They are cloud-computing based machines, and have taken a very different direction to supply cloud computing, when compared with the direction that the new Windows 8 operating system promises.
Google suddenly released the Chromebook in May 2011, and there was a lot of noise about this new concept in personal computing. The Chromebook is the first completely cloud operating system. It is the first time we have seen cloud computing in this way. Chromebooks run on the Chrome OS, which is essentially an extended version of the Chrome browser. In otherwords, your Chromebook, which looks like a laptop will need to be online all the time to do anything. You can think of it as an internet browser that has all the programs and everything else on your computer, except, nothing is actually on your computer. Everything is stored in your Google account or other online locations. Windows 8 is taking a completely different approach, it is also going cloud by allowing the same computing language of the internet work on your operating system independently of your browser, and still allowing more traditional programming languages of applications function at the same time. With Windows, we get cloud and not cloud, at the same time. So, while only available in the US, what have we seen so far with Chromebooks in a few shortmonths.
- Still More Tablet Like.Real user reviews are showing us that the Chromebook is more like owning a tablet with a keyboard. This means that we cannot really use one for getting all those tough jobs done, like doing design, producing super-cool presentations or maintaining a company network, for example. In other words, at this stage, the Chromebook is for of a casual internet surfer’s mini-computer and can supply the needs of a student who needs to get some research and textual work done. That is not to say that we cannot do more than that, but the fact remains, the Chromebook is not for the mobile warrior.
- Cheap or Expensive.Google is shipping Chromebooks with payment plans that seem very attractive. Business can have them for about 30 dollars a month over 3 years, and students can get them for about 20 dollars a month for the same period of time. This includes all hardware and software updates. In reality, there will be no hardware updates, and software updates do not exist because there is nothing on the machine to be updated. When Chrome OS or applications are updated, they will not be on your computer anyway. While the price seems very cheap, considering what we are getting for our money, we could be buying a cheaper tablet for much less money. Only if Chrome OS and the applications improve greatly in a very short period of time, will we be getting the amazing deal it sounds like. Remember, the Chromebook is still not a replacement of a personal computer and running something like the new Windows 8 upgrade with improved features. As a matter of fact, it is nothing like a personal computer yet. It is like an oversized smartphone with a keyboard. Other operating system upgrades are usually very cheap, and updates and application updates, such as the Windows 8 upgrade, are cheap or already included in the original price.
- Internet Relative.Google Apps are numerous and if you are used to using the Google system of getting things done like using Gmail, Docs, and all that comes with it, you are probably used to Google Apps. There are applications to allow you to edit photos and movies, for example. At the same time, if your internet connection is not superfast, using these online applications can be a little frustrating for even novice users. Chromebooks come with 100G of online access per month, and this could easily be used up by someone, if they were a heavy user. 3g users know that some applications do not work as well as with other types of applications. VOIP calling applications still do not have the quality over 3g wireless networks like they do with land-based broadband and cable networks.
If you think a Chromebook is a personal computer, as it stands, you are mistaken. It would be great to see the Chromebook provide the same user experience and features of a personal computer, and this is also further dependent on the speed and stability of wireless networks. It is doubtful wireless 3g or 4g networks will improve to match cable stability and speed for some time to come, if ever.
For Further Reading:
- Buy Google’s Chromebook? Read Why Not To Buy it
- What Is The Google Chromebook?
- Is Cloud Computing Just A Return To The IBM 3270 Days?
- Research Shows Internet Explorer Users To Have Lower IQ
- Sony Released PS3 Firmware v3.60 Today: Jailbreak Users Stay Away
- Applying Some Windows Tweaks and Tips for Better Performance
- How To Log On To Windows XP If You Don’t Remember The Password
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