June 25, 2011

Chromebook vs. Reality

Google’s Chromebook has only been on the market for a few days, but it already feels outdated. The idea that people would want a special form of hardware to access the cloud is an example of outmoded thinking. After all, the cloud is about flexibility; tying it to a particular piece of hardware is counter-intuitive. Or is it?

The number of businesses designed around the cloud seems to grow daily. There are programmers, security experts, even specialized management and administration services. But the notion of how we will interact with the cloud is still relatively undefined. Will the cloud be purely a storage system which allows people to use their current devices without any ill effects, or will it truly revolutionize computing as so many breathless white papers have predicted?

If Apple has its way, you’ll use the cloud via specialized interfaces on the same old hardware. Google would like it very much if you opted for the Chromebook, because the Chromebook has been designed for a streamlined and efficient cloud using experience, whatever that may be. Right now, Google’s argument is not as convincing, because the price of its Chromebook is so high. Why would anyone pay that much for a device which basically has fewer offline features than any of the existing mobile devices?

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