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Google Brings Chrome OS User Management To Chrome 68

Posted by timothy
from the whaddya-mean-you-can't-do-that-in-a-web-browser? dept.
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 Brings Chrome OS User Management To Chrome

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  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • excuse me while I RTFA to get a clearer picture of the picture clearing it self by picture clearing.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        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?

  • Graphical terminal (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 15, 2014 @07:52PM (#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.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

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

    • by Rob Y. (110975)

      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 tho

      • 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"?

    • by Teckla (630646)

      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.

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

      Perhaps because you are poorly informed?

  • 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.

  • Just stop already (Score:5, Interesting)

    by s.petry (762400) on Friday August 15, 2014 @09:21PM (#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 (Score:4, Informative)

      by jrumney (197329) on Friday August 15, 2014 @09:36PM (#47682693) Homepage

      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 (Score:4, Informative)

        by s.petry (762400) on Friday August 15, 2014 @09:55PM (#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.

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          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.

          • by s.petry (762400)
            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!
            • by _merlin (160982)

              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.

              • by s.petry (762400)

                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

                • by s.petry (762400)
                  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.
                • by _merlin (160982)

                  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.

                  • by s.petry (762400)
                    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.
          • by robsku (1381635)

            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.

            • by thegarbz (1787294)

              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.

            • by s.petry (762400)

              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.

        • 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 bruta

          • by s.petry (762400)
            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.
    • by makomk (752139)

      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.)

      • by Rob Y. (110975)

        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 parano

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Friday August 15, 2014 @09:52PM (#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?
    • by Draconix (653959)

      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.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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 bro

  • 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 el

    • by Ksevio (865461)
      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 gi
  • by lemur3 (997863) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @02:19AM (#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.

    • 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

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