New 'docking' Chrome OS feature looks a lot like Window 8's snap mode

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Google must really like Microsoft, as the latest feature of Chrome OS looks strikingly similar to one of Windows 8's core features.

As part of the Chrome operating system's most recent update, users can now dock windows to the left or right side of the screen. To promote the feature, Google tweeted an image showing one window snapped to the right side of the screen, similar to Windows 8's snap mode. Both features have been touted for their multitasking abilities.

Tech companies borrowing ideas from each other is nothing new, but the feature does illustrate the battle between Google and Microsoft for the low end of the computer market. Microsoft's Metro interface, where the snap feature exists, is largely designed for touchscreen devices that are typically tablets, while Google is aiming at a similar price segement with its Chromebooks, which began offering touchscreens in February 2013.

According to NPD data, Chromebooks accounted for about 21 percent of all U.S. commercial notebook sales in 2013, though the overwhelming majority were still Windows-powered notebooks. School districts have increasingly relied on Chromebooks, though consumer sales of the laptops have been miniscule in comparison.

Source: Google (Twitter)

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1) chromebooks still don't show on OS market stats making their years long struggle basically an admission of defeat.
2) this is original like only google can :)

There's been many applications that snapped to the browser like that since the 90's.
Too long for me to remember them all, but I remember ICQ did back before AOL bought it and ruined it.

GreatMarkO said,
"Snap" isn't exclusive to Windows 8 - the ability to "snap" Windows is natively available in Windows 7 too!

It isn't actually exclusive to Windows either, tiling window managers have been doing that for ages.

Romero said,
The pupil's far surpassed the teachers...

Point is, everyone copies. To wine about one and not another...well, you know what that is.

Romero said,
Nope, there are degrees and some are much worse than others.

True, but given the names listed, I stand by my statement. I'm not even a fan of Google for what it's worth, hell I'm pretty far from it. I'm just being realistic.

Everyone has wildly differing ideas about who copied what and by how much, or even what constitutes copying. So people can go on arguing back and forth but it'll make no difference to what any of us believe, and ultimately we base our purchasing choices on what we believe. Speaking of which, I believe that no matter what they copy nothing will ever change the fact that a browser-based OS is a POS. The only USP of a Chromebook I can think of is to buy a dirt cheap machine and slap Linux on it so it can actually do something useful. Even if someone lives in a browser-based environment most of the time I'd suggest Linux with Chrome any day over Chrome OS.

Edited by Romero, Apr 16 2014, 6:34pm :

That was predictable. Google is about to release tablets with ChromeOS.

Now, if they could just try to innovate instead of ripping stuff up. The more time passes, the more their offerings look like other companies material. Enough already.

TheCyberKnight said,
That was predictable. Google is about to release tablets with ChromeOS.

Now, if they could just try to innovate instead of ripping stuff up. The more time passes, the more their offerings look like other companies material. Enough already.

That's true, but really...what else can be done with an OS UI?

Ha! Touch screen chromebooks are junk! Google keeps scroogling people in the touch world. Half the functions require hover over interactions which makes touchscreens impossible to use...

Scabrat said,
Ha! Touch screen chromebooks are junk! Google keeps scroogling people in the touch world. Half the functions require hover over interactions which makes touchscreens impossible to use...

What in the world are you talking about? I've used Chrome in Metro mode on my W8 tablet, and everything works just fine.

joep1984 said,

What in the world are you talking about? I've used Chrome in Metro mode on my W8 tablet, and everything works just fine.

So have I and it didnt work well at all. And the desktop version is even worse. I just use metro IE now because its the best one out there for metro. Unfortunately I cant do add block =/.

trojan_market said,
I still think Chromebook is waste of money.

And for you and me, it is. Many are finding a use for them though.

To each their own.

trojan_market said,
I still think Chromebook is waste of money.

You're obviously not the intended audience...

As are most people here. For schools they great. No viruses or imaging to worry about. Don't have to push out software. Manage through web-interface. Cheap. What's not to love? Since it's a browser, they won't really be outdated anymore.

farmeunit said,

You're obviously not the intended audience...


Here is the thing, I want to prove only tricked people buy chromebooks. by little audience demographic here:
1. if you want something simple you will buy a tablet. has better apps, less hassle, works better and more pretty. you can get a keyboard cover too for more productivity.
2. if you want something cheap that does everything you can buy a cheap notebook that does everything, has windows so you are not trapped into chrome world and you can have chrome on it too with everything
3. if you hate windows and want something cheap you can buy Ubuntu notebook that does many things, millions of free apps, Linux and has chrome on it too.
4. if you like productivity but you don't want to get windows Viruses you can get Windows RT notebooks or simply Surface 2 with type Cover. has native driver, has office suit for free, you can get lots of perks, has better apps, and many more features.

so you see there is not a single type of audience left out except those who are tricked and think Chromebooks are Windows 7 cheap notebooks in this Windows 8 notebook world. and that's a shame for google tricking customers like this.

techbeck said,

And for you and me, it is. Many are finding a use for them though.

To each their own.

Any junk can be put to use. But as we all know Chromebooks are pure junk for what it's intention to be use is.

Chromebooks can't improve on their own you know. I'm not a fan of Google, but it's bothersome when people react to Steam OS or Chrome OS with such distaste that they can't even appreciate the effort.

Success isn't built overnight after all.

trojan_market said,

Here is the thing, I want to prove only tricked people buy chromebooks. by little audience demographic here:
1. if you want something simple you will buy a tablet. has better apps, less hassle, works better and more pretty. you can get a keyboard cover too for more productivity.
2. if you want something cheap that does everything you can buy a cheap notebook that does everything, has windows so you are not trapped into chrome world and you can have chrome on it too with everything
3. if you hate windows and want something cheap you can buy Ubuntu notebook that does many things, millions of free apps, Linux and has chrome on it too.
4. if you like productivity but you don't want to get windows Viruses you can get Windows RT notebooks or simply Surface 2 with type Cover. has native driver, has office suit for free, you can get lots of perks, has better apps, and many more features.

so you see there is not a single type of audience left out except those who are tricked and think Chromebooks are Windows 7 cheap notebooks in this Windows 8 notebook world. and that's a shame for google tricking customers like this.

1. Android tablet + Keyboard combination is probably more expensive than a decent Chromebook. Plus, those not so familiar with technology still have to go through the hassle of actually picking the right tablet and keyboard. Some people might just buy a Galaxy Tab 3 and a cheap Bluetooth keyboard and end up being disappointed. Definitely not the experience schools want.

2. Cheap Windows notebook, it is a reasonable alternative if these notebooks match the existing Chromebooks in price. But it seems like Chromebooks hope to undercut Microsoft even further and that is probably why Microsoft is responding by changing their Windows 8.1 licensing strategy.

3. Ubuntu notebook. Well these are not so common these days right? I mean how many retail stores sell notebooks with Ubuntu preinstalled nowadays?

4. Surface 2 with Type cover could also be too expensive and some reviews pointed out that they are not so lap-friendly.

The Chromebooks selling point still stands. Those that want to surf the Internet, don't care about extra app fluff and don't have too much money to spare will feel at home with Chromebooks. Microsoft and other competitors could wipe off Chromebooks off the face of the earth when they get real serious with low-end pricing without making too many compromises.

Grumphus said,

1. Android tablet + Keyboard combination is probably more expensive than a decent Chromebook. Plus, those not so familiar with technology still have to go through the hassle of actually picking the right tablet and keyboard. Some people might just buy a Galaxy Tab 3 and a cheap Bluetooth keyboard and end up being disappointed. Definitely not the experience schools want.

2. Cheap Windows notebook, it is a reasonable alternative if these notebooks match the existing Chromebooks in price. But it seems like Chromebooks hope to undercut Microsoft even further and that is probably why Microsoft is responding by changing their Windows 8.1 licensing strategy.

3. Ubuntu notebook. Well these are not so common these days right? I mean how many retail stores sell notebooks with Ubuntu preinstalled nowadays?

4. Surface 2 with Type cover could also be too expensive and some reviews pointed out that they are not so lap-friendly.

The Chromebooks selling point still stands. Those that want to surf the Internet, don't care about extra app fluff and don't have too much money to spare will feel at home with Chromebooks. Microsoft and other competitors could wipe off Chromebooks off the face of the earth when they get real serious with low-end pricing without making too many compromises.


pretty much all your point is that chromebook is cheaper. and that is simply not true. In fact most chromebooks are more expensive than decent windows notebooks. maybe there is couple of models below $300 but you can always buy used notebook at cheaper price. second mistake you made is that you comparing a fully functional piece of device with a consumer shiny trap. yes can buy a toy computer at a fraction of price but you don't buy pcs as a toy, you buy things to use them. with chromebook you can get a browser with its plugins. and thats it. heck my first gen kindle has that feature and its cheaper. plus it has more battery life. you got my point.

dead.cell said,
Chromebooks can't improve on their own you know. I'm not a fan of Google, but it's bothersome when people react to Steam OS or Chrome OS with such distaste that they can't even appreciate the effort.

Success isn't built overnight after all.


Yes, one calls windows 8 walled garden and proceeds to build another walled garden (steam os) on top of their own walled garden (steam). The other screams open open until it is about their core business, lives off from people's privacy and acts like a mafia using OHA. Sure, they don't deserve any distaste. /s

Crimson Rain said,

Yes, one calls windows 8 walled garden and proceeds to build another walled garden (steam os) on top of their own walled garden (steam). The other screams open open until it is about their core business, lives off from people's privacy and acts like a mafia using OHA. Sure, they don't deserve any distaste. /s

lol tell us how you really feel (actually, don't). It's an operating system. Get over it.

We all know that anything Microsoft produces is completely original and that similar features in competitors' products are always copies.

/S

.Neo said,

I heard they're using one of those Redmond keyboards.
Nha, they do not, in fact, they are probably using a Mac keyboard, as Google mostly uses Macs.

Well I mean I don't know how they could not do it differently. An app is either going to snap to the side of the screen or it's not.

warwagon said,
Well I mean I don't know how they could not do it differently. An app is either going to snap to the side of the screen or it's not.

A PC is either has a mouse or it doesn't. A smartphone is either going to have an appstore or it won't. All concepts are exclusive until they no longer are. Naturally a good feature needs to be copied, especially if one cant thinki of something better. A failure to do so mean you will no longer be able to compete on that front.

Doesn't change the fact that no matter how many features they rip off, it'll always be 10 light years behind Windows 8 in terms of functionality.

AsherGZ said,
Doesn't change the fact that no matter how many features they rip off, it'll always be 10 light years behind Windows 8 in terms of functionality.

Can't hurt to try. Also, who's trying to make Windows 8? :p