Microsoft isn’t the only one rolling back on changes made to its desktop OS to make it more tablet friendly. Last year, Google redesigned the Chrome OS shelf (its dock/taskbar analogue) to make it larger and more touch-friendly. While it was easier on the eyes and very useful for tablet users, icons took up more space on the shelf, reducing the number of pinned apps a user could have. In response to user complaints on forums and elsewhere, Google has now begun testing a new shelf design in Chrome OS Canary with the following flag:
Show a smaller, denser shelf in laptop mode.
Reduces the size of the shelf and its apps when in laptop mode. – Chrome OS
When enabled, users regain extra horizontal space on the shelf as both the shelf and the pinned icons shrink to become more space conscious. This update is currently Canary only (and only in the build that shipped barely yesterday) so mainstream users have a few months before they can even think about getting it.
Google has recently scrapped plans for future Chrome OS tablets, even as it moves the successor to its much-acclaimed Pixelbook closer to market. Making its OS more laptop oriented only makes sense with that in mind.