Friday, May 13, 2011
Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 12:00 AM
"Google's Chromebooks risk repeating the same mistakes made by many failed predecessors, which could leave the door hanging open for Windows 8 to swoop in and dominate the cloud.
It is funny how often it generally takes for a new idea to stick in the market. We first started messing around with tablets in the early 90s. Now, nearly 20 years later, only one vendor has made a successful one: the Apple iPad."
An interesting argument against the entire Chromebook concept is presented in this article, citing an example of the failure of a whole genre of thin-client products from years ago. While some of the arguments are valid, a Chromebook is not a Sun Ray brain dead monstrosity. I know about the failure (or maybe better stated as lack of expected success) of the thin-client concept first hand, from beta testing the Sun Ray. Great concept, absolutely abysmal execution. No standalone capability. Fast forward to today, and enter the Chromebook: one can only hope that the designers and engineers have learned from history.
Great while online and connected, but, what happens when you're a two-hour drive from anywhere, and you want to use your Chromebook. Will a login even work while not connected to the cloud (somehow)? No WiFi, No 3G. Tablets were used as an example of a technology that failed the first time around, but improved and were successful in a second attempt. Will the second attempt at a thin-client (albeit a much, much better one) succeed? Rob's conclusion is that the Chromebooks will fail, and drive users to Windows 8. Personally I think that they will have some limited success, as many users really want only a browser, and do nothing else on a computer. It's early in the Chromebook game, but I'd be interested in what readers think of this whole Chromebook thin-client concept. Is $429 or $499 too expensive?