Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Apr 2012 21:59 UTC
Google If you ever needed evidence that no, people don't want a browser as an operating system, it's this: Google has updated Chrome OS to pretty much turn it into a traditional desktop operating system. This does raise the question - does anybody actually use Chrome OS?
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RE: The real problem with Chrome OS
by phoehne on Wed 11th Apr 2012 04:56 UTC in reply to "The real problem with Chrome OS"
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I agree that it was a google heavy approach, but I wouldn't entirely agree that it's a non-existent problem. For most people a general purpose computer is too much overhead for little gain. For example, my retired parents use e-mail, occasionally use a spreadsheet, and surf the internet. Their #1 priorities are printing pictures of the grandkids and keeping up with friends.

In his 70's, my dad got tired of mucking around with Windows and paying Microsoft for the privilege to do so, that he loaded Ubuntu on his desktop and hasn't looked back. It is much less of a headache for him to maintain. When the hard drive went south on their desktop, my mom was very upset about the possibility of loosing emails. (Grandkid pictures are backed up.) Even though my dad is much happier with Ubuntu, there's still a maintenance burden. He's now trying an iPad to see if that's a better solution. Like many people he wants to use his computer when he needs it, but would rather be doing many other things than fiddling with computer.

If you think that's fine for retirees, but what about people doing "real work," I would just say that a lot of non-technical people use e-mail, word processing, some spread sheet, and a lot of applications that are now web based. For example, most major accounting packages are web based. A lot of in-house or line of business applications are web based. Having a PC on their desk is over-kill and a relatively expensive maintenance proposition. You could replace much of what they do with a thin device or tablet. One of the biggest complaint I hear from the few non-technical people I interact with is what a POS our company laptops are and how long they take to boot up.

From that standpoint the Chrome book seemed like a pretty good idea. Give people just about everything they need through the web. Take away most of the maintenance burden. And no one loses any more data because it's not on the device, it stored in shiny, professional managed data centers. I tried it, running a homebuilt copy on a HP mini 110 that I got free with my Verizon subscription. Maybe the idea has merit, but the execution I thought was okay, but not great. To really get people to move away from what they know you have to wow them.

And that's where I think Chrome dropped the ball. Had Chrome books been "wow" products, I think a lot of people would be happier with a near zero maintenance device. Some argue the price should have been lower, but iPads are selling well at premium prices because there's something of a wow factor.

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