Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

Summary: Chromebooks will speed Cloud adoption but there's a single, significant drawback to the Chromebook. And, no, it's not the price, although that's kind of a bummer.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Google
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According to the Big Book of Journalism, the answer to any headline question is, "No." But, just this once, I'm going to break with time-honored tradition and say, "Yes." Chromebooks will speed Cloud adoption. Why? Glad you asked. It's because you can't run Windows programs on the damned things, that's why. And, yes, it does matter. Windows, for the moment, still rules the desktop. That moment is as fleeting as your misspent youth.

The Chromebook actually symbolizes everything that I've wanted to say about the future of desktop computing from the very beginning of this column. Alas, the only thing missing is someplace to connect to for a functional desktop operating system.

The idea of a Chromebook is very cool. It's light, it's agile, it's diminutive, it's fast and it's severely lacking in the ability to run Windows applications. Or, is it?

You can run cloud-based desktops using RDP on your Chromebook to give you the look and feel of hand-tooled operating system goodness.

The single downside of the Chromebook, however, is a major one. The downside is you, the consumer. If you don't understand how advantageous the Cloud is for you, then you probably don't want a Chromebook or a Cloudbook or an iPad or an iPhone or anything that stores data in the Cloud. The Cloud is evil, you know. If you have any doubt as to the Cloud's inanimate, yet evil nature, browse my other posts in "Virtually Speaking" and read the comments. You'll soon understand.

Under the hood, a Chromebook is a Linux system, customized by Google that runs the Chrome browser as its interface. That's your desktop--a browser. It's efficient and I use Chrome exclusively as my browser anyway. So, it's a natural fit for someone who uses Linux, the Chrome browser and has a keen interest in the Cloud.

I want a Chromebook. But, I have a laptop, a netbook, an iPad and a few servers so my desire might outweigh my need at the moment. But, the thought of having another totally agnostic client system with no data stored on it appeals to me. That, and the proposed price tag that's way higher than a netbook and about the same as a full-blown laptop. Seriously, if you want me to buy one, it will have to be cheap (Under $200) otherwise, I'll stick with what I have.

However, if you are looking for a new laptop and you enjoy using Zoho, Google Docs, other web-based applications or a remote desktop, it could be just the thing for you.

I do believe that Chromebooks will speed cloud adoption because there's no way to install full applications on it. You'll have to use Dropbox or another online storage provider to store your docs and files. Of course, Google wants you to convert to a full Google solution (GMail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, etc). That's understandable but not practical for a lot of folks who've accustomed themselves to other solutions.

What do you think? Are you going to buy a Chromebook when they go on sale tomorrow? Do you think the Chromebook with speed Cloud adoption? Talk back and let me know.

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Topics: Mobility, Google

About

Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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96 comments
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  • Chromebook = Google's Kin

    It's a laughing stock in comparison with Android.
    LBiege
    • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

      @LBiege

      Makes you wonder why they didn't create an Androidbook.
      khess
      • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

        @khess they did kind of, ASUS Transformer
        fdaugherty
    • Chromebook: Kin to no one

      @LBiege I just don't see this working out. It's the same size as a laptop. It's not cheaper than a laptop. It's less convenient than a tablet. You can't make phone calls on it. You're "locked-in" to a Google ecosphere. Where's the benefit?
      Olderdan
      • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

        @Olderdan I made a phone call on my cr-48!
        rVLn-4
      • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

        @Olderdan you can make phone calls on it - Google Talk.
        ddevito@...
      • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

        @Olderdan Why do you say you're locked-in to Google. It's more practical, yes, but the web is as free as it gets.
        FanaticGeek
    • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

      @LBiege Ive been beta testing the chrome os for last 3 monthes. I'm not laughing. This new OS is cool as heck, I love it. The android is not my cup of tea, I like the laptop
      form factor. I like a keyboard I can feel. :)
      rVLn-4
      • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

        @rVLn-4 ... A tad more research would help you a lot. Check into leaving chrome-anything and bringing your data along with you to the new, wonderful application. They're out to lock you in as a customer, just like MS has done for two decades.
        tom@...
    • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

      @LBiege You mean BrowserBook?
      jessiethe3rd
  • This is totally backwards thinking

    I'm supposed to intentionally *cripple* myself to force myself into using something that itself required crippling my OS... and for that I get the priviledge of paying a lot more money?<br><br>How does that speed anything?<br><br>Seriously - when the first netbooks came out - they were running Linux with an 'easy to use shell' on top. They were returned in droves... people wanted a laptop with Windows.<br><br>Since you can take a cheaper netbook and installed Chrome on it - you get the best of both worlds - and a lot of other worlds.<br><br>Sorry - this is a solution desperately looking for a problem - and if it can't find out - it will try to make one out of nothing.

    The author wants and believes the future is the one he likes - the public is saying 'WTF?' They're not the problem - the problem is that no one has proposed a serious value position that makes 'the cloud' as the ONLY source a viable or even desirable solution to most people.

    The Chromebook does nothing to help here - it's expensive, limited and forces me into a use pattern that's wholly unnatural while giving me nothing new or better.

    Fix THAT and we'll talk about the 'evils' of the cloud. That's entirely second tier.
    TheWerewolf
    • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

      @TheWerewolf

      Please note that I did say, " It?s because you can?t run Windows programs on the damned things, that?s why. And, yes, it does matter. Windows, for the moment, still rules the desktop."
      khess
      • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

        @khess what @Thewerewolf is stating is that you are applying flawed logic. Specifically, the logical fally you employed was a confirming the consequent. Chromebooks may (unlikely) or may not (likely) be successful. Whatever happens to the chromebooks will have no material impact to cloud solutions, save possibly a possble uptick in Google cloud solutions due to cross-selling.
        Your Non Advocate
    • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

      @TheWerewolf Your a naysayer; Ive been beta testing this thing for last 3 monthes. It's not so bad. All the crap you have to worry about with a desktop and a laptop running some bulky windows os, the chrome os leaves that out. No maintenance, No patches, No Virus updates or scans. All of which was a headache. It's all internet which is exactly what I need.
      rVLn-4
      • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

        @rVLn-4

        "No maintenance, No patches,"

        What distortion field are you in? Everything requires maintenance . . .
        mgaul
      • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

        @rVLn-4 There will be no patches? So ChromeOS will be exactly the same as it is now forever?

        Wow that sucks. They are missing a lot of features, and the moment security holes are found these things will be useless.
        vel0city
    • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

      @TheWerewolf

      No viruses, no software updates, 8 second cold boot, instant on from sleep, all day battery life.

      Yeah those do nothing to help anybody.
      ddevito@...
      • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

        @ddevito@...

        If I unplug my coffee pot I get the same results from it.
        NoAxToGrind
      • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

        @ddevito@...

        Chromebooks are about as virus-proof as Macs are. That is, not at all. They're relying on Security Through Obscurity. This is never a good idea. If Chromebooks catch on and sell a lot of units then the virus makers will find a way to hack them as well and then we'll be right back at square one, having to deal with viruses and trojans, etc., on yet another OS.
        josh92
      • RE: Will Chromebooks Speed Cloud Adoption?

        @ddevito@... No updates? ChromeOS will be the exact same as it is now, forever? That sucks.
        vel0city