Google has announced an enhancement to its already popular Google applications suite a cloud-based laptop developed in conjunction with manufacturers Samsung and Acer named what else – Chromebook. According to Google,
“You won’t have to wait minutes for your computer to boot and browser to start. You’ll be reading email in seconds.”
8 seconds actually, according to the product’s website. Who emails anymore? That’s a topic for another post.
The new offering from Google uses the company’s Chrome browser and Chromium operating system. Goggle, says the device can last an entire day on a single charge. An impressive feat and definitely one the that those tethered at an undesirable location with an electrical umbilical cord promising to complete one more blog post will welcome.
The device features:
- Automatic software updates
- Optional 3G with 100G data transfer
- Built in security
- Flash support
- Cloud based storage
Chromebooks are expected to be available in the US, UK, France, Netherlands, Italy and Spain on June 15, and additional countries will follow. Google released Chromebook initially for students at $20.00 per month at last week’s Google I/O conference. Now the company has announced Chromebooks for Business and Education for $28 per user per month for businesses.
What Do You Mean Cloud Computing Isn’t Magic
Despite shouts of Windows killer and the end of the desktop. It won’t happen. It’s hype. A storm or a dead spot and the laptop is rendered unusable – although Google promises it will fix the issue soon. Aren’t these basically slightly fancier versions of 80’s style dumb terminals. Plus, Google’s cloud-based operating system is not the first cloud based version – at least 10 viable options exist and they have not managed to “change the game.” That spot currently belongs to the venerable all-star Apple iPad, which introduced a sexy form factor, and a unique browsing experience that has enticed millions of users to drop a grand on something nobody really needs.
However, at $20 a month, the Chromebook is not a significant investment and will likely entice many to at least try it out. Before renting the device, users may want to ask a few questions like:
- Who will do customer service? Will customers be caught between retailers selling the device and Google to get answers?
- How frequently can hardware be exchanged?
- Who will fix the laptop should something go wrong?
- What happens if your kid breaks the device?
We are not trying to be overly critical of the device. It might be awesome. Interested in taking a Chromebook for a test drive? The devices will be available at Amazon and Best Buy domestically starting next month. If you decide to invest, be sure to come back and let us know what you think of your new toy.