Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 14th Jun 2017 21:59 UTC
Windows

Microsoft first revealed its concerns over Chromebooks in an attack on Google’s laptops more than three years ago. While Chromebooks haven’t become best-sellers for consumers just yet, they have started to become popular with students in the US and slowly with some businesses. Microsoft is now revealing it's worried about this threat with two new videos on its Windows YouTube channel today.

One of the reasons Windows conquered the home was by first conquering the corporate world - people wanted the same computer at home as the one they were using at work. Now imagine if a whole generation of kids grows up with not just Android and iOS smartphones, but also ChromeOS PCs.

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platform independence
by unclefester on Thu 15th Jun 2017 03:00 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

A lot of businees software is now platform independent. You can access Gmail or Office from any web browser. That makes Wintel less compelling.

Windows 10 and ChromeOS are chalk and cheese on low end hardware. A Chromebook with a Celeron 3060, 4Gb of RAM and an eMMc is fast and responsive. The same hardware with Windows 10 is barely usable.

Reply Score: 5

RE: platform independence
by BlueofRainbow on Thu 15th Jun 2017 03:34 UTC in reply to "platform independence"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

I would go a bit further.

The main uses for most typically are typically web browsing/information researching, email/appointment booking, word processing, financial/numerical modeling, and presentation crafting. For these, one can use Chrome as a browser on Linux, OSX, and Windows, or as the full ChromeOS.

Some CPU/Resources intensive applications are still only Linux, OSX, and/or Windows. However, they could potentially be run remotely via the remote desktop capability of Chrome and ChromeOS.

Many of the old games can be run with an emulator coded in JavaScript. Even with a decent underlying hardware, one can contemplate running early Linuxes and Windows.

More and more multifunction printers are "cloud" aware allowing an easy set-up for printing from a chromebook. There are even 3D design/printing applications which can be run via a browser!

At the low end price point favored by schools, chromebooks feel more capable than their siblings with Windows 10. There are now more capable chromebooks targeting the business/enterprise market.

One thing chromebooks have that Windows based systems don't is an inherently hardened security model in the default operating mode. Going beyond via the developer mode, similarly to running Linux or Windows with full privileges, carries some risks. I don't know enough about OSX to comment on its security model.

No wonder Microsoft is worried...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: platform independence
by kokara4a on Thu 15th Jun 2017 06:46 UTC in reply to "RE: platform independence"
kokara4a Member since:
2005-09-16

Also, don't forget the new Android compatibility layer in ChromeOS. I think that's a killer feature.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: platform independence
by moondevil on Thu 15th Jun 2017 07:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: platform independence"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

It would be if the applications weren't written for a mobile phone without any regard to run anywhere else.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: platform independence
by Adurbe on Thu 15th Jun 2017 07:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: platform independence"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree, how many android apps are barely usable on an android tablet. Expand that to a 15" Chomebook and watch no one use it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: platform independence
by jpkx1984 on Thu 15th Jun 2017 08:38 UTC in reply to "RE: platform independence"
jpkx1984 Member since:
2015-01-06

Cheap underpowered, ARM-based Chromebooks are great terminals for work. Mine lasts at least 10h on battery and I am able to access my powerful desktop at home via VNC, RDP, Google Remote Desktop, TeamViewer - all have clients working on ChromeOS.

Reply Score: 4

RE: platform independence
by Doc Pain on Thu 15th Jun 2017 09:37 UTC in reply to "platform independence"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Allow me a little sidenote:

A lot of businees software is now platform independent.


A lot of generic business software is now platform independent - things like office applications, those things that are run by Java (yes, those still exist, because Java is the new COBOL) and of course anything that can be accessed using a web browser.

However, non-generic business applications (like country-specific software for bookkeeping, payroll, taxes, construction, inventory, etc.) still require "Windows", and usually the current version or "N - 1". Those products usually are tightly coupled to "Windows" so it's not trivial to run them with wine on Linux or BSD. The software vendors aren't interested in bringing their products to "new" platforms simply because of the costs for porting and support, and even better: they already succeeded with their "vendor lock-in" so the user has no other chance to keep his business running than "following the rules" and "doing what he is told" - to keep using the software as the vendor requires; there often is no way of exporting data, let alone chainging the product (due to long term contracts).

So: Platform independence is out of scope.

I wouldn't say those are always niche products, but of course they are quite specific for certain markets and trades.

You can access Gmail or Office from any web browser. That makes Wintel less compelling.


But it will only work where "always online" can be provided. This is not always the case.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: platform independence
by bert64 on Thu 15th Jun 2017 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE: platform independence"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

And this software is still fairly niche, and over time more and more software is moving towards being web based even the niche stuff.

Plus there is always RDP/Citrix/etc if you need to access such software. In most of the offices i've seen only a small percentage of users will need anything like this so maintaining one box and a bunch of RDP licenses is cheaper, safer and less maintenance than individual desktops for everyone.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: platform independence
by dionicio on Thu 15th Jun 2017 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE: platform independence"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Niche, but money wise, very relevant.

To me -not fear- is about not driving the bus over a decades long loyal community of coders and users.

Also about device agency at the battle lines [long battery life will help a lot].

Edited 2017-06-15 16:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: platform independence
by dionicio on Thu 15th Jun 2017 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: platform independence"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

Don't see the advantage of carrying down a Full Word to future Windows Phones. The race down from MS on CPU architecture stops here.

Intel Microsoft alliance should be restated, damages compensated and New Horizons drawn.

Edited 2017-06-15 16:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: platform independence
by dionicio on Thu 15th Jun 2017 17:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: platform independence"
dionicio Member since:
2006-07-12

[I'm NOT leaving the x86 architecture.]

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: platform independence
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 19th Jun 2017 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE: platform independence"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

But it will only work where "always online" can be provided. This is not always the case.


I think that's covered by the non-absolute "less" modifier.

Kind of like having someone dispute the sun is bright by pointing out the existence of third shift workers.

Reply Score: 2

No need to worry beyond US schools
by moondevil on Thu 15th Jun 2017 07:28 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

At least here in Europe I haven't seen anyone convinced to use ChromeOS as their daily OS.

In fact I can finger count with one hand the amount of Chromebooks I have seen on sale at consumer stores, during my travels, since Chromebooks exist.

And the few one I have seen, were being sold at discount prices, as the stores were trying to get rid of them.

Reply Score: 3

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Chromebooks make excellent Linux laptops.

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Normal people buy Chromebooks to run ChromeOS, that is the whole purpose of the device.

Wiping the OS to run something else is not why Google wants to sell them.

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

A sales guy at JB HiFi (a major elctronics retailer in Australia) once told me that virtually everybody buys Chromebooks to run a stanard Linux distro.(There is no need to remove ChromeOS to install Linux.) ChromeOS is far too crippled for mainstream use.

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Which is why Microsoft doesn't need to worry about Chromebook sales.

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Which is why Microsoft doesn't need to worry about Chromebook sales.


Chromeboks are perfect for schools, basic corporate use and for Grandma to use Facebook - probably 70% of the market. MS should be terrified.

IMO computing will eventually be almost completely platform agnostic. Devices will somply be thin clients used to access cloud services.

Reply Score: 4

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I doubt it very much, Windows 10 telemetry is a childs play compared with one is giving away in private data by using ChromeOS.

Reply Score: 2

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

I have 2 chromebooks in house. They get a TON of use. I bought a lenovo 11e for my father, he uses that a ton. They work really well for what they need to do for 90% of the population. And I really LOVE not having to do any support work on these machines.

It's really gotten to the point that I'm really offended that someone charges more than 250usd or so for a laptop or a computer for desktop use. Considering the drop in PC sales I can't be the only one that feels this way.

As for work stuff, I certainly hope that ryzen 2 or whatever it will be works out the bugs enough to entice me to upgrade the two dual ivy bridge xeon boxes sitting in the next room. IMHO computers are now truly commodity.

Edited 2017-06-16 20:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Chromebooks make excellent Linux laptops.

I'm sure Microsoft are scared of that extra .00001%.

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

MS have been doing their best to stop people installing Linux. That is why MS introduced EUFI and why Windows overwrites the Linux bootloader. Some of the budget Windows laptops even ship with a locked BIOS.

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

There are plenty of OEMs that sell GNU/Linux pre-installed, support them instead of buying a ChromeOS or Windows PC and trying to install GNU/Linux on them.

That is how I bought my travel netbook, an Asus 1215B with Ubuntu pre-installed.

As for the desktop, Microsoft doesn't need to do much actually, the community is quite good rebooting the whole desktop experience every few years.

Reply Score: 2

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Nobody in Australia sells Linux laptops. There are no OEM laptop suppliers either.

Reply Score: 2

juzzlin Member since:
2011-05-06

In my country there are exactly 0 pre-installed GNU/Linux laptops available in the stores that sell 99,9% of the computers.

Reply Score: 2

Conquering the world
by Odisej on Thu 15th Jun 2017 07:30 UTC
Odisej
Member since:
2006-05-11

Microsoft did not win the OS wars only or mainly because it conquered corporate world. People tend to forget that Microsoft did not do much to stop the spreading of pirated versions of Windows in the early days. Only later as they already dominated they started doing this. Not to mention the IBM episode and OS/2.

Things are different now and Microsoft seems to be a bit lost. Wonderful times!

Reply Score: 2

What?
by missingxtension on Thu 15th Jun 2017 18:05 UTC
missingxtension
Member since:
2011-01-14

So the chromebook is another consumption device? Use it as a terminal to overcome the limitations, or just change your usage to accommodate chromeos?
That sounds silly, how Manny people remember how the old chromebooks had hardware failures? Because of the lockdown, you can't even reload the os. But if it was already jail broken, then its no problem reinstalling os. People seem to think that user hostility is the way to go, lock em tight, and make people go through hoops. Microsoft is stupid because it has followed the yellow Brick road to oz. Can't stop windows update, and now you have install only from Microsoft. What a shame, Google is also going down this route.

Reply Score: 2

The move is happening (for mine at least)
by dhaen on Thu 15th Jun 2017 19:25 UTC
dhaen
Member since:
2015-10-26

Having been a (happy) Apple household for 15 years - since OSX, I see Chrome OS as a budget move (I buy most of the hardware). My extended household includes 6 adults and 7 children, all of whom consume, and most of whom are old enough to create.
The only shortcoming of Chrome OS seems to be desktop computing. Chrome OS has no official desktop hardware yet.
Yes I know about the Chromium projects etc but I want an OS and hardware that could be fixed easily if I wasn't available/alive.

Reply Score: 1

pmartel514 Member since:
2017-06-16

Actually there has been ChromeOS desktops available for years, they are called Chromeboxes. They are available from Asus, HP, Dell and other manufacturers.

Reply Score: 2

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

And a copy of very nice all in one systems as well. They are called "chromebase". I saw one in the library at Estes Park, CO.

Reply Score: 2

ICT department complaining
by lighans on Thu 15th Jun 2017 20:10 UTC
lighans
Member since:
2006-01-14

My school ICT department were complaining that the chromebooks we use don't use any updates or whatever. Everything is automated. What a hell for their MSCE jobs. ;)

I really like them. We don't even use the google login. Just login as guest and the students use them like a kiosk.

Reply Score: 2

Chromebooks running Windows programs
by Z_God on Thu 15th Jun 2017 21:01 UTC
Z_God
Member since:
2006-06-11

I don't know if the article doesn't mention this video on purpose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPSmiaa6Pxs

I can imagine that Windows software won't be key for many Chromebook users, but it may push over over the edge when they're doubting about buying one.

Reply Score: 1

Innapropriate title
by drstorm on Thu 15th Jun 2017 21:22 UTC
drstorm
Member since:
2009-04-24

An appropriate title would be: "Microsoft finds Chrome competitive enough in some segments"

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Phloptical
by Phloptical on Sat 17th Jun 2017 22:17 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

Chromebooks have replaced Macs in schools. Not that Apple really cares because most kids have a "Mac" as their phone, but either way, MS still lost the educational dollars by not dropping the price of Surfaces for the classroom.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Phloptical
by unclefester on Sun 18th Jun 2017 02:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by Phloptical"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Chromebooks have replaced Macs in schools. Not that Apple really cares because most kids have a "Mac" as their phone, but either way, MS still lost the educational dollars by not dropping the price of Surfaces for the classroom.


Surfaces are not useful for schools. They are overpriced, overpowered and far too delicate.

There are Lenovo and HP Windows laptops specifically designed for education. They are ruggedly constructed, inexpensive and easily upgraded (RAM and hard drives).

Reply Score: 2