Google recently announced Chromebook that will be available in market starting June 15. For the uninformed, Chromebook is Google’s ambitious project to get into the desktop OS world. What differentiates it from the other desktop OS is that Chrome OS is a cloud based Operating System.
While for eons we have used traditional Operating System which supports a Hard Disk as a primary storage location, with Chrome OS Google wants you to store everything on the cloud. We already do that on our current OSes. Be it Windows, Mac or even Linux. Our current OS stores all the data on the hard disk and synchronizes with the cloud when we have access to internet. Google wants to change that and get rid of Hard Disks and wants you to store everything on Cloud, as mentioned previously.
It sounds quite exciting and surely is a different way to look at things but again falls in ‘launch at wrong timing’ category. For one, we still do not get access to the Internet in every corner of the city. Like when I’m travelling in train even the 3G stick stops working. In such cases the Chromebook is a just a dead meat for me.
The other grouse that I have with Chromebook is that our upload speed has still not reached the nirvana level. While Download speed enjoys quite a few MBPS, we are still stuck with slow upload speed. And with Chromebook to have everything on cloud, we really really need to take the upload speed into consideration. In my opinion there’s a fatchance for Chrome OS to be a success unless Google implememts their high speed Internet everywhere. For a product to launch, timing is the most important aspect and Google knows that better. Google launched Google Wave which was well ahead of its time. There’s a not so sweet history of products failing because they were launched well ahead of its time. Brightkite was the first to tinker with Social location check-ins but users were ready only when Foursqaure launched its little game. So timing is important and this is not the timing to launch a full fledge cloud based OS.
My last complaint is the cost of the Chromebook. You can get the Samsung device which comes with 12.1-inch screen with an 8-hour battery life and will retail for $429 (Wi-Fi enabled) and $499 (3G enabled laptop), while Acer’s device will be an 11.6-inch display and a 6.5-hour battery life. Acer’s notebook will start at $349 and up. While it’s still cheaper than its competitor OS netbooks but it doesn’t count the amount of money you’ll be spending later for storing all your data. I’m pretty sure n coming months Chrome OS users would be spending money to access their own data from cloud rather than storing it. In my opinion in coming years storage space will get so cheap that it would be practical for companies to just give it away for free and charge for accessing the data instead.
What do you think? Will you be buying Chromebook when it releases in June?