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The Fixes That Google Chrome OS Still Needs To Make 128

Posted by timothy
from the ok-but-where's-the-windows-menu dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Thomas Claburn at Information Week opines that Google's Chrome OS is actually morphing into the Windows-style os that it intended to make obsolete. There's still room to grow, and here are his suggestions for how to make it better: Get better hardware, Include a Web-based IDE, Support local storage, Allow offline apps. 'When Chrome OS was launched in 2010, Google SVP of Chrome and apps Sundar Pichai declared, "Chrome OS is nothing but the Web." Now, if you peer behind the browser pane, it's clear that Chrome OS is looking beyond the Web. It's not a complete repudiation of Google's bet on the appeal of a thin-client system that keeps user data in the cloud. But it is a concession to the realities of a market that's more comfortable with the familiar desktop metaphor.'"
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The Fixes That Google Chrome OS Still Needs To Make

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  • How else can you reasonably get the many arbitrary documents into Google Docs if you cannot upload them yourself as needed?

    http://code.google.com/p/chromium-os/issues/detail?id=2343 [google.com]

    • You linked to a feature request for support for the Windows LAN file sharing protocol. Why can't you upload the documents to Google Docs from the machine sharing them or, if it's a headless server, from the machine on which you saved it to the server?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Because it's suppposed to be a computer which one uses to do everything online.
        I don't have the resources to upload every file a user wants to work with, or give them
        a second computer just for this purpose.

        -GP, from another device

        • by tepples (727027)

          Because it's suppposed to be a computer which one uses to do everything online.

          SMB works over a LAN. It's not intended to work "online" (that is, over the Internet) except over a VPN.

          I don't have the resources to upload every file a user wants to work with

          But the user who created the file and put it on the Samba server probably does. Or are we talking about a situation where one set of desktop PC users has access to the Samba server and not the Internet and another set of users has access to the Internet but only through Chrome OS?

          Now before anyone accuses me of being a shill, I'm just trying to help triage this feature request to see whether or not the

          • Fuck that. 'Scuse the "French".

            Google Docs cannot import Word files larger than 1MB!

            Yeah, I see this as a viable business alternative. It's pretty pathetic.

            Google is great at giving the promise of brilliance to incomplete solutions and those with missing use cases. They gloss this over with a mystique of iterative, agile, dynamic mumbo jumbo.

            Look what they've done with Chrome. The horrible version inflation of the industry has been driven by their leading crackpottery. Now we have 2-year-old browsers with

            • Now we have 2-year-old browsers with double-digit version numbers

              If you're complaining about version numbering schemes that lack a dot, Emacs beat them to it.

              • by wed128 (722152)

                To be fair, emacs dropped their dot when they realised the '2' to the left of it would probably never change again.

            • I actually use Google Apps for Education here at work - it supports docs greater than 1 megabyte...

              On samba/cifs/smb - you can map out the g-drive to dfs or directly to a workstation - on a Chromebook I think its a valid feature request.

              • Maybe natively.

                Not Word import - at least not last June, when I went mad over this, for a non-profit I work with.

              • by ewok85 (1705550)

                Its 2mb now!

                And I don't think it is a valid feature request - you need a computer to put a file on a samba share - there is no reason you cannot upload it to docs instead. A file share is only useful while you have access, be it locally on the same network or via a VPN externally. Once its on GDocs it is available from anywhere.

  • by The MAZZTer (911996) <megazzt@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday April 12, 2012 @08:54AM (#39656393) Homepage
    Local storage via several APIs (virtual filesystem, SQL database, simple localStorage) and offline apps (HTML5 offline, completely locally installed apps, and recently storing any file on the virtual filesystem was added) are already fully supported. Just because no one is making them doesn't make it Google's fault. There are a few Web based IDEs out there, assuming stuff like Cloud9 and jsFiddle. As for better hardware, Google seems to have already upped the hardware from their initial spec (Cr-48 is not getting Chrome 19, I can only assume it doesn't meet the requirements).
    • Local storage via several APIs (virtual filesystem, SQL database, simple localStorage) and offline apps (HTML5 offline, completely locally installed apps, and recently storing any file on the virtual filesystem was added) are already fully supported.

      But how much space is allowed for offline apps and local storage? Can a 100 MB game be installed locally and played offline? Can a 1 GB video be downloaded to local storage and played offline?

      • by Altanar (56809)
        My CR-48 has no problems storing and playing large videos. I play an offline version of Angry Birds that's installed onto the computer. Plays Bastion ( http://chrome.supergiantgames.com/ [supergiantgames.com] )easily, too, but there's no offline mode for that. As for total storage? The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook has a 16 GB solid state drive. The OS takes up about 300 MB. About total 1 GB total if you add in web cache. At the worst, you have 14 GB free.
        • by Altanar (56809)
          Also worth noting: It has a memory card slot that you can use as extra storage. And it supports flash drives.
        • by tepples (727027)

          My CR-48 has no problems storing and playing large videos.

          Yeah, I was just confused by reports on Stack Overflow of the application cache and local storage under Apple's iOS being limited to 5 MB each, either per origin or per domain (I forget which), and thought this practice was widespread among non-PC Internet terminal platforms such as Android, webOS, and Chrome OS.

        • by Danzigism (881294) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @02:55PM (#39662577)
          I love the CR-48. However I have mine running FreeBSD-9.0 with Fluxbox. All the hardware surprisingly works. When I had Chrome OS on there, it ran very well. People tend to forget that these things run Linux, so if you want actual programs physically installed to the hard drive, then put the sucker in developer mode and get crankin. However to give this functionality to your average Joe who knows nothing of computers, defeats the entire purpose of these devices. The only people complaining are the savvy users anyway.
    • by dskzero (960168)
      I'd like to try the OS, but it seems redundant. Why would I do so? The only reason Chrome OS would be attractive is if it had a wide range of applications that could be attractive. I think that's the point. (Which is, conversely, the reason why I don't make the complete switch to Linux in all of my boxes: apps)
    • by Rich0 (548339)

      Wow, the cr-48 is already obsolete? It is only 1.5 years old.

      So, is the message that companies shouldn't buy chromebooks unless they want to have an annual hardware replacement cycle? Considering my employer won't replace anything less than 4 years old, and doesn't replace stuff older than that unless it breaks, good luck with that strategy.

      These aren't cell phones we're talking about...

  • by DuckDodgers (541817) <keeper_of_the_wo ... m ['yah' in gap]> on Thursday April 12, 2012 @09:03AM (#39656467)
    I think his laundry list of recommended changes is obvious to anyone that's been paying attention.

    1. Better hardware. No kidding - right now Chrome OS is aimed at schools and businesses, which if they need a locked down browser environment should be okay with what they have now. But if they want consumer adaptation, offer at least the option of better hardware. I'll buy a Chomebook when I can get Sandy Bridge or a Tegra 4 (yes, I meant 4) processor and a graphics chip that supports at least one external monitor and really good WebGL.

    2. Web-based IDE. Again, I think this would spur power user adoption of Chrome OS, though I consider this the least essential of the features.

    3. Support local storage. No kidding. It will be a while before HTML5 storage is available at all the websites people routinely use.

    4. Offline apps. No kidding yet again. I don't want my device to be useless for my family every time our internet connection has a hiccup.
    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday April 12, 2012 @09:10AM (#39656513) Homepage Journal

      I don't like the "thin client" at all. "Thin clients" used to be called "terminals". We moved away from terminals to PCs for very good reasons, such as if the network or server goes down you can still get work done. You're not beholden to the server's rules.

      Lots of IT people like thin clients because it means job security and control of users.

      I'll stick with Linux and my own network. The internet and networks in general are for sharing data, nothing more.

      • by Robert Zenz (1680268) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @09:15AM (#39656559) Homepage
        I'm all for Thin Clients if they make sense. F.e. if the workstations need to access a database on the server anyway to get work done, you make them Thin Clients in the first place. On the other hand, thin clients are abused on places where they do not belong...and vice versa. I've seen many abuses of workstations, too.
      • by Altanar (56809) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @10:05AM (#39657167)

        The internet and networks in general are for sharing data, nothing more.

        Funny. Sharing data is 99% of my computer use. Without the Internet, I might as well not own a computer.

        • by zarlino (985890)

          But you need some time offline to *create* the things that you will later share.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Well, these days it's a very large part of my computer use as well; I use my Linux PC mostly for radio stations (man I was glad when KSHE started streaming) and TV (Hulu and the networks' own sites, it's the only way for me to watch Big Bang Theory). But if the internet goes down I still have plenty of oggs, mp3, and movies and other shows on it. And I may not be able to surf slashdot when the internet's down, but at least I can compose a journal for when it comes back up.

          Exactly the opposite of 1983 when I

      • by theurge14 (820596) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:07AM (#39658025)

        I'd really like to know how many offices in the year 2012 can "still get work done" without a network connection.

        And what's wrong with IT people liking it? Considering the monumental amount of work done putting out fires every day due to user error it affects the company bottom line eventually.

        • by zarlino (985890)

          Still, it is possible to develop applications that can work offline and sync with a remote server when network connection is available. Many new mobile apps do this. Office software should do it too.

        • by jayteedee (211241)

          Considering the huge number of classified defense projects that are on isolated PC's (or workstations), I'd say a whole lot gets done without a network connection in 2012.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          I'd really like to know how many offices in the year 2012 can "still get work done" without a network connection.

          With a thin client your computer is down when the network is down. With a fat client your office apps all still work as long as you have your data saved on the local hard drive. And there's always sneakernet. PCs were in offices for years before they started getting connected to networks.

          And what's wrong with IT people liking it?

          Nothing, so long as it doesn't make users' jobs harder. After all, t

      • by jeti (105266)

        The personal computer was introduced when network infrastructure was typically limited to single buildings. We can now have a fast connection pretty much anywhere, even with mobile devices. Because of that, thin clients / terminals may have become a viable option again.

        • by jayteedee (211241)

          The PC was introduced before the network. And when the networks started, it was a single floor or group and local access only. It was years before we had connections to other groups, and then even more years to other people in the same company at different locations. And then years more before a general connection to the outside world.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          We had PCs in our office for ten years before they were networked together.

      • One of the biggest expenses for corporate IT departments is management of user computers. Thin clients make that relatively easy and much cheaper and faster than giving workstations to everyone. Making your application a web application, when that's appropriate (i.e. not for something resource intensive like graphics or computer aided design) also makes corporate IT costs lower - instead of deploying an upgrade to hundreds or thousands of machines, you update server software. In terms of security a thin
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          One of the biggest expenses for corporate IT departments is management of user computers.

          Without users you have no need for an IT department, so I'd say 100% of the expense of the IT department is is management of user computers.

          But for businesses, under some circumstances they're a good choice.

          Under some (perhaps limited) circumstances, yes. If a user's job is only entering data into a mainframe, then a thin client would make sense. But if spreadsheets, small databases, word processors, and other typical o

          • You're incorrect that thin clients block access to productivity applications. You can use remote desktop, Citrix, etc... (on both traditional thin clients and also Chrome OS devices, it's supported) to give user access to a complete desktop environment with spreadsheets, databases, word processors, and almost anything else you can imagine on a full Microsoft Windows (or if you prefer, Linux) desktop. The only exception, as I said earlier, heavily resource or graphics intensive applications that are poorl
      • by ewok85 (1705550)

        Thin clients mean more than job security and control of users. It means simplicity of maintenance and support. It means standardisation of hardware and software. In the right situations you get a better performance to price ratio, and lower overheads for hardware.

        I love the ChromeOS concept, but I don't think people understand it so well. When you start asking for local storage and better hardware you shouldn't be using ChromeOS any more. I waited a long time for a Chromebook, but when they were finally rel

    • right now Chrome OS is aimed at schools and businesses

      Judging from the ultra-lame marketing, it's not aimed at any particular market - it was just another Google "let's throw some more web sh*t at the wall and see if it sticks" experiment. And it's failed.

      Schools won't buy them - they weigh almost 3x as much as an iPad, and battery life sucks. And they're more expensive than either the iPad2 or a full-blown laptop, so forget schools.

      Businesses? Same deal and then some - add in that not every business wants to trust Google with their internal documents - financial forecasts, marketing plans, internal emails, client price lists, legal consultations, hiring and firing decisions, training manuals, product specs and proprietary formulas. Now throw in that in some fields it's not even legal to share information with any 3rd party because of the types of data involved. Heck, many businesses don't want employees on the web at all during business hours.

      So no, take this stupid chromebook, throw a red shirt on it, and have Dr. McCoy come out and say it's dead, already.

      • by Y-Crate (540566)

        In many ways, Google seems to have fallen victim to the same pattern of innovative ideas leading to half-baked products that cursed Apple back in the '90s.

        They're always throwing random new products out there, and you get the idea that they don't really believe in them from Day 1, and have little confidence in their ability to succeed. More often than not, the products are quietly dropped and early adopters are told essentially: "Thanks for giving it a shot!"

        Google Wave was interesting, except that Google d

        • by shiftless (410350)

          Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. This is basically what I've been screaming for a while now. Google is over as a company. Might take em 5-10 years to realize it, but it's true....

          • Google may soon be hitting the upper bounds of growth. It's not like there's unlimited demand for on-line (or any other) advertising. As more pages get viewed, the average cost per ad has to drop.

            They've managed to do some price support by mailing $100 adword credit vouchers to anyone and everyone (I've thrown two of them out so far) - the idea being not so much to get new customers as to help generate more of a bidding competition in each market. After all, if you're spending "free money", you can bid

        • by ewok85 (1705550)

          Except that Google Wave was never really a product - it was shown at a developers conference and given a limited release as something for developers to play with and expand upon. That people assumed it was an actual product is what doomed the project as a whole.

          But I do agree - I use Google Apps and despite all the good there is, there are so many features which are blindingly obvious but non-existent (Google Docs has terrible sharing options), or features and products which haven't been given a second look

      • I disagree. The marketing is poor and the hardware is behind the times. I grant both, and both are damning.

        But the problem with an iPad 2 or a laptop or a PC for a large group of users is three fold:
        1. On laptops and tablets, users have lots of data on the device, which will be lost if the device is lost or stolen unless you have an intelligent automated backup procedure (and an intelligent automated backup procedure requires the same constant network connectivity as a Chrome OS device, so you gain
        • The marketing is poor and the hardware is behind the times. I grant both, and both are damning.

          They really are damning, but in a much more significant fashion - Google is a marketing company first, a tech company second (everything else is third). They don't "get" hardware at all. "The chromebooks, they sucketh", and Android is so fragmented (gee, who would have thunk it - open source something and every manufacturer will fragment it. It's not like there weren't over 1,000 different linux distros to pr

          • It's an Apple marketing success to convince the general public that "lots of choices" should be stated in media articles as "fragmentation". Android has phones and tablets far cheaper than any iOS device, with more options for peripherals, more user interface options, etc... and it's been spun into a problem instead of an advantage.

            In terms of money, Android is a serious investment in Google's long term future. Advertising revenue is Google's lifeblood, and smart phones offer more lucrative targeted ad
            • I'll try to deal with your points one at a time.

              It's an Apple marketing success to convince the general public that "lots of choices" should be stated in media articles as "fragmentation". Android has phones and tablets far cheaper than any iOS device, with more options for peripherals, more user interface options, etc... and it's been spun into a problem instead of an advantage.

              It is fragmentation, and it's not Apple who is say it - it's developers, who say that because of the way that there is no standa

              • It's a good discussion, thanks.

                First, I think you and I have at least two goals that are at odds. I want to see more competition to drive down prices, and I want to see more adoption of free software because of both the competition it fosters and the fact that the biggest headaches of my day job is proprietary software. ( I don't object to paying a software license if the product works. I object to the fact that managing the licensing for my proprietary apps is a fucking nightmare, and I object to th
                • Thanks - I try.

                  The LInus quote wasn't meant to be the "untimate" definitive quote on the sorry state of the Linux desktop, btw. It's just indicative of how even people who use it all the time ... well, it still has usability issues.

                  I had been using opensuse for years, having stuck with it despite the kde 4.0 fiasco ... but it went the way of all distros on the last upgrade, totally crapware, and my choices, after a lot of looking around, were to either go to bsd (still tempting), go back to slackware (w

                  • I am most of the local developers, it's a very small company. In our case, we used Crystal Reports Application Server 9 for $650 per permanent server license in 2003. Last time we contacted whoever owns them now for an estimate, it was $15,000 per server per year. We replaced it with Jasper Reports, which is open source, and bought the add-on report server Jasper Server, which is not. Jasper Server's annual price tripled, so we dropped it and wrote our own report display and automated delivery web GU
                    • "Last time we contacted whoever owns them now"

                      I feel your pain. I remember when Crystal Reports was a joke. Just goes to show, I guess ...

                      On the "friends who bought PCs" - they could have returned the bundled printers and got that portion of their money back, plus a few bucks for their time and inconvenience. That's what small claims court is for, and if enough people do it, retailers will have to do a better job of informing their customers. If they can't be bothered, it's one of those "you get th

                    • My point with the Vista and game examples is that the commercial vendors have a generally better end user experience, but they're still very far from perfect. I'm not asking TANSTAAFL to be violated, I'm just providing examples where big players made similar classes of errors to the little community-driven Linux distributions.

                      As for licenses and license management, I'm hoping nothing is done - because at least for me, high proprietary software costs and license frustration is what got me interested in f
                    • Unfortunately, it's not going to happen. Testing and proper development cost $$$. The last couple of decades have seen an absolute explosion of crappy software from both proprietary and open-source vendors - but at least the proprietary ones have both the financial incentives and the means to do proper testing, and to pay people to do the stuff that nobody volunteers for.

                      Today was another example - printing envelopes using libreoffice under linux - it's more than 20 years behind the times. For me, it n

                    • But when a company that has the resources for testing and proper development still screws up, it makes me ten times as angry as when a loosely affiliated group of volunteers makes a mistake. So I'm left with a choice between being annoyed a few times per month at my Ubuntu desktop at home or frothing at the mouth and shouting obscenities at my Windows workstation at the office a few times per year.

                      And there are some things the open source community plainly does better - try to read the documentation fo
    • by Svartalf (2997)

      Local storage and offline apps breaks the "in the cloud" model that they've got for ChromeOS.

      The big problem then is that they've already got a competing OS that does all of this and more, does it without needing "the cloud" (without utterly ubiquitous (as in absolutely everywhere...) access to "the cloud", the things become bricks or almost so...) - and it's in phones and tablets everywhere making much, much bigger inroads than ChromeOS will probably hope to anytime soon. The intro video on it paints a ni

  • by alen (225700) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @09:13AM (#39656545)

    i was a CR-48 beta tester and never figured out the point of it. they look like laptops but the OS is gimped. yet cost the same as a netbook. what is the point of buying one?

    the ipad does more which is why apple is selling every one they make

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They make good kiosks, although you need to plug-in a mouse,
      rather than rely on the goofy touchpad.

    • Exactly,

      I have a CR-48 sitting on my desk. It has been off for at least a year. I was unable to do any of the things I do on a daily basis with it. I need a full terminal with ssh support, a nice development environment that doesn't require 3rd party servers I am not in control of, and the ability to play and listen to my 40 gigs of music.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Exactly,

        I have a CR-48 sitting on my desk. It has been off for at least a year. I was unable to do any of the things I do on a daily basis with it. I need a full terminal with ssh support, a nice development environment that doesn't require 3rd party servers I am not in control of, and the ability to play and listen to my 40 gigs of music.

        I know what you mean. I have a Porsche 911 sitting in my garage. Haven't driven it for at least a year. I need lots of seating room for my kid's little league team, off-road suspension so I don't have to rely on someone else's paved roads, and the ability to haul a trailer containing my collection of fourteen thousand Betamax tapes.

        Whenever someone asks me why the hell I bought a product that in no way fits my requirements, I just quickly change the subjLOOK BEHIND YOU, A THREE-HEADED MONKEY!!!

        • I didn't buy it, I was selected to test it. I had no idea what capabilities they would give it. Turns out, it was functionally useless for anything I do with technology.

          Sucked as a web browser (tablet is better) and sucked as a laptop.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      People are so short sided, perhaps its the world we live in but imagine a day when networks are truly ubiquitous, reliable (99.9999), and storage is dirt cheap(wait we're here already). In this world, ChromeOs (or similar OS's) and thin client machines that run them will be the norm.

      • by alen (225700) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @09:34AM (#39656747)

        so? why would i spend the exact same amount of $$$ on a laptop that does less than a similar spec'd laptop with a different OS

        my ipad makes it comfortable for me to use a computer on my sofa, train to work and has a wide variety of applications that no one had dreamed was possible 5 years ago.

        the chromebook seems to only be a web browser, something that is going the way of the dodo little by little

        • I think this is Chromebook's biggest failing, price. People just do not want to spend laptop money on a thin-client laptop
        • by ffflala (793437)
          It seems like the people who prefer tablets aren't clear on the difference between the hardware and the OS. A Chromebook is a laptop, it has minimal internal storage and impressive battery life. You can install other Linux flavors on it besides ChromeOS.

          To clarify: a Chromebook is not limited to ChromeOS. If you were going to buy a laptop with similar specs and price already, and the only difference is what OS comes preinstalled, ChromeOS will be the most widely available preinstalled Linux option.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Everything I've read recently says people want apps not web apps. The market has spoken.

        • I disagree - or at least, I think the market is not that intelligent about this idea.

          I think what we're seeing is a reflection of the fact that people still tend to appreciate the distinction between things which require internet access, and things which do not - even if it isn't that well informed. People want to be able to say "right, this device can do all of these things with no internet access, and contains this data". But they also want to make sure that, from as many places as possible, they can sync

          • by kris2112 (136712)

            Mobile Safari allows you to add any bookmark to the Home screen.

            When viewing a page, press the action button in the center of the tool bar and press Add to Home Screen.

            This feature has been available for a couple years.

      • While we're at it, let's imagine a world where unicorns have been genetically engineered into reality...

        We don't live in that world, and there are very good reasons to think we may never. There are other, equally good reasons, to think it would be a horrible idea to design a modern economy/society based solely on that assumption. But all of that is a sideshow to the fact that we do not live in that world now.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I don't see how this world you describe (internet everywhere, 5 9's, cheap storage) is going to make thin clients popular again. For all intents and purposes I have all of those things where I live, and I have zero desire to use a thin client cloud solution. A hybrid I'm down for (stuff I want to be in the cloud is in the cloud, data only, not apps, everything else is local), but certainly not everything over a wire.

        Thin clients blow, been there before, more than once, and I don't see anything in Chrome O

      • by Svartalf (2997)

        Short sighted? Really? Is it that or is it that you're looking at pipedreams?

        Networks being truly being ubiquitous isn't going to be around for quite a while yet to come. Storage being dirt cheap, yeah. But where is it residing? In some central repository...that can be raided. You're hoping on the sheer volume to prevent it from being nabbed from that repository. Ask all the differing retail and banking interests about that sort of thing and see what they have to say about card/ssn/etc. info being l

    • by ffflala (793437)
      I picked up a Samsung Series 5 last summer, and it came with 2 years of (minimal backup) 3G service, which when amortized into the total cost made Series 5 a decent budget buy.

      3G plus excellent battery life means that it has been very useful as a commuter device -- particularly on trains and planes, or in the middle of nowhere. In these circumstances it's better than a smartphone, and I prefer it to any tablet device I've used so far -- but mainly simply because it has a real keyboard. And I'd already b
  • by blahbooboo (839709) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @09:25AM (#39656645)

    Seriously large omission is a JRE for Chrome OS

  • by sootman (158191) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @10:32AM (#39657547) Homepage Journal

    ... and devote the resources to something else. Seriously. The market for "I need a laptop that can run a browser and nothing else" is 1) ridiculously small and 2) can be fulfilled with nothing more than a properly-configured Linux distro. Netbooks, while popular in some areas, were NOT the sales success that many people thought they would be. An even more limited netbook will not likely fare better.*

    Laptops are already pretty cheap. The theoretical savings of making a stripped-down laptop that just runs a browser are not offset the costs of such low-volume production.

    Tablets are the way to go. The market has spoken. "Simplicity" in computing does not mean "I want to run everything in a browser", it means "I want to click giant icons and run one, fullscreen, sandboxed app at a time." Sorry, Chrome OS team--you went the wrong direction.

    In other news, I literally LOLed when some guy at Google was talking about how a Chromebook (that is, one particular piece of hardware) would actually "get faster over time" due to its automatic software updates (which would presumably bring increased efficiency and performance.) BULL SHIT. Why is the Web largely unusable on anything less than 1 GHz anymore? Oh right, because web pages are getting fatter all the time! Does anyone REALLY think that Google will make the OS more efficient faster than web pages will become more bloated?

    Seriously Google: KILL THAT SHIT and let those employees work on something worthwhile.

    * and before anyone mentions the iPad: yes, it is more limited in some ways, but it's also more powerful in others. On the other hand, I can't think of a single thing a Chromebook can do that a Netbook can't also do, but a Netbook can do literally everything that any other computer can do, while Chromebooks are limited to "I can do some things that happen within a browser."

    • by jeti (105266)

      Any savings will not be with the initial purchase. Maintenance, however, may be cheaper. A properly sandboxed platform that is always up to date and stores all user data on servers may be attractive to libraries, schools and even large companies.

      • by Svartalf (2997)

        And if you think that the data will be omnipresent and in the total control of these groups, I've got some nifty oceanside real-estate on the Florida Coast to sell you...only a few gators on it...

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      I largely tend to agree, but there are some disadvantages of a Netbook:

      1. They usually require some level of configuration when you provision them.
      2. It is easy to store and work with local data, which means that not all your data will be someplace safe if something bad happens.

      I've tinkered with my cr-48 here and there, and one thing that is nice is that I ever mess things up too much I just reimage the thing - takes 15 minutes. Then I turn it on, log in just like I do any other time I turn it on, and i

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Netbooks, while popular in some areas, were NOT the sales success that many people thought they would be."

      Because manufacturers added features and pushed the price into notebook territory.

    • by ffflala (793437)

      I can't think of a single thing a Chromebook can do that a Netbook can't also do, but a Netbook can do literally everything that any other computer can do, while Chromebooks are limited to "I can do some things that happen within a browser."

      You're conflating the hardware (Chromebook) with the OS (ChromeOS). You can install other OSes on Chromebooks; in fact you're guaranteed to be able to install other Linux flavors on it, since ChromeOS is itself one... and thus can do literally everything that any other computer can do, at least as far as any Netbook can.

      • by sootman (158191)

        > You're conflating the hardware (Chromebook) with the OS (ChromeOS).

        Chrome was created to run on small netbooks. From Wikipedia: "Google developers began coding the operating system in 2009, inspired by the growing popularity and lower power consumption of netbooks and the focus of these small laptops on Internet access." They've also shown it on tablets, but the advantages over Android are unclear, especially with how mature Android has become over the years.

        Long story short, I don't see any point to C

  • "But it is a concession to the realities of a market that's more comfortable with the familiar desktop metaphor."

    It isn't the "metaphor" at all. It's the "reality" of people "being comfortable" with what works, and not comfortable with what doesn't.

    Google and others have pushed "the cloud" prematurely. It just doesn't work well enough yet. There are far too many issues:

    (1) Unpredictable downtime for even the most robust of services (in 2011 those included Google and Amazon).

    (2) Security issues, including (a) who has authorized access, (b) who normally has actual access including physical access, and (c) vulne

  • What stops me from using Chrome OS, Apple products in general, and Android phones is privacy. I should be allowed to use any device without having to have an account. I think that requirement is rediculous. Even websites are now pushing logging in with Facebook, Twitter, etc. Do you really need to know who I am? I semi-anonymity really that repulsive or wrong?

    I really want to have an iPhone, but I don't want to be tracked, my purchases be tracked and logged, the music and books I read be reviewable for othe

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern

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