Future of Browsing

It was with interest that I read this article this morning about the musings of the future of the Firefox browser.  Bottom line is that it shows a picture of the tabs on the left instead of across the top of the screen.

Image courtesy of:  http://www.azarask.in/blog/

It’s an interesting concept.  It looks a lot like the iTunes layout or the new Seesmic Destop.

I’m thinking of my computer habits and it makes a lot of sense.  Webpages tend to scroll up and down and so this would allow you to see more of the content on the screen at once.  By strategically placing the tabs, they can hide under other windows and only be visible when you bring the application forward.

I think that there’s more of a message than design as well.  With more and more applications moving to the web, we need to think of the browser more as a platform that integrates with whatever computer you happen to be using than as another application that needs to be run.

At that point, it becomes the great leveler.  Who cares if it’s Windows or Mac OS or Linux underneath.  You’re going to run your application in the browser.  Imaging Firefox as the platform and things like Seesmic Desktop or iTunes or whatever just snapping into the browser to be called upon as necessary.

It does give you pause to think about the value of standalone applications.  I’m also thinking of all those who haven’t embraced the Read/Write web in a significant way.  If this is the way of the future, those who are dragging their heels had better pick up the pace.

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