Google has come up with a new version of its alternative to the traditional computer – the Chromebook. The launch coincides with stepped-up marketing efforts for the product to target students, new users and people looking for alternative computers.
The Chromebook, which was built in collaboration with Samsung, is priced at just $249. It has six hours of battery life and comes with 100 GB of online storage.
Sales have been dismal since June 2011, when shipping of the first generation Chromebooks began.
The SVP of Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai, has mentioned in a blog post that this machine is the “perfect additional computer” for many people. He’s clearly aware of the challenges of the massive inertia that Microsoft’s Windows continues to enjoy in the desktop operating system, and the need to get more people to adopt the cloud.
Taking Users to the Cloud
We have witnessed major leaps in the convergence phenomenon in computing in the recent past, especially with the onslaught of tablets and smartphones. In fact, there is a reducing volume of computing needs carried out on traditional PCs.
Business people, for instance, probably cannot afford to ignore smartphone apps built specifically to extend their offices to the journeys to and from their workplaces.
There is one thing notable in all the changes that we’ve seen – major players are taking the cloud more seriously than ever.
How much of an impact will the Chromebook make in this scene?
The positive point right now is the ease in getting straight (there’s a less-than-10-seconds boot-up time, to be precise) to already established Google products like Search, Drive, Maps, YouTube and importantly, Hangouts from Google+. The Hangouts feature, incidentally, have no equivalent match from rival social networking giant Facebook and has found huge appeal among users that have included politicians communicating with their support bases.
As for the negative side, people haven’t found compelling reasons to give up good old Windows or Apple’s machines to turn to an alternative suggested by the world’s runaway search engine leader – they do not find appeal in apps specifically designed for the Chromebook environment. And if they want alternatives, they already have popular smartphone and tablet options to turn to.
Mr. Pichai himself is forced to admit that the Chromebook is a primary computer only for “folks living entirely in the cloud.”
If all your work and play with computers revolves around Google’s favored cloud-based software, the Chromebook is probably worth a try!