Google Chrome OS Browser to Mimic Windows Explorer?
When Google announced their plans for a new “cloud”-based operating system built around the web browser, there was some concern about the OS’s capabilities. Although a lot of our computing can now be done in the web browser these days thanks to online applications and services, there are still quite a few operations that need to take place on the hard drive – running iTunes, for example, or importing photos from a digital camera. How would a web-based operating system handle these sorts of tasks? Based on what we knew of Google Chrome OS, it seemed like the OS just wouldn’t be able to.
But now a new discovery in the Google Chrome OS browser code base points towards a “mount library” that monitors devices inserted into the computer. Will Chrome OS be able to see your iPod? Your camera? And what will it do then?
Chrome OS Code Reveals “Mount Library”
Thanks to some serious sleuthing on the part of the DownloadSquad blog, a site that often scours through Chrome OS code to uncover hidden gems, we’ve learned that the new operating system will monitor for new devices attached to your system. As Sebastian Anthony points out in the blog post, the Chrome web browser can already access your local file system (e.g., Windows users can just type C:\ in the address field to see a list of files), so this new feature would just extend the browser’s current functionality. Anthony then speculates that in Chrome OS you may be able to launch a new tab in the browser to see a real-time view of “My Computer” complete with the attached devices and the files they contain. Or perhaps a new window will pop up showing you the drive you’ve just inserted into the netbook’s USB slot.
That would certainly be an unusual trick for a web browser to handle – navigating through your local file system is a task usually left up to file explorer programs like Windows Explorer or Mac OS’s Finder. But since the interface to Chrome OS is the web browser, it appears as if the browser will have to step in and do the OS’s job in this case.
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