Google Chrome OS is getting a lot of attention these days for offering a simple new user interface for computers. Basically the entire operating system is a full screen web browser. As soon as you login you’re greeted with a browser window and while there’s support for pop-up notifications, file downloads, and some other desktop-style features, you basically spend your entire session in a browser window.
But it looks like Chrome OS won’t be the only new operating system to offer the full-screen browser-style user experience. MacRumors reports that OS X 10.7 Lion has a new “restart to Safari” option.” When you choose this option, the Mac operating system goes away and is replaced with a full screen Safari web browser.
This lets you offer a sort-of kiosk mode on any Mac computer running Lion. You can let a friend borrow your MacBook, for instance, knowing that they’ll be able to surf the web without making any inadvertent changes to your files or settings. When you restart the computer and log into the full desktop operating system again, all of your information should be exactly as you left it when you entered the browser-only mode.
OS X Lion will be available in July, but a beta version is already in the wild.
What do you think? Do you want to have a browser-only mode in your desktop operating system? Or is it something that only makes sense for a dedicated netbook-like device such as a Chromebook? Or are you having a hard time seeing the point even for those laptops?