Have you seen the new concept browser from Mozilla? Aurora, developed in collaboration with Adaptive Path, is a browser-desktop combination. ChannelWEB's Brian Kraemer wrote a great description, which I read after watching illustrative video posted at by Adaptive Path and referenced in the Mozilla Labs blog. The piece certainly helped me better understand what I had watched.
Here's the idea, as Kraemer sets it out:
The Aurora concept browser is separated from current Web browsers in its integration with the desktop. When looking at a Web page, the page is framed by four distinct elements that make a browsing experience easier and more intuitive.
The top of the screen features what developers call "the shelf," which holds frequently accessed sites and tools. Down the left side is the "history stack," which displays the user's recently viewed sites or recently accessed tools, in reverse chronological order. On the right side of the screen, the "user stack" is the equivalent of "favorites" in Internet Explorer or "bookmarks" in Firefox. "The wheel" lives at the bottom of the screen and allows the user to scroll through everything to which he or she is actively connected.
In addition to all of that, Aurora also offers a spatial view, of which Kraemer says:
In the Spatial View, the power of the Wheel becomes apparent. All the information that passes through the Aurora browser is analyzed and semantic similarities are noted. These similarities then form the basis for the content clusters in the browser.
It certainly seems easier and incredibly intuitive, from what I have seen so far. It will be interesting to watch Aurora evolve.