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Chromebook - The Google Box Cometh
Google, in cooperation with companies like Samsung and Acer, launches Chromebook computers based on Google's Chrome OS and the Chrome Browser. Will these Google devices be mere computers or will they have many far reaching implications - not only for dictating how we use computers in the future, but also deciding which company finally wins the whole enchilada?
Chromebook - The Google Box Cometh
Copyright © Written by Titus Hoskins
For those of us who have been predicting the Google Box, a portable all-in-one solution for accessing everything Google has to offer, the wait has been long and frustrating. The Android Phone was just a false prophet, the real McCoy will be Chromebook computers based on the Google Chrome OS (Operating System) and offered through different vendors such as Samsung and Acer.
These laptops and netbooks will be different in many ways, some obvious and others very subtle. First, they will be based on the Chrome OS and the Chrome Web Browser, which Google now says is used by 160 million people as they browse the web. The prices for these Netbooks or Chromebooks will be lower than those you would pay for a laptop; Samsung's version will feature a 12.1 inch display and Wi-Fi for around $429 and with the Verizon Wireless 3G going for $499.
Now, you should know Netbooks are nothing new. Asustek first launched the netbook category when it released its Eee PC in the fall of 2007. And other major companies such as HP, Dell, Lenovo... have all jumped on this lucrative bandwagon and produced netbooks of their own. These netbooks have displays of around 10 inches (more or less) and weigh in at around 2 or 3 pounds. They usually run Windows, Linux or Mac OS X as their operating systems. The Apple iPad can be seen as the most prominent off-spring of the netbook and the major competition for any Chromebook empowered devices which are launched.
However, it is not the hardware which is important here but how this hardware will be used. In combination with the software (Chrome OS) Google is offering a web based computer system and environment which might first appear as a subtle movement or shift, but in actual fact may have far reaching implications for how we use computers in the future. We are going to the cloud, baby. Don't forget to bring your, your... well everything! Nothing But The Web...
The Chromebook will offer a very stripped down operating system and your first time set-up will take about three minutes, but your computer will boot up in 8 seconds, according to Sundar Pichai (Chrome group executive) in a presentation as reported by CNN. Pichai also stated these Chromebooks will serve as a platform for all of Google's countless applications and programs such as Gmail, Google Maps and so on.
But it is the online storage and management of all your files, apps, photos, videos, games and documents which could be the real game changer here. Google is even planning to lease laptops/netbooks to schools and corporations with monthly subscriptions starting at $20 per user for schools and $28 per user for businesses. These arrangements would include the hardware, management software and support services.
What is also important here is the Google brand, one that is well known for offering professional quality services, entering the very lucrative computer services market. Especially for companies and businesses who want to "outsource" their computer services to one of the most respected names in the world, it may just be a deal many can't refuse.
Grasping The Whole Picture
On a much broader scope, you always have to try to capture the big picture. The company which can control the majority of our computer usage and time, will be the big winner. The hardware we use, the software programs, the operating systems, the countless apps, the online web searches, the online communications and socialisations... all this interaction will probably be controlled by one company in the future. Microsoft and Apple are in the running, with FaceBook as the dark horse, but Google has quietly and steadily put itself in the driver's seat. The Chromebook may just get them pass the finish line and into the winning circle.
Eventually, in an ideal future world, these Chromebooks or Google Boxes will be free to everyone on the planet who wants one. Google's main product is and will always be advertising, these devices could possibly be supported by advertising. This would include not only the hardware and the software, but all the services involved in delivering them, even free web service. The ultimate goal will be list building, acquiring 2 or 3 Billion users, complete with contact information and profiles, shopping habits and online search stats. It will be the mining of all this valuable compiled data which will make Google king of the hill.
Don't laugh, stranger things have happened and besides, in case you haven't noticed, our world is fast becoming a Google World. Get used to it....
Chromebooks will be available on June 15th. More information can found be found here:
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