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AOL Open Ride Web Browser Debuts

     
11:21 am on Oct 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This looks pretty cool I have to admit!

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.

[free.aol.com...]

2:17 pm on Oct 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, this looks very interesting. It needs XP to run, I'll have to give it a shot on a different box later on today.
8:32 am on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Surprised this was not on the homepage! This is big news for AOL.
8:45 am on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Interesting product because it takes common web browsing activities and elegantly weaves them into a single interface.

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.

11:45 am on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The browser has a Share-button which lets you send the URL by IM or email. Could that be considered Web 2.0?

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...

12:40 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They've based it on IE6, even though IE6 is very, very nearly obsolete? IE7 is coming out in months, if not weeks.
1:47 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I haven't seen or tried it, but I can't imagine liking an interface like that. I'm a run-it-maximized, don't-want-to-see-what-I'm-not-using kind of guy. It sounds very cluttered, non-intuitive and distracting.
1:52 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like away to surf with multiple ways into your OS from anything that you might encounter ..presumably active X is operational all the time it's various bells and whistles are working ..

could be fun ..for some ;-) ..specially the less well intentioned coders ..

3:32 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, but I don't get it.

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.

4:15 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Let's say I'm a teenager surfing the web and simultaneously chatting with friends (yeah, multitasking). I run into a cool site. I click the Share-button to paste the URL into a new IM message. I add some text and send the message to all my buddies who are currently online.

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.

4:23 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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but I can imagine that there are many people that do use the web this way.

Right, great point! Which is precisely why it should be of interest to webmasters. Have to know what users are doing and how it may/could impact their experience on your site.

5:32 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Surprised this was not on the homepage! This is big news for AOL.

If they where sure that it was going to make money it would be there.

8:51 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I find this app a little funny considering the majority of AOL users are running 800x600 so each box is going to be 400x300. Kind of small, no?

I keed I keed

8:59 pm on Oct 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned that this thing installs AOL desktop search without telling you - it will index your entire hard drive. I don't think I want to trust AOL with any of my personal info anytime soon.

Look up the review of this on TechCrunch. This thing is a POS through and through.

3:05 am on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Figures it won't run on a Mac.
3:12 am on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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very wEB 2.0
4:18 am on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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very wEB 2.0

Very NOT Web 2.0!

Web 2.0 would run on any modern browser.

This is a custom browser!

4:39 am on Oct 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Haven't we had enough of AOL custom browsers? I remember the headaches AOL's embedded browsers caused for us designers.