- the default when you clear browsing data in Chrome is for just "the past hour", not from "the beginning of time", as is selected in the screenshot in the post (so only any cookies set in the last hour would have been cleared, which would be equivalent to having used incognito mode for the last hour).
This is almost always what you want because a blank history is a dead giveaway that someone was doing something "private" on that browser, and because your wife (in the post's example) is now really annoyed with you because she suddenly has no history url completion and she's been logged out of every site she normally visits.
- that incognito suggestion message only shows up the second time you go to clear data in relatively quick succession, not the first time. The target audience isn't everyone, it's anyone apparently doing a repetitive task that requires browser cache/cookies/history/something to be cleared. At that point incognito mode is a perfect suggestion, as ephemerality is exactly what the user is after.
But that seems like a nice side benefit. I bet the main reason they did this is helping users avoid login screens. When you clear cookies, you obviously have to login to EVERYTHING again. It's a minor annoyance to me and you, but to regular users, hitting a login screen is like hitting a brick wall.
"Hmm, what was that password? Did I use my Gmail or Yahoo? Is it my password with capital letters, or the one with 123 tacked on the end? Bah, I'll just never use this site again."
Basically UX hell for most users, that's probably why they're really pushing Incognito. It's definitely good for the web if people reset cookies less.
Be interesting if somebody forked it an produced a version that did just that.
See here: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=901614
The title should probably be something different.
Ultimatley, not sure I'd agree there's a nefarious motive here. Just having the ability to let other people check their GMail / Facebook / whatever on my laptop without logging myself out is a great feature that I've often made use of.