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The Chrome-book Will it Succeed?

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 12:46 PM on May 16, 2011

Update: We have an unboxing of the new Samsung ChromeBook below! Plus we will be launching The Chrome Show in coming days!

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to take what is important in their world and assume it is important for everyone. I believe this is what is happening among some tech journalist and bloggers when it comes to the new Google Chrome-books. The first complaint that many power users especially gamers have about the Chrome-book is you can’t play games like Portal on it. Well guess what, most people don’t play games like Portal on their computers as it is. They either don’t play them at all or they play them on a console.  What most people are playing on their computers are causal games like Farmville or AngryBirds and games like these can be played online and therefore the Chrome-book. The second complaint is that the cloud by nature is not secure and never will be. That putting one’s life on the web is too dangerous and your data maybe at risk. Well I have a couple of  questions on this subject first so Windows is secure now, because that is what most people are on. The second question is where do you do most of your banking, I am guessing that most people do their banking on line and don’t think twice about it. If a browser is secure enough to do your banking through then maybe it can be secure enough to do other things through. The fact is no operating system is fulling secure, especially if it is connected to the Internet. If it’s not connected to the Internet, then for most people it is not much use.. Security is going to be a problem no matter how you store your data whether on-line or off.   The third complaint is that you can do the same thing and more on a net-book Plus net-book are lighter then the Chrome-book.  First I question how much more you can do well on a net-book compared to the Chrome-book. Yes net-books are smaller and lighter, however the Chrome-book has a full size keyboard and a nice screen size. Another advantage that the Chrome-book has over a net book is that  all updates are automatic including security updates. For a power user this may not be a big deal, but I know too many non-power users who forget or are afraid to update and so don’t. The Chrome-book does it automatically, so there is nothing to forget. The final complaint is that because the Chrome-book is dependent on the Internet if your connection goes down the Chrome-notebook becomes useless. This is not totally true, you can still use Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar off-line as will some third party apps.

I not saying the Chrome -book is for everyone, if you are a power user then it is not for you. I can see it being used in schools, and small business where having a system that is easy to update and simple to use is important. A school may want students to have the ability to do research on line or work on documents, but don’t want them to have access to a full computer then the Chrome-book may make sense. I received a Cr48 ( the beta Chrome notebook) when they first came out and I gave it to my husband a couple of months ago and he loves it, it was exactly what he was looking for. He uses it to do research on the Internet, watch YouTube videos and take some notes. He doesn’t need or want a full computer at home. I think the Chrome-book will succeed over time as long as Google continues to maintain and improve it. What do you think are you interested in the Chrome-book.

5 Comments

  1. From GNC #671 On the Road - Geek News Central at 9:07 pm on May 16, 2011

    [...] to buy Nokia. New DJ tools. Gag USB Cable. Car Tip. Waterproof bags for your iPad. WordPress App. ChromeBook Thoughts. TAX on SD Cards! Leica [...]

  2. From Roman Guerrero at 9:54 am on May 17, 2011

    I heard some news about the chrome book and decided to do a little investigating myself. Reading up on the specs and features, the first thing that popped into my head were the rumors when i was in elementary school that by the year 2000, educators wanted to have a computer at every students desk. It was exciting to hear this at 10 years old when i wasn’t even sure what a computer did other than typing tutorials and microsoft word. This chromebook though seems like a viable option for that ambitious dream today. I’ll also admit, i don’t use computers for all they are worth. I surf the net, use word, powerpoint, and excel when i have to, listen to music, watch tv and movies, and… well that’s about it. Pretty much what the average person uses it for. I feel a little ashamed when i use my $900 laptop for only these things and don’t explore all the other plethora of programs that are tucked away like fine china. I think its a good idea to create this device for the average curious, and internet savvy person. Plus its a lot cheaper than buying a laptop. Again, the only worries are about security and whether you can create documents like word or excel. I’ll still continue to do more research on whether i should invest in this or a tablet first but the future looks brighter either way!

  3. From Robert at 8:55 pm on June 1, 2011

    This is exactly what Apple tried with the iPhone OS (ie it’s not a new revolutionary idea, its an old failed idea) and finally gave up on when they opened iPhone OS to third party developers. So the short answer is very few people want this and more importantly developers will not support it. If you are satisfied with web apps you must be over 50 years old. My kids would toss the chrome book in the trash and use an iPod touch instead. Definitely an iPad (which I write this on) is better than a netbook which is better than a chrome book. Oh and did you see the price. Yikes. It’s already lost.

  4. From David at 6:54 pm on June 13, 2011

    Pretty good review, from the consumer side of things, I have pre-ordered two of these, one for me, and one for my mom. When I looked at my, I have desktop PC, a Xoom Tablet, and a work laptop. When I break down my personal computer usage, its is something like this, Gmail, news, youtube, twitter, flickr, Picasa, checking the weather, the only heavy app I use is lightroom (runs on my desktop). When I don’t have internet connection (mostly on a flight) I reading a kindle or my tablet, not my laptop. My work life consists of Saleforce.com, internal work websites, reading word,docs,presentations and pdfs, occasional demos on vmware although most demos can be done on web based virtual center now. The combination of Chromebooks and Google apps can take care of most of what I do. I got one for my mom because she struggles with keeping her windows machine working properly and I don’t live close enough for in person tech support, I would rather have Google take care of the updates on the back end.
    Where the chromebook can really shine is not the consumer realm,but in the business realm, Google is leasing these things for $28 a month add 55 for Google apps, and you are talking about substantial cost savings over PC life cycle management. With Google Apps and Chromebooks, for 80% I cut down my Antivirus (symantec, McAfee, Trend) bill, and backup software (Symantec, Comvault) bills considerably, it costs somewhere between 120-150 dollars per user to maintain an enterprise email system. Over all Spending less on software maintenance fees, and less on data center power and cooling, combined with moving more expenses from captial expenses to operational expenses, will cause businesses to look a hard look at these, I have already seen it and I work for a company that sells products that would be threatened by this combo.

  5. From Brandon at 10:14 pm on June 13, 2011

    You mention “If you are a power user then it is not for you.” Ironically I consider myself a power user and I believe a Chromebook is especially for me. As a power user and generally tech savvy guy I know that a dedicated attacker could make mincemeat of my PC (Macs/all computing devices are vulnerable to some degree too). I’m not too worried about most types of attacks but a key-logger installed with a zero-day attack would be especially scary, sneaky, and nearly impossible to defend against. People who say “I don’t get virus’ because I’m not stupid enough to click on that stuff” make me laugh. They are also hypocrites if they have antivirus software on their computer since their safe clicking habits apparently make it unnecessary. I have read about silent zero-day attacks infiltrating the Chrome browser even with its “sandboxing”. It’s a lot easier to fall victim to attacks than most people think. With verified boot I would at least hope that if I was victim to one of these attacks, any installed programs would be removed on the next restart. I can’t think of a safer device to use when logging into bank accounts and especially any site you need to enter your SS# into such as a site used to apply for a loan or to open up a trading account.

    I’m also really lazy. Too lazy to back up my PC as much as I should. Too lazy to run virus scans every day. Annoyed that I have to click through Adobe Flash player updates once a week. And quite frankly, I would prefer to have most viruses than have to deal with all the pop-ups and hassles of managing an antivirus program. The reason why Macs cost hundreds/thousands more than PC’s with the same hardware specs is that they work and are much less of a hassle. The seemingly “simple” things are sometimes the most valuable. +1 Chromebook.

    Just like every other power user, I have a quad core, 8 gigs of ram, 2 terabyte, spec here, spec there desktop computer that rivals the computing power of the fastest super computer in the world of the early 90s. My system performs in the GFlops range which by today’s standards are specs that can probably be found at Walmart. If I want to store data off-cloud then I have tons of space to do it. Even with all this storage, the cloud sounds ideal for storing nearly all files that aren’t uber sensitive which is like 99.9% of them. Even if I keep backups and backups of my backups at my house, they can all still be destroyed in a house fire. Because I already have a very powerful system, I don’t need to spend extra money on a laptop with half the specs of my desktop. That’s why I think a Chromebook is a perfect compliment to a desktop since it excels in all of the areas where my desktop struggles, mainly portability, simplicity, ease of use, and security. The low computing power translates into high battery performance and if the computing power is enough to handle 95% of my needs then who cares about the numbers.

    I can keep blabbing about why the subtle features of Chromebooks are more important that people seem to be giving them credit for but I’ll stop here.