Opinion

Is Google's Chromebook the right idea in the wrong place?

Google's Chromebook seems to me to be a good idea but not necessarily one that is being executed in the right way. As others have remarked, there is an issue over what you do with a machine that runs on a browser-based OS if you're not able to connect to a network or the Internet. 

As it's a kind of tablet/netbook, one would expect being able to use it while on the move would be a major reason for buying such a device. The irony is that the device's mobility could be the factor that stops it from working in certain places at certain times.

If a computer is dependent on a network to run its OS, it would probably make better sense to introduce a desktop form factor first, given that you could then be guaranteed network access from the device to run that OS. In other words, a static device would be better suited, initially, to using a browser-based OS than a mobile one.

This was first published in May 2011

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