Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th May 2014 20:54 UTC

If you haven't picked up a Chromebook just yet, you might want to wait a little longer. Intel has just announced plans to roll out as many as 20 new Chromebooks by the latter half of this year. This new set will be thinner, lighter, more powerful and generally more diverse in terms of design. It's clear that Google is making a play for the mainstream.

I applaud any efforts to get people to buy new platforms, but in all honesty, I've yet to see a Chromebook in the wild - in fact, I don't even think I've ever even seen one in a store. Granted, I live in a small country nobody cares about, and the uptake of non-Windows platforms in desktops and laptops has always been pretty abysmal here, but you'd think you'd see more of these things.

What is the current state of Chrome OS? Owners, do you use it every day? What do you miss in a Chromebook that a traditional Linux/Windows/OS X laptop does offer?

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Doc Pain
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In all honesty the Chromebook looks slick and doesn't seem to lack too much. I just cannot fathom a laptop that won't allow me to store it local. I don't want the cloud. Nobody I know wants the cloud. The cloud is a solution nobody wants.

Except companies who have been lured into the realm of "leave it to someone else" by the typical parasites offering "solutions". Later on, people will want to have at home what they know from work (which is also the reason why some many people run pirated copies of "Office" at home even though they don't use 1% of its functionality, still they insist they "need" it). Being able to share data among many devices (home PC, laptop, smartphone etc.) is said to be "the easiest thing" when you use the cloud.

Don't get me wrong: I prefer to keep ownership and control over my data. But that's nothing home consumers are basically interested in.

I can see Android replacing simpler forms of Microsoft OS versions. I just don't see it happening until it looks like Windows 98 or newer versions in some way.

A simplified and limited windowing paradigm (as it is present in "Windows") would probably appeal to potential users, together with commonly known captions for icons.

People need a desktop.

They want a desktop (as a means to start programs and "organize" files). This is basically what things like a dock and a file manager will do. But when you don't have local storage, what would you need a file manager for? Additionally, organizing files is something "normal" people aren't particularly good at. In combination with the Chromebook concept, having them use a search interface (like "google for my files") could be a solution. So they don't have to understand how hierarchies work, what file names are, and how to tell the difference from a file and the program it will be opened with. Bringing the "WWW metaphor" to the desktop could make potential buyers believe that this is what they want - and need.

They want a task manager.

Really? (Honest question!) I've never meet anyone who wanted a task manager. Actually, I only know few people who know what a task manager is.

They want multiple programs that standalone from the internet.

True. But again, the transition of "my local desktop" to "with the web browser into the cloud" could change this. It's even becoming present in MICROS~1 land which has long been an advocate of "local only" concepts both for files and programs (a typical disadvantage of PCs, especially problematic in office-like environments).

On the other hand, many GUIs (even "Windows 8" with its "Modern" interface) seems to favour a single-computer single-person single-program single-window concept, just like apps commonly found on smartphones. Add "subscription required" and "cloud storage" and you have what marketing currently is trying to make people believe in.

And they want a file folder system.

Some of them want, but probably typical home consumers do not care. Organizing files with a hierarchical concept is more common in professional contexts, usually among those who create (like programmers, designers, musicians or engineers).

People want simple but to retain control.

That is quite a problem, because "control" is not a trivial concept (or, to be more precise, the means to exercise control require knowledge and experience). It's hard (but not impossible) to combine this with "simple" without dumbing down things so much that they become unsuitable for their initial purpose.

Basically everything developers do not want them to have.

Probably because developers will be held responsible for dealing with persons who fail to meet the criteria I've just mentioned. So "dumbing down" things has almonst become an industry standard, because it stops people from doing stupid things (and, by that limitation, also stops them from doing clever things, but that's not in the scope of the intended target group anyway).

Without internal storage that matches other laptops, in the 500GB plus range, I don't see me ever using a Chromebook.

I fully agree. Storage could be a common 2.5" SSD, and external connections (not just wireless or wired network, but also USB) should be present to transfer data in or out.

I don't really care if it uses ext3 or some other open file system. It doesn't have to use exFAT or NTFS.

Not a big problem, as IT forensics can deal with them just fine. :-)

But I want my old Windows files able to seamlessly copy over to it for my usage.

That might be a problem when the programs which are required to open those files are not offered, either as locally installed native applications or via "web access"...

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