Update: 2012-11-01 – I just bought my first Apple MacBookPro. Duh… I’ve blown it by not buying one of these years ago. They are instant on already. Why did I not listen to my own son for so many years. If you are a die-hard PC person and need a new laptop, just go buy an Apple MacBookPro. You won’t be sorry.
Will The Google Chromebook Revolutionize Computing?
It very may will.
How often have you dreamed about turning on your computer in less than 8 seconds and then getting to work. If Google delivers on their promise, that’s what you’ll be able to do very soon. They’re describing it as the “Instant Web”. And with broadband as popular and ubiquitous as it is today, you really won’t need Microsoft Office or MS Word, or anything like that. Google has duplicated most of those programs online.
To me, this seems pretty dangerous to Microsoft’s long time monopoly. I know that Microsoft has tried to imitate Google’s products with the Live.com implementation but they haven’t made it simple enough and I can envision Google moving into this space very effectively.
The Chromebook is supposed to be able to be connected to the Internet 24/7 while you are at home using WIFI and through Verizon Wireless while on the road with prices starting free for 100 Megabytes of data per month and up to $50.00 per month for an additional 5 Gigabytes of data per month. There are also a few other plans in between.
No More Installing Software
All of your applications (things like word processing, databases, and spreadsheets) and your actual working files will be stored in “the Cloud”. I know, a lot of you are thinking, “What is this darn cloud anyway?”. Well, there you have the definition. It’s not really that hard; the Cloud is the Internet. Your files, instead of being held on your computer, will be held on Google’s servers, protected by your password. That’s the Cloud in a nutshell.
Today’s connections are very sophisticated and security, although never perfect, is strong enough to protect company’s and individual’s private documents. And because connections are now very fast, this makes it practical for you not to have to worry about your files being on your own computer.
I have to say, it really sounds good. Google has already built and maintains word processors, spreadsheet programs, database programs, drawing programs, email programs, and even things that are the equivalent of PowerPoint for presentations.
These programs are all at Google Docs already. So it appears that the Chromebooks will be reasonably priced laptops that require no installation of programs (since the programs are already available online), require no constant updating (for the same reason), are secure, and most important, turn on as fast as a television set does!
Early versions of the Chromebook made by Samsung and Acer are available for pre-orders online at Amazon or at Best Buy. They range in price from $379.00 to $499.
Lastly, if you want to, you’ll be able to allow your friends and coworkers to view and even work on your documents together with you.
A few caveats and considerations:
One early adopter (not sure how he got the device) pointed out in an Amazon review that you can’t use programs like Photoshop, etc. and that it doesn’t have a CD or DVD drive so you can’t watch DVD, etc. So for now, it appears that if you need those programs or features you are going to still have to keep your old laptop.
Another threat to the success of this idea is the Popularity of iPads and other tablet computers. But, with all the conveniences and utility described about the Chromebook, I can envision them being the laptop of choice for many students and for families on a budget (and today, aren’t we all). I think there are still a lot of us who like a built in keypad rather than a touchscreen version like the iPads come with.
If this thing works and is executed as good as Google usually does stuff, it may very well redefine how most of us do our computing. Of course, all of this remains to be seen.
You can learn more about them (or buy one) here…
They are available for presale at Amazon: Chrome Books at Amazon.