Do You Schmucks Need a Chromebook?

Chrome - Heart of Chromebook Computer All ye schmucks have heard of a notebook and netbook but does Chromebook ring a bell?

Most likely not given your Bollywooded and Kollywooded brains. 😉

Ain’t you putzheads lucky for y’all got SI to walk you through the thicket of technology.

What is a Chromebook?

Chromebook is Google’s small form factor computer designed for the web.

At the core of Chromebook is Google’s web browser Chrome, which is said to have 160-million users currently.

Here’s what Chromebook promises:

* Boot faster. Say in about 8 seconds. That means your Facebook, blog and other online junk will load faster by about 45 seconds.

* Automatically update itself

* Support web standards including Flash (iPhone and iPad don’t support Flash)

* Come with Built-in WiFi and optional 3G

* Last a whole day on a single charge

* Have multiple layers of security. No need for separate anti-virus apps, says Google

* Access web applications mostly and existing desktop apps via Google’s partnership with Citrix

* Store your apps, documents and settings in the cloud

Chromebooks for Businesses and Schools

Google also plans to offer models for businesses and schools in a subscription model.

Google’s rationale is:

Even with dedicated IT departments, businesses and schools struggle with the same complex, costly and insecure computers as the rest of us.

Chromebooks for Business and Education will include Chromebooks and a cloud management console to remotely administer and manage users, devices, applications and policies plus support, device warranties and replacements as well as regular hardware refreshes.

Monthly subscriptions starts at $28/user for businesses and $20/user for schools.

Chromebook Availability

Google hopes to make Chromebooks available online June 15 in the US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

The first Chromebooks will come from Samsung and Acer.

More countries will follow in the coming months.

Amazon and Best Buy will peddle Chromebooks in the U.S .

Do You Need It?

The idea of a diskless computer for everyday use is not new.

Old timers may recollect that Oracle toyed with the idea of Network Computer between 1996-1998 but nothing came of the effort.

For consumers, the key questions to ask vis-a-vis Chromebook are:

* Is an extra 30-second or 45-second boot time mean a big deal. In our view, No.

* Would you trust your precious data in the cloud? In our view, No. Remember Amazon’s mega outage of its cloud service recently?

* With netbooks costing $200 and notebooks around $400 (plus $35 for Norton Internet Security 3-PC Edition), are you really paying a King’s Ransom every year? In our view, No.

* Is a battery capable of whole day use a very big deal? In our view, No. How many of you are far from an electric plug-point. Even trains, buses and planes have electric outlets these days.

Whatever the schmucks may say, Windows is a fairly mature operating system (yes, you can set it to automatically update itself too). Au contraire, Cloud computing and diskless computers like Chromebooks have ways to go before they can come anywhere near the stability of Windows systems.

Bottom line, your favorite blog does not recommend Chromebooks for consumers.

4 Responses to "Do You Schmucks Need a Chromebook?"

  1. Naveen   May 14, 2011 at 4:25 am

    The introduction of these new gadgets is really healthy for the competition and overall computing experience. The thought of having so many choices is good. But you are correct, the new devices have to undergo the test of time to before they become a serious alternative to Windows/Mac. Responds:

    If Chromebook for consumers takes off, we’d be extremely surprised.

  2. siddhu085   May 17, 2011 at 7:18 am

    I feel chromebook is probably 10 years ahead of it’s time..when the infrastructure isn’t good enough to completely support cloud computing. I’d be interested in ChromeBook, if it was offered for around $200.

    Even now, 3G rates aren’t exactly very low and Wi-Fi isn’t omnipresent. I always thought there will be a time when mobile internet will become more and more cheaper and more stable. Maybe then, the ChromeBook will make inroads into the market share dominated by Microsoft Windows. Responds:

    Still can’t understand why people would trust their precious files and personal data to the cloud.

    • Naveen   May 18, 2011 at 12:46 am

      I agree… especially when many people have terrabytes of illegally downloaded movies and music 🙂 Responds:

      Amazon’s recent outage of its Cloud service must serve as a warning to all those MSFT-haters who wet their jetties at the mention of the word cloud.

      • siddhu085   May 19, 2011 at 5:53 am

        The only advocated solution at the moment now is a Hybrid storage – basically storing your stuff on the cloud as well as on your hard disk/drive.

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