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Google Brings Chrome OS User Management To Chrome

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the whaddya-mean-you-can't-do-that-in-a-web-browser? dept.

Chrome 68

An anonymous reader writes "Google is toying with a complete revamp of the user account system in its browser. Google is essentially pulling the user management system from Chrome OS back into Chrome. The company's thinking is likely two-layered. First, it wants users to stay in the browser for as long as possible, and thus it wants the switching process to be part of Chrome as opposed to Windows, Mac, or Linux. Second, if it can teach users to have accounts in Chrome (as well as use incognito and guest modes), the learning curve will have been flattened for when they encounter Chrome OS."

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Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47682225)

Google Brings Chrome OS User Management To Chrome

Who cares?

I care, because Firefox is going to copy this. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47682697)

I don't use Chrome, but as a Firefox user I care deeply about what Chrome does. In today's browser ecosystem, Chrome does it first, then Mozilla rushes to copy, even if it's an utterly stupid and useless idea like this one.

Chrome is basically a preview of where Firefox will be six months to a year from now. Sometimes it takes Firefox longer to copy Chrome, like in the case of the shitty Australis UI. Mozilla was a few years behind on that. But it did eventually happen, as we Firefox users unfortunately found out. Now Firefox looks almost exactly like Chrome.

I really wish that Mozilla stopped just blatantly copying everything Chrome does, and got back to real innovation like they used to do when Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox was still a young project.

Re:I care, because Firefox is going to copy this. (2)

Rashkae (59673) | about 3 months ago | (#47682957)

Actually, Firefox did it first. Profiles, and the profile Manager have been part of Firefox since the beginning, or so near, I can't remember otherwise. It's just bypassed on start-up by default, unless you know how to start with Profile Manager to get it going.

Re: I care, because Firefox is going to copy this. (4, Informative)

corychristison (951993) | about 3 months ago | (#47683119)

I'm not certain when, but it was in there long before Firefox/Phoenix was an idea.

I recall using profiles with Netscape Navigator in the late 90's.

Re:I care, because Firefox is going to copy this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47683055)

Yeah, I already disabled Firefox's updates. This tomfoolery must stop. Need a new open source modern browser.

Re:I care, because Firefox is going to copy this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47683263)

If you actually pay attention, which I don't expect many people to do, you'll see that Firefox and Chrome developers are very communicative and so what happens is that both browsers typically end up working on specs and implementing them roughly at the same time.

There was just a long period where Firefox had a lot of revamping of their codebase to do, where Chrome could diverge and leave them in the dust. But ultimately, Chrome leads in some ways, and Firefox leads in others. The line is so blurry most of the time that it hardly matters, but it's becoming clearer and clearer as Firefox "catches up" to modern browsing requirements.

Still, it's the popular perception that matters here, not the reality. If people don't want to see Firefox turning into Chrome, that's precisely what they'll see. They won't see Chrome turning into Firefox as well, because they're not paying attention to that. And that's not even counting the other browsers, who are also bleeding together.

Where Firefox truly distinguishes itself is in its fanbase. Most of them don't even know why they're fans anymore, nor what Mozilla is doing aside from the juiciest tidbits that get all the press. Firefox isn't cool anymore, and so it's de rigeur to casually dismiss it and be purely negative about it. It doesn't help that Mozilla isn't a company with Google's resources, and don't care to market themselves much.

the Chrome (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47682283)

A "Default Profile" dropdown appeared at the top of my dev-m Chrome, along with a ton of rendering bugs.

I have read the title 5 times, I still dont get it (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 3 months ago | (#47682299)

excuse me while I RTFA to get a clearer picture of the picture clearing it self by picture clearing.

Re:I have read the title 5 times, I still dont get (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47682349)

I think you're failing to understand the difference between "Chrome OS" (the operating system for Chrome Books) and "Chrome" (the browser).

Re:I have read the title 5 times, I still dont get (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 months ago | (#47682913)

Perhaps the shitty choice of names has something to do with that ... (which is the point he's making) or the fact that Google has tried its damnedest to make it as confusing as possible by trying to make it seem as if they are one and the same?

Re:I have read the title 5 times, I still dont get (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47682375)

I don't think it's just your kidneys that got stolen.

Graphical terminal (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47682313)

In the room next door I have a DEC VT240 from around 1990 which is capable of displaying text and vector graphics using the ReGIS instruction set. I'm so happy to see that, 24 years later, Google is reviving the graphical dumb terminal. Ah! what carefree times of speed and gracefulness. It's also nice to see that we're not bothering with company-owned servers on the other end, instead hiring out computing power in a time-tested fashion that would have been familiar to contracting with IBM in the '60s. What a wonderful time that was! Flowers in rifles, dirty bare feet, and nobody ever got fired for buying (or dressing) Blue. I hope we don't get into any silly, long, unwinnable wars, though.

Re:Graphical terminal (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 months ago | (#47682915)

Yea, its as if no one actually left standing understand why we stopped doing that.

Re:Graphical terminal (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | about 2 months ago | (#47684483)

Except that this time, those servers are being hired out super cheap. And they can be replicated and brought inhouse pretty cheaply too if you want. Plus, the 'terminal talking to a server' model makes perfect sense when the data by definition lives on the server. These are not the terminals of the '60s, and it's just dumb to argue against them on the basis that they're somehow reviving 60's tech. There will always be things PC's can do better than the new web terminal, but not everybody needs to do those things. And those that do don't lose access to the web-terminal applications. So why argue against them? Oh - because you have an emotional (and possibly actual) investment in the PC-centric application model. Ahhhh, religion strikes again.

Re:Graphical terminal (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 months ago | (#47685715)

What is the point of using remote resources when local resources are so cheap for non-businesses? The 60's model was based on the economic realities of computing being unaffordable for most people. That is not the case today.

Why do people who often don't even store 100GB of data on their own computers need everything sent into "the cloud"?

Re:Graphical terminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687271)

Because I have an iPhone, an iPad, a Windows 8 desktop, a MacBook Air, and a goddamn wife with her own menagerie of devices... and I don't feel like writing the software to sync all my music, photos, and personal documents.

Also - email attachments are "cloud storage". Chew on that.

Re:Graphical terminal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47687621)

(1) Because The Cloud has a team of professionals and doesn't lose records that the IRS will penalize you for losing when stuff fails.

(2) Because The Cloud doesn't lose data when your house burns down or gets broken into

(3) Because The Cloud is connected to your cell phone, tablet, laptop, and TV, all at once, but personally connecting devices and sharing data between them means a bunch of rsync

Re:Graphical terminal (1)

Teckla (630646) | about 2 months ago | (#47689063)

I wish your comment wasn't posted anonymously, it deserves to be modded +5, Insightful.

Re:Graphical terminal (1)

Teckla (630646) | about 2 months ago | (#47689055)

In the room next door I have a DEC VT240 from around 1990 which is capable of displaying text and vector graphics using the ReGIS instruction set. I'm so happy to see that, 24 years later, Google is reviving the graphical dumb terminal.

Except that web browsers are not dumb terminals. Web browsers can do local processing. In fact, many Chrome apps run entirely offline.

Your post isn't insightful, it's just plain an invalid and flawed analogy.

This sounds oddly disturbing (1)

thieh (3654731) | about 3 months ago | (#47682451)

Why do I get the feeling that it may somehow open a giant vulnerability on Chrome the browser for every platform?

Re:This sounds oddly disturbing (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47682591)

Perhaps because you are poorly informed?

Chrome is getting slower (1)

Movi (1005625) | about 3 months ago | (#47682551)

Too bad Chrome is becoming less of a browser and more of an operating system in itself. The emacs of web browsers if you will.

Not to mention it got unbearably slow since some time ago. For me, every time a website starts to do some DOM operations, it just stops dead in its track, does that, then resumes rendering. Very noticeable when scrolling. So much, that i switched to Safari for the time being. I still run Chrome in the background for the apps (Hangouts, Play Music). I wish they'd just fix it.

Re:Chrome is getting slower (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47683395)

So much, that i switched to Safari for the time being.

I hope you are using a Mac there. As much as I love the rendering engine in Safari for Windows, that browser got frozen without a word and hidden from Apple's main site. The last release is 5.1 from around 2012 - http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1531 It is on par with FF3 or so, era-wise --nobody serious even tests against either of those 2 relics now.

I now realize Apple's payback to MS for never releasing Mac IE above "5.5" * went as far as nailing the major version number. To macless readers, the version ceilings are Safari 5.1 vs MacSafari ~7 or 8

* (active-X never had a chance on MacOS even back when it was a desired feature)

Just stop already (4, Interesting)

s.petry (762400) | about 3 months ago | (#47682655)

Google Chrome has become as bad as IE in terms of hidden settings, or settings that are just not there. In Opera and Firefox, I have no issues accessing numerous networks. I can change network settings on the fly and have different settings for different browsers. With Chrome and IE I need a new browser installation everywhere, because Chrome either uses no settings or IE settings. Being able to set proxies and network settings in an add on browser is an important feature for testing.

On the security side, remembering user passwords and stuffing them into either and unencrypted DB or an Encrypted DB that the user has zero control over is not acceptable. Especially when I don't trust either MS or Google as far as I can spit with my privacy. They have abused that trust far too often for me not to notice these things.

And now they are making a big deal about not adding missing and important functionality (especially for those in the tech crowd that want/need it), but those same broken and missing "features" will now be available for multiple users in the same browser installation in the same log-in. Wow, really?

If they were adding Kiosk features, I'd be impressed. Let admins manage browser settings from a global repository for different users in the same browser installation. That's not what they are doing though. This will however add to their ability to target advertisements and raise rates for advertisers. They will know that the wife is using the browser and pepper her with just the right products, while targeting the husband with his.

Back on the security rant, is not the best option to train people not to share an account? Does Chrome not save individual user settings in their home directory already? I don't know honestly, I have Chrome on my work PC because it's part of our base image. I even launch it on occasion to see if it ever improves, and it doesn't. So I don't really use it or care where it stores settings.

Look, if all you are worried about in a browser is loading pages as fast as possible I'm sure Chrome is great. Loading pages faster than people can read them is a very useless ability for people that need to actually read content. I don't spend all day looking at Google Images, or what ever people are doing where this matters. Quite frankly, I don't know anyone that does either. I'm sure the crowd exists, because that's where all the development from Microsoft and Google is focused.

Re:Just stop already (3, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | about 3 months ago | (#47682693)

Google Chrome has become as bad as IE in terms of hidden settings, or settings that are just not there. In Opera and Firefox, I have no issues accessing numerous networks. I can change network settings on the fly and have different settings for different browsers. With Chrome and IE I need a new browser installation everywhere, because Chrome either uses no settings or IE settings. Being able to set proxies and network settings in an add on browser is an important feature for testing.

IE at least has proxy support that works. Chrome is singularly terrible in this respect. Try using a proxy script with a file URL, pointing to an authenticated proxy and move between networks without closing the browser (Chrome now keeps a process running in the background even if you closed all your Windows, so difficult to avoid), and you'll see what I mean.

Re:Just stop already (3, Informative)

s.petry (762400) | about 3 months ago | (#47682741)

I'm not sure I was clear enough with the problem. IE has proxy settings that work, sure. I launch Firefox and Opera to access Dev and QA environments with different settings than I need for normal browsing. I often need to change this on the fly to access other networks, so can keep multiple settings handy for either Firefox or Opera. Chrome has no settings to change, it uses the same exact settings as IE. If I set Windows to access a proxy there is no separation either, so all of my other connections drop.

A proxy script does not help, because I can't point different browsers to different proxies on the fly. I could always point Firefox at QA and always point Opera to Dev, but I'm screwed when I need to access something else. Working at a good sized ISP I have at least 4 different environments to access regularly.

Re:Just stop already (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 months ago | (#47682951)

Perhaps you've heard of virtual machines? VPC on Windows isn't even very heavy weight.

Working 'at a good sized ISP' with 'at least 4 different environments' that you need to access and test regularly, its mind numbing that you don't already use VMs for this purpose.

Perhaps you should top pretending to be some senior engineer/architect and start learning how to be one.

Re:Just stop already (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 3 months ago | (#47683001)

Yeah, because I should have to load numerous operating systems because an application lacks features. What an absolutely brilliant use of resources!

I will suggest that you take a good long look in the mirror before attacking people. You have several times in the last day demonstrated that you lack the critical thinking skills of a booger, and are far less charismatic. Stop trolling!

Re:Just stop already (2)

_merlin (160982) | about 3 months ago | (#47683157)

You're very much a minority case. Most people want system-wide proxy settings. It annoys me that Firefox needs its own proxy settings. I want to set/change proxy settings once and have all my applications switch over. I don't want to have to mess with per-application settings.

Re:Just stop already (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 3 months ago | (#47683255)

Wow, you should are either running an ancient version of Firefox or have never looked at the settings (assuming you even run Firefox). The default behavior for Firefox is to just like IE and Chrome, using the :System Settings". In order to change the behavior you have to know where to change the change it. The settings exist and function very well.

Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Network

Re:Just stop already (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 3 months ago | (#47683259)

Bleh, it's late...
In order to change the behavior you have to know where to change the change it.
In order to change the behavior you have to know where to change it.

Re:Just stop already (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 3 months ago | (#47683507)

No it isn't, at least not on OSX. On OSX by default it uses no proxies at all, and you have to dig into that preference sheet to enable it at all. Then it doesn't always switch properly when changing networks.

Re:Just stop already (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47684415)

I don't have a Mac so will need to validate your claim when I get to the office Monday morning. Linux and Windows access to the options is slightly different, but once in the options area they are identical. Not to imply that your claim is impossible, but it does seem odd.

Re:Just stop already (1)

robsku (1381635) | about 3 months ago | (#47683291)

You're suggesting VIRTUAL MACHINES as solution for his problems!? Talk about using dynamite to catch a couple of fishes... And the person you're replying to, he needs to learn reading - TFA is about Chrome OS, not Chrome The Browser running in Windows or whatever other OS. Both of you are stupid.

Re:Just stop already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47684093)

Speaking of using dynamite to catch fish, this entire post is about a browser running on an OS that tries to implement an OS inside that browser.

Re:Just stop already (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 months ago | (#47684153)

You're suggesting VIRTUAL MACHINES as solution for his problems!? Talk about using dynamite to catch a couple of fishes...

As opposed to going home hungry?

Bring on the boomsticks.

Re:Just stop already (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47684461)

Another person that should look in the mirror before attacking others.

Google is toying with a complete revamp of the user account system in its browser, clearly borrowing a lot from Chrome OS. In Chrome Canary (Update: and the Chrome dev channel), the following menu has shown up in the window’s title bar:

Emphasis is mine. TFA is about the Chrome Browser being modified, and clearly calls out "browser" in the first sentence after the title. If you only read the linked article in TFA it's the first sentence in the second paragraph.

If you are lost after reading a single paragraph do us all a favor and stay away from the internet, it's really not for people like you.

Re:Just stop already (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 3 months ago | (#47683739)

On linux there are several solutions. I've no idea which work well on l OSs.

1: Use firefox's buildin profile management

firefox -no-remote -ProfileManager

Now you can create as many totally independent instances of firefox as you like with separate network settings.

2: Use linux's builtin profile management:

xhost + localhost from the shell.

make a new user. su to that user. Then do:

DISPLAY=:0 firefox

and this way you can create one independent firefox per temporary user.

3: If you don't value your RAM, then brutalise it with VMs, but that's an insanely heavyweight solution. Not quite so insanely heavyweight if you use a jail in BSD rather than a full VM.

Re:Just stop already (1)

s.petry (762400) | about 2 months ago | (#47684485)

Firefox is not a problem for this. Worst case you keep a text file with all your various proxy servers and copy/paste into settings. At best you use DNS as it's intended. proxy.prod.net, proxy.dev.net, proxy.qa.net, etc.. That and a functional proxy script on each of your hosts is like magic.

Re:Just stop already (1)

makomk (752139) | about 3 months ago | (#47683627)

Don't forget that by default, Chrome now sends all your passwords back to Google encrypted only with a password that Google have easy access to. (Only if you're signed in to Chrome, but they're incredibly aggressive about signing you in, so much so I don't dare log into Google accounts from Chrome anymore.)

Re:Just stop already (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | about 2 months ago | (#47684521)

Sounds like what you're describing is a digital wallet for storing passwords online. Purely optional - on a password by password basis, and nothing but a convenience if you choose to use it. 'Encrypted by Google with a password that only they have access to' sounds nefarious, but it's not as though Google is preventing you from writing your passwords down or storing them anywhere else. They're encrypting them on the server so as to make them useless if stolen - pure evil, I know...

Look folks, some paranoia about web companies is justified. 'Trust, but verify', y'know. But starting with a default assumption that all web services (or at least all provided by Google) are out to exploit you is silly. They're out to make money off of you, sure, but they're providing a service in return. And they don't make that money by giving your info to their customers (the advertisers - yes, I know). They make it by serving you ads that they think you're likely to click on. The horror. And they don't even prevent you from using ad blocking software to avoid the really annoying stuff.

Re:Just stop already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47684327)

Chrome is the new IE 5. Just pushing "standards" that they invented a week prior

ChromeOS (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47682659)

BwaHAhahahaHAHAhahahahahahaaa

Re:ChromeOS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47682725)

I hope you don't get modded as a troll or something stupid like that. Your response to the mention of ChromeOS is perfectly reasonable.

I had to use a Chromebook at work recently. It was the worst computing experience I've ever experienced. It was more locked down and limited than OS X, iOS or Android. The hardware was worse than even the shittiest Windows laptop I'd ever used. It was less usable than any real Linux distro. Even compared to the dumb terminals I used back in my mainframe and minicomputer days, it was total crap.

Even old grandmas and non-power users would probably find it goddamn useless.

ChromeOS makes a mockery of Google and everything that the talented people working there should be capable of achieving. It's just a stupid and pointless product.

Re:ChromeOS (1)

Movi (1005625) | about 3 months ago | (#47682777)

Too bad 2 out of 3 OSes you mentioned aren't "locked down"

Re:ChromeOS (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 months ago | (#47684137)

Even old grandmas and non-power users would probably find it goddamn useless.

That's true enough, but that's also one of its core strength.

If I ever have kids, a super cheap computer without good computer games is what I will buy them. The same goes for Grandma. It doesn't matter to me if she can't edit her pictures as well as she did on her PC. The fact is, her old PC is unusable now because of all the applications she installed on it, and all the duplicate pictures and videos she kept putting on there. As her main line of technical support, getting my grandma a Chromebook was the best decision I ever made.

surprisingly useful. Never booted to Linux (1, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 3 months ago | (#47682755)

I was surprised how useful Chrome OS is. My wife wanted a small laptop that would boot quickly, so I bought a Chromebook and installed Ubuntu. I left Chrome OS as a dual boot option. It's been several months and she hasn't had any reason to boot Linux yet. Chrome OS does everything she wants to do, and the instant boot is extremely convenient. She had Linux on her desktop, so it's not unfamiliar to her, it's just unnecessary.

Re:surprisingly useful. Never booted to Linux (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 3 months ago | (#47683393)

My daughter attends a public online school that is part of the local school district.

They use what I presume is a common software package for this sort of school. When doing assignments it typically asks to to write the homework in one of several formats (word, ODF, PDF, text etc.) and upload it through a web page. This simply does not work with ChromeOS. You cannot navigate to the Google docs files from the browser and select a file there to upload. This makes a ChromeOS computer entirely useless for many online schools.

ChromeOS may meet many needs, but it fails in significant content creation roles.

I just did it, 2 ways. Click Drive. Drive == docs (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47683867)

Have you tried that recently? I just did it on my wife's Chromebook two different ways. It's slightly EASIER than with a regular computer. I didn't try a third way that should also work.

The file picker dialog has two main folders, called Drive and Downloads. Google Docs has been merged with Google Drive, so tat icon labeled Drive is her Google Docs. I just tried that and it works. One could also do what you'd do on a regular computer - download from Drive and upload via the browser.

If she had Dropbox installed, that would also appear as a folder I think. But really the extremely easy way is to click "Upload" then choose "Drive".

Re:I just did it, 2 ways. Click Drive. Drive == do (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47684609)

>Have you tried that recently?

Not since term ended. It's not that you can't try to do it. It's that it doesn't work when you try it in any of the several ways we tried. Works fine on a normal computer. I'm not wasting more of my life on this. There'll be a new macbook in the house before term starts.

That'll do it (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 2 months ago | (#47686569)

A new MacBook will certainly get the job done. That is what I use for my school.

Re:That'll do it (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47686659)

Of course I'm hoping for the product update before term starts.

Re:surprisingly useful. Never booted to Linux (1)

UncleRage (515550) | about 2 months ago | (#47683983)

Depends on the framework... we use Brainhoney which integrates pretty well with Google Docs; which is fortunate for us as we're rolling out a pretty extensive 1:1 Chromebook initiative this year.

Don't take that as a rebuttal to your point, though -- we lucked out, truth be told. It's not as if we planned that to begin with, it was merely a happy coincidence.

As a result, we're modeling our blended learning programs around the idea of the Chromebook/Google Drive as a tool to collect and prepare content and our labs as a place to create the final presentation: Content is prepared on the go and assembled (if need be) in a lab. Of course, the side effect to all this is transitioning to a Google district (zero to ~50k accounts over the last week) and the sanity of that is up for debate.

It's also meant a myriad of third party solutions to be brought in... Gaggle (email and document discovery), Hapara (teacher dashboard), integration with our SIS, synchronizing AD with Google for accounts and passwords... all so we can transition from cheap laptops/netbooks to cheaper Chromebooks.

Sorry, rambling. Early morning coffee... I now live, breathe and eat Google. Quite a change from the last few years of iPads (and, in certain ways, welcome -- at least there are real tools available for management!).

Best of luck to your daughter. Stay involved; the whole on online learning game is a new one.

Re:surprisingly useful. Never booted to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47684111)

You just tossed out 4 products or frameworks that within 1 year will be unmaintained and on the trash heap of computing history. I feel bad for the people in your world who will have to live with all the duck tape you are applying right now.

Re:surprisingly useful. Never booted to Linux (1)

UncleRage (515550) | about 2 months ago | (#47684143)

You know it. Carts before horses. Every year is something new and last year's new just isn't sexy enough to revisit.

We're a big operation with a small shop. I'll be wrapped in this duct tape for quite a while.

Re:surprisingly useful. Never booted to Linux (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 months ago | (#47684157)

When doing assignments it typically asks to to write the homework in one of several formats (word, ODF, PDF, text etc.) and upload it through a web page. This simply does not work with ChromeOS. You cannot navigate to the Google docs files from the browser and select a file there to upload.

This "Files" feature is available on ChromeOS since at least one year ago. You should definitely try it again.

Also, you should take a look at the Chrome web store to find some free app/extension that can automate that part of the process to make it easier. The Chrome web store is not that great yet, but it still should have what you need.

Re:surprisingly useful. Never booted to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47683589)

Chrome OS is Linux too.

Re:surprisingly useful. Never booted to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47683661)

You know what he meant: a traditional distro like Ubuntu, Fedora, etc.

Re:surprisingly useful. Never booted to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47684051)

Yes I did, but I think Chrome OS should be noted as yet another Linux success story too. Chrome OS is apparently based on Gentoo, and behind the scenes utilises the familiar GNU userland like pretty much any traditional distribution does.

Stupid greedy selfish feature (2)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 3 months ago | (#47682731)

This is a classic example of a feature designed by an MBA and probably not asked for by a single user in the universe. Why would Google let their sleazy MBAs design features, why would they even have sleazy MBAs working there?

Re:Stupid greedy selfish feature (2)

Draconix (653959) | about 3 months ago | (#47682813)

Why would Google let their sleazy MBAs design features, why would they even have sleazy MBAs working there?

Because "don't be evil" and "publicly traded corporation" don't mix well.

Re:Stupid greedy selfish feature (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47682817)

You are aware that Chrome (the browser) currently has a users feature that is totally and utterly crap right? Suppose I use chrome ignoring this feature (and thus use the default user). I can sign into google's sync and sync my book marks, great! (This does an irreversible merge of all my local bookmarks into the google account's: there is no way to restore the google account to its old state, nor the local machine). Now this mess pisses me off, so I sign out: this leaves everything just as it is, still broken.

If you want Google chrome to work well at all with the current setup, you need to make sure you create a new user and switch to it before you let anyone sign into chrome, other wise everything is irreversibly merged!

If you have a complaint that they are replacing this totally insane and harmful setup with anything (how could it be worse) I don't see your point. They are fixing something that really needs to be fixed by reusing existing features from another product that are working well. How is that having "sleazy MBAs design features"?

However if you had complaints about the old/current setup, I'll agree that who ever designed that was either crazy or now allowed to break compatibility as needed to implement it decently.

Chrome (OS/Browser) and Android (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 3 months ago | (#47682987)

Are three distinct tools that enable Google to lock in product. You read that right, the fact that you can type shit in to your Chromebook or fill in a webform or make a phone call or send an SMS text, are all secondary to the primary purpose of all such devices (both in hardware and in software): to lock in the input device (you) to the zero cost asset you provide for free to Google (your data) for them to profit on. You are not a customer, or a client, or even a user. YOU are PRODUCT. Were you anything else, even basic laptops would still cost over three grand. The paradigm shift between users and product can be measured as right around the time when the arse fell out of the hardware market. That's when retailers became service providers (cheap laptops, then you pay through the nose for software and extended warranties etc), hardware became subsidised and applications as a service got its foothold (think Microsoft Exchange, World of Warcraft, and the rise of Second Life)

Re:Chrome (OS/Browser) and Android (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about 3 months ago | (#47683123)

That's true if you're the conspiratorial type - from a realistic/business point of view there are multiple customers. There are the customers that provide money: the people wanting to sell ads, and the customers that provide screen space: the ones that view the ads. If Google doesn't appease both, their business would fail. In some cases, it's in Google's best interest for people to have free/cheap access to web-capable devices. The easier it is for people to get on the web, the more people that will give Google screen space, and the more companies will give Google money to fill that space.

Has been in Chrome for a while now. (2)

lemur3 (997863) | about 3 months ago | (#47683439)

like firefox with its about:config the settings discussed in TFA have been in chromes chrome://flags for a least 6 months..

its the flags page and you can mess with options such as...:
Enable New Profile Management System
Enable New Avatar Menu
Enable Google Profile Name and icon

It is now the default, apparently.. in Canary.. (the alpha build) but this has been an option for a while now in the regular Chrome builds...... I used it for about a week and wasn't all that fond of it due to it wanting my password.. but maybe it was some option I had enabled that caused that.

Re:Has been in Chrome for a while now. (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 months ago | (#47684253)

the settings discussed in TFA have been in chromes chrome://flags for a least 6 months..

The setting was indeed there in ChromeOS, but for me, the only way I had to login into multiple Google Apps profiles at the same time was to use Xfce4/Ubuntu/Crouton on top of my Chromebook Pixel.

Enable Google Profile Name and icon

It is now the default, apparently.. in Canary.. (the alpha build) but this has been an option for a while now in the regular Chrome builds...... I used it for about a week and wasn't all that fond of it due to it wanting my password.. but maybe it was some option I had enabled that caused that.

It only needs your password once in a while. The rest of the time, it doesn't ask for it.

In any case, note that this multiple profiles settings is for having multiple google apps/gmail profiles, it's not meant for someone to have multiple profiles other than Google Apps/gmail profiles. In that sense, that feature is nothing like the multiple profile setting we used to have on Firefox years ago.

How Does This Affect Their Data Mining? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47684451)

Does this increase googles ability to spy on its users?

Re:How Does This Affect Their Data Mining? (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 months ago | (#47685739)

It may help them determine who exactly is using the browser in multiple users on one account scenarios.

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