Initially critics were quick point out the many reasons that the Chromebook would be a miserable failure. The sales figures are starting to trickle out with Amazon showing that the Chromebook is among its top ten sellers. With such a drastic change in mobile computer format and features the Google Chromebook was sure to draw criticism from negative naysayers around the globe initially. Of course with Google being among the largest companies in the world expectations obviously couldn't be higher. After all they have enough money to hire the best and brightest engineers to produce groundbreaking technology. With all Google's best minds brainstorming they maintain they have uncovered a niche in the market of people looking for an exceptionally fast minicomputer to serve their daily needs.
So what is drawing so much controversy is the primary question that most want to know? Well critics were quick to point out that Google's custom operating system using cloud computing is a customer base that was to slim to support sales. Critics maintained that customers wouldn't be comfortable not being able to access their data when not connected to the internet. Google managed to design their own proprietary operating system which totally leaves Microsoft Windows out of the picture. With Google already having designed one of the fastest browsers in existence called Google Chrome the idea was to create an ultra fast laptop to serve the needs of those on the go.
With the new Google Chromebook everything runs through the browser. Very little is stored on the laptop itself which leaves the computer free to run in a much quicker fashion. But again users must be connected to the internet or be near a Wi-Fi hotspot or else the laptop is virtually worthless. Critics argued that users wouldn't be comfortable storing often sensitive data and files on remote servers. With so many articles circulating in the news lately of internet theft people balked at the idea that people would be receptive to this concept.
What critics seem to have improperly accessed is that there was indeed a large portion of laptop users that were dissatisfied with the speed as well as practicality of their current laptops. With the Chromebook having a total load time of 8 seconds from being completely off and an instant resume when being flipped open it seems that other manufacturers that have been scoffing at Google's idea have been caught with their pants down. Users have been snatching up the new Google laptops in a fury. While the price is far from some of their fully versatile laptop competitors or netbooks under 200 its obvious consumers want a fast easy computer for mainstream uses.
COMMENTARY: I remember when the Google Team introduced the first Chromebook on May 11, 2011. Here's what the Google Chrome blog said.
"A little less than two years ago we set out to make computers much better. Today, we’re announcing the first Chromebooks from our partners, Samsung and Acer. These are not typical notebooks. With a Chromebook you won’t wait minutes for your computer to boot and browser to start. You’ll be reading your email in seconds. Thanks to automatic updates the software on your Chromebook will get faster over time. Your apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible wherever you are and you won't need to worry about losing your computer or forgetting to back up files. Chromebooks will last a day of use on a single charge, so you don’t need to carry a power cord everywhere. And with optional 3G, just like your phone, you’ll have the web when you need it. Chromebooks have many layers of security built in so there is no anti-virus software to buy and maintain. Even more importantly, you won't spend hours fighting your computer to set it up and keep it up to date.
At the core of each Chromebook is the Chrome web browser. The web has millions of applications and billions of users. Trying a new application or sharing it with friends is as easy as clicking a link. A world of information can be searched instantly and developers can embed and mash-up applications to create new products and services. The web is on just about every computing device made, from phones to TVs, and has the broadest reach of any platform. With HTML5 and other open standards, web applications will soon be able to do anything traditional applications can do, and more.
Chromebooks will be available online June 15 in the US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Spain. More countries will follow in the coming months. In the US, Chromebooks will be available from Amazon and Best Buy and internationally from leading retailers.
Even with dedicated IT departments, businesses and schools struggle with the same complex, costly and insecure computers as the rest of us. To address this, we’re also announcingChromebooks for Business and Education. This service from Google includes Chromebooks and a cloud management console to remotely administer and manage users, devices, applications and policies. Also included is enterprise-level support, device warranties and replacements as well as regular hardware refreshes. Monthly subscriptions will start at $28/user for businesses and $20/user for schools.
There are over 160 million active users of Chrome today. Chromebooks bring you all of Chrome's speed, simplicity and security without the headaches of operating systems designed 20 to 30 years ago. We're very proud of what the Chrome team along with our partners have built, and with seamless updates, it will just keep getting better."
I remember when Google introduced the Chrome OS CR-48 laptop back on December 7, 2011, and that it was interesting, but not for me. Wish I had written about it in my blog at that time.
I was really impressed with the live steam of the Google Chrome team demonstrating the Chromebook, and have to admit that I was not a "true believer" at the time, because everybody was predicting that laptops and netbooks would be replaced by tablet computers, and the Apple iPad is just flat dominating the tablet market. All the Chrome developers in attendance were given a FREE Chromebook to take home, which I thought was very cool.
However, Google was dead right about the Chromebook. There is a niche for the Chromebook if you don't mind saving all your files "in-the-cloud" and using the Apps from the Google Web Store. If you haven't checked out the Chromebook, I advice you to do so.
What I really like about the Chromebook is that if you are a Chrome browser user, which I already am for at least a year, then you will take to the Chromebook like a duck out of water. All Chrome OS and browser updates are done in the background. Security is so tight that you don't need virus protection software like McAfee. The "Instant Internet" of 8 seconds is incredible. If you have WIFI or a 3G connection, you're set. All the apps you will ever need including Microsoft Office (Excel, Word and Powerpoint) you can download from the Google Web Store. Most of them are free. If you are into games, there are plenty to choose from.
The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook comes with 3G and WIFI. Amazon.com prices are $499 for the 3G and $429.99 for the WIFI-only. The 3G model also includes WIFI. The Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks come in two colors: Titan Silver and Arctic White.
The Acer AC700 Chromebook comes in WIFI-only and comes in the Silver metallic color. Amazon.com prices are $349.99. Reviews have been mostly positive.
Samsung Series 5 Chromebook and Acer AC700 Chromebook reviews have been mostly positive (four stars).
Courtesy of an article dated September 19, 2011 appearing in Articlesbase an article dated May 11, 2011 appearing in the Google Chrome blog, and an article dated May 12, 2011 appearing in TechRepublic