A Drag & Drop Web Browser OS

by Luke Wroblewski October 21, 2005

Recent speculation about Web-based operating systems and the release of Flock (currently touted as the first Web 2.0 browser) got me thinking about what a Web browser-based operating system might look like. How could companies like Yahoo! and Google integrate their diverse product suites, which include Maps, Local Directories, Instant Messaging, Email, Calendars, Blogs, News, and more?

What stuck out for me was the ability to easily move content between services. For example, selecting and dragging text or images from a Web page directly into a blog post, an instant message conversation, or an email or perhaps dragging a point on a map to a calendar or directly into an email for easily accessible directions. This type of simplified sharing between Web services is illustrated in the following screen shots. I used LukeW Web OS to remain neutral but one could easily imagine Google OS, Yahoo! OS, or Mozilla OS.

The pane on the left provides access to a pre-defined set of services and controls to add more services or adjust the browser’s layout (horizontal vs. vertical panes). Each pane contains the core controls for a service and can be resized when opened. Content can be moved between panes with simple drag and drop actions that also transfer relevant metadata. So locations, for example, could potentially include driving directions, links to maps, and URLS when copied from one service to another.