If you’re anything like I am, you have a kazillion different tabs open in your browser at any given time. Trying to navigate through them to get back to where you need to be is sometimes a complete nightmare. Often, you’ll end up simply opening yet another new tab to do something rather than wade through already-open ones to find whatever it was you wanted. Tabs are a godsend – and a mess. This is why the folks over at Firefox are bringing Tab Candy to you.
Aza Rasking from Mozilla talks about Tab Candy today on his blog. While the application is still in the early stages of testing, it sure as heck looks to be pretty damn sweet. Tab Candy lets you zoom out to get a different view of all of your tabs. You can re-arrange them into certain spaces so that they’re clumped together in a way that makes more sense. This should help you find things much quicker.
When your tabs are organized by group, you can choose that group and only look at the tabs you have placed there. The other tabs (in different groups) are still there, they will just be out of your direct view until you are finished focusing on the selected group. Change the sizes of your groups while zoomed in to keep more important things highlighted. According to Raskin, ““Make the group with your calendar and email bigger so that you can see what’s new just by zooming out to Tab Candy. Hide the group with distractions in a corner.”
What are your thoughts? Are you planning to try this out for yourself?
Sean Carver is a rock star. No, seriously – he’s one of the guys at Microsoft who has always listened to my feedback. Not sure he’s always able to push my suggestions through the pipeline, but he really does listen (and I wish I could say that about more people I kenw). Microsoft just launched v8 of their Messenger product. It’s good, and I’d recommend it over previous versions of Microsoft’s IM client, but there are a few things that are holding it back from being great:
Yay: Cleaner, more efficient UI. I’m still not going to switch from Trillian 2.0, but I’m not immediately turned off by Windows Live Messenger’s interface. It’s still a bit laden with oversights, but not so many that it’s painful to use.
Boo: Advertisement overkill. Seriously, can’t I just pay to remove all ads from all Windows Live / MSN services? That, to me, would be worth $100 a year. Enough with the upsells, man – some of us just want to connect with friends and co-workers.
Yay: Yahoo! IM interoperability is coming. While this is a huge step in the right direction, I think more people would opt for the Yahoo! IM experience – which is far less annoying and contains fewer (if any) ads.
Boo: I don’t use MSN Spaces, I don’t use Windows Media Player, I don’t use Windows Live Mail, I don’t use Windows Live Search – but that’s all I can get to through Windows Live Messenger (go figure).
Yay: You can easily change the color of the window. Sounds like a minor feature, but try a few different colors on for size. It’s kinda nice!
Yay: You can import favorites from your del.icio.us account. Of course, I don’t use del.icio.us because they’re still blocking Gada.be – but it shows that Microsoft is willing to think outside their own universe (if only for importing).
Boo: You can’t control conversation fonts. I hate when people use 84pt Courier New to send messages to me. They think it’s wonderful – I don’t. And now, apparently, there’s no way of turning that off? Gah. Big mistake.
There, at least my impressions weren’t completely negative – but as I mentioned before, I’ll be sticking with Trillian 2.0 for the time being (going on record as stating that Trillian 3.0 is a performance dog). Windows Live Messenger 8.0 is certainly an improvement over 7.5. No instant messaging client is perfect, but if I were Microsoft, I’d start paying attention to Google. They hired the GAIM guy for Google Talk, ya know? No matter, I’m glad that Sean Carver’s team got this one out the door – but I want them to invite me into their office to make 8.5 a little more power-user friendly.