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Unlike traditional Web browsers in which users perform one task at a time, OpenRide splits the main window into four panes -- for e-mail, instant messaging, video and general Web browsing. It also has a prominent search box up top -- tied to AOL's search engine.
The panes automatically resize depending on what a user is doing at the moment, while giving users a glance of all the main tasks.
I haven't downloaded it yet, but from what I saw in the tour, (and maybe it's there but not in the tour) it seems to lack Web 2.0 functionality in terms of integrating email and IM into a community experience. Is a community experience really necessary? I think it adds stickiness and usefulness for some activities.
The tour didn't mention anything about a feed reader either.
No feed reader, indeed.
Tabbed browsing, and a nice feature called Tab Explorer, which shows clickable thumbs of all tabs. (Maybe that already was around in previous AOL browsers, this is my first experience).
Here's the user agent string for my install:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; America Online Browser 1.6-embedded; rev1.6; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)
Awaiting similar features in IE 8...
But I use an email client, and don't use IM. If I wanted a seperate window to watch video while I am surfing, (I don't) I'd just open another browser window and drag it to my other screen. Seems like too much in too little space.
For those that DO "get it", bet this is emulated using a Firefox extension within a month.
The advantage of that is - a month later there will be 10 variations on the Firefox extension.
It's bascially a tabbed browser that has 4 "special" tabs that dynamically resize.
One friend replies that he knows a much cooler video, which he has attached. I drag & drop the file into a new mail message and mail it to offline friends and people (mostly older folks) who don't use AIM.
I also drag the video into the Media Center pane in order to save it in the My videos folder, where it will be indexed by the integrated desktop search.
All that in one window. Maybe it's not interesting to professional webmasters, but I can imagine that there are many people that do use the web this way.