com/2012/04/a...verywhere.html

Mountain Lion's Safari has that. Wouldn't that make it a WebKit thing?

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Mountain Lion's Safari has that. Wouldn't that make it a WebKit thing?

Could be. I never saw anything on the feature in Chrome until about 15 minutes ago.
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post #17 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

BREAKING: Microsoft sues for GUI plagiarism!

And that's Launchpad, for frick's sake. Screw you, Google. Screw you even more. Even MICROSOFT did their own thing this time around. SCREW. YOU.

Whoah!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post

And Apple proved everyone wrong. Google has yet to prove anyone wrong. Show me the people saying that web search would never take off, or that people would never need more than 100 MB for their webmail inbox. Search and Gmail are the only two products that have ever done well, even remotely. Until Google starts really showing people they have the chops for more than those two fields, then there's just no faith to be had.

I concur with this entirely. I would also say Maps is also pretty excellent and Reader is... well... functional.

The problem with Google is they are not using this new platform as an opportunity to do away with antiquated interface elements like the windows start menu. Selling out now for market share is going to bite them in the butt down the road. Pandering to corporate users in the now and forgetting to plan for the future is, and will be, the downfall of Microsoft.

Apple used the iPad to take out flash. Going forward no company that wants their website to be relevant to the future can rely on flash. Steve did for philosophical reasons (because lack of timely updates/support from Adobe was harming the Apple brand, as well as the privacy horrors of flash cookies) but its a boon for the human race.
post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

Google's target is the wall. As in "throw shit on it and see what sticks".

I meant PC users but same thing perhaps ..
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #20 of 62
Breaking news: Google responds to MS' allegation of GUI plagiarism. "The GUI has been around since..since..since.." well, Google said it will think of something and come back with an appropriate response. Stay tuned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

BREAKING: Microsoft sues for GUI plagiarism!

And that's Launchpad, for frick's sake. Screw you, Google. Screw you even more. Even MICROSOFT did their own thing this time around. SCREW. YOU.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

Google's target is the wall. As in "throw shit on it and see what sticks".

Exactly! I couldn't have said it better myself. Until Google has a little focus and a few long term goals and visions they'll continue to create, destroy, copy, fail, and rinse and repeat! Google needs a visionary, Apple had a visionary that instilled his vision not only within the organization, but within his customers. Everyone knew what Steve was about and everyone knows what he expects.

This is coming from a long time Android / Google user.
post #22 of 62
??????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Google needs to quit doing absolutely everything else and focus on the self-driving cars.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #23 of 62
It's amazing that an ad search firm has not a clue about marketing itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbisking View Post

Exactly! I couldn't have said it better myself. Until Google has a little focus and a few long term goals and visions they'll continue to create, destroy, copy, fail, and rinse and repeat! Google needs a visionary, Apple had a visionary that instilled his vision not only within the organization, but within his customers. Everyone knew what Steve was about and everyone knows what he expects.

This is coming from a long time Android / Google user.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #24 of 62
Add Google TV to the list of massive failures coming from Google.
post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

BREAKING: Microsoft sues for GUI plagiarism!

And that's Launchpad, for frick's sake. Screw you, Google. Screw you even more. Even MICROSOFT did their own thing this time around. SCREW. YOU.

And this is the Ubuntu Unity launcher:


And this is the GNOME 3 launcher:


Both of those are based on Linux, just like Chrome OS is. I love Apple as much as the next guy, but please, let's be reasonable. Apple did not invent the grid of icons.
post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Both of those are based on Linux, just like Chrome OS is. I love Apple as much as the next guy, but please, let's be reasonable. Apple did not invent the grid of icons.

I'm sorry, where did I say that? Where did I even imply it?

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm sorry, where did I say that? Where did I even imply it?

Quote:
And that's Launchpad, for frick's sake. Screw you, Google. Screw you even more. Even MICROSOFT did their own thing this time around. SCREW. YOU.

That quote from your original post would strongly imply that you are accusing Google of stealing the idea of Launchpad from Apple.
post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

That quote from your original post would strongly imply that you are accusing Google of stealing the idea of Launchpad from Apple.

Yeah, I am.



The Launchpad idea isn't "a grid of icons". It's the whole, not the parts. Your examples don't have squat to do with this. Google's implementation is IDENTICAL to Apple's, minus the background blur. It exists to BE identical to Apple's implementation. And we've seen that before.

Your examples are decidedly different.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

Google's target is the wall. As in "throw shit on it and see what sticks".

Google is nothing more than a one-trick pony.
post #30 of 62
I agree with some aspects of all of these comments. The main issue is that Google has established a wild track record of not committing to anything for more than a few years unless it is majorly successful.
GMail fit the bill and is here to stay. GApps for business and educational institutions are successful, but they are not free services and are heavily promoted by Google's lobbyists. (I go to U of Michigan and the school decided to go to a Google Apps based environment over a more capable but less sexy Microsoft offering).
Other products like Wave, Notebook, Gears, Code Search, Answers, and Base have all gone the way of the Dodo.
The key to Apple's success is the principle that a product will be properly prepared and developed in advance. i.e. 'They don't know what they want until we show it to them.'

Google has lost my faith and here is why:
Why should I decide to use a product that is difficult to use because it wasn't developed fully?
Why should I use a product that might be merged with another product that I already use?
Why should I use a product that seems to only exist to sweat more demographic data out of me to send to Adsense?
Why should I use a product from a company that has a habit of dropping lukewarm potatoes and sending a message that their users are not important to them.

Google also scares me and here is why:
They are violating the main tenant of the internet, that information is free to be shared. I have considerable experience in libraries and research, and I cannot use nor recommend Google search anymore because it automatically assumes that I am searching for the term that is most popular or valuable to Google, not to my research.
Google apparently believe that the only information they should index and deliver to you is the information that gets them advertising money.
post #31 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Yeah, I am.



The Launchpad idea isn't "a grid of icons". It's the whole, not the parts. Your examples don't have squat to do with this. Google's implementation is IDENTICAL to Apple's, minus the background blur. It exists to BE identical to Apple's implementation. And we've seen that before.

Your examples are decidedly different.

We have had grids of icons since the first GUIs back in the 1970s. Look for the

What you're pointing out is how they are now centered instead of being left-justified like Windows and Linux desktop GUIs or right-justified like in Xerox and Mac OS. But none of that came about because of LaunchPad, it's because of touchscreen OSes. They are the dominance OS and so it's safe to assume that familar and useful features will carry over. It seems clear to me that is why LaunchPad works the way it does.

But there is one thing you're not acknowledging which would make for a much better argument (though still not a good argument): it's not a grid of icons, it's a grid of apps. If Apple can be credited with anything here it's making the OS more app focus instead of file type focused without bringing over an archaic system that simply makes no sense on a touchscreen. Again, this already exist before the iPhone on earlier touchscreen devices but it was side-by-side with the antediluvian method showing only a partial understanding and/or commitment to the UX.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

If you can't innovate, duplicate!!

That's downright embarrassing. Rip-off Window's look and feel, and while they're at it, snub OSX too by mimicking launchpad.

Cue the iHaters, trolls, and whiners trying to spin this that Windows/OSX does not corner the market on placement of icons, etc...

Launchpad is garbage. I use spotlight for everything.
post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by openminded View Post

Launchpad is garbage. I use spotlight for everything.

For someone so open minded, you certainly don't sound like you've given it a fair shake.

I'm one pinch and two clicks away from all of the applications on my computer with Launchpad. I'm x number of key presses and two clicks (I have the shortcut turned off, as I'm using it for something else) away from stuff in Spotlight, and that's a less elegant solution for me.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo View Post

Google also scares me and here is why:
They are violating the main tenant of the internet, that information is free to be shared. I have considerable experience in libraries and research, and I cannot use nor recommend Google search anymore because it automatically assumes that I am searching for the term that is most popular or valuable to Google, not to my research.
Google apparently believe that the only information they should index and deliver to you is the information that gets them advertising money.

You may be using the wrong Google search engine. Try Google Scholar instead to see if you get more appropriate results. You can thank me later.
http://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/about.html
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post #35 of 62
Chrome OS is dead.

[mind drifts] meanwhile, in Mountain View:

"No, it's still breathing!"

"it's not! This parrot is dead!"

"it's pining for its home in the tropics."

"this parrot is indisputably, unquestionably, irrevocably, incontrovertibly, absolutely and completely dead!!"

"oh ... all right then. how about a budgie?"
post #36 of 62
Quote:
Google has launched a series of web-based products that it ultimately canceled, including Google Answers, Buzz, Catalog, Checkout, Dodgeball, Froogle, Jaiku, Knol, Labs, Lively, Notebook, SearchWiki, Wave, and 411.

In all fairness, Google experiments a lot and exposes some of these experiments to the public. Not all of these experiments win over the public, but some have. I wouldn't parade their failures as a sign that Google sucks, but it looks as if Chrome OS will fail.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #37 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

For someone so open minded, you certainly don't sound like you've given it a fair shake.

I'm one pinch and two clicks away from all of the applications on my computer with Launchpad. I'm x number of key presses and two clicks (I have the shortcut turned off, as I'm using it for something else) away from stuff in Spotlight, and that's a less elegant solution for me.

Cmd+Space Bar, type in what you want (usually just the first few letters), hit enter. Yep, seems pretty sloppy to me. Fingers never leave the keyboard, and I can guarantee you I can open an application faster than you can with Launchpad.
post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Yep, seems pretty sloppy to me.

Never said it was sloppy, said it was less elegant, and less elegant for me alone.

Quote:
I can guarantee you I can open an application faster than you can with Launchpad.

Were I a betting man, I'd take that bet, only because I know I'd win.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Never said it was sloppy, said it was less elegant, and less elegant for me alone.



Were I a betting man, I'd take that bet, only because I know I'd win.

Fair enough. I actually enjoy Launchpad, and if I can't remember the name of an app, it's usually what i go to. I guess it's just the years of training with Spotlight that has my brain wired to default to that.

Probably the same reason Windows 8 makes me curl up in a ball and curse at myself under my breath. Beautiful, yes, but functional? At least to me, not a chance.
post #40 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Probably the same reason Windows 8 makes me curl up in a ball and curse at myself under my breath. Beautiful, yes, but functional? At least to me, not a chance.

Oh, MAN don't get me started on that. What were they THINKING hiding things behind the

Ugh, it's too late to get into that.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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