The 40 Pixel Puppeteer

For myself and 350 million other Google Gmail users, the omnipresent black topnav has been capturing more than its share of web experience. Google is continually positioning itself as the operating system of the web. (hence the Chrome push) From that simple, MacOS inspired bar, users can access email, news, videos, directions, schedules, and any RSS feed among other things. And for me personally, I don’t need much more than that.

As Google becomes a one-stop-shop for the web, they hold an unbelievable amount of power. The other day, I logged in, and up in the bar there was a new section: Play, with the word “new” slapped next to it. With the simple addition I was a reminded of how much power Google has. In that 40 pixel space between existing products, Google can hawk any of its products making it arguably some of the most valuable real-estate on the web. Yet as Google continues to grow, I hope they respect the traditional OS principles and don’t turn my nav bar into a banner ad.