Tom Nolle: Maturing Google Chrome

Google's Chrome OS has a lot of potential value and a lot of recent press, but it still needs something to make it more than a thin client. It needs cloud integration, it needs extended APIs via web services, and it needs to suck it up and support a hard drive.
12/30/2013 | 25 comments
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ProgMan   Maturing Google Chrome   12/30/2013 1:22:04 PM
I am usually an early adopter of all things Google
but haven't pulled the trigger on a Chromebook yet.  I've just started revisiting the idea, as one of my work laptops (Windows of course) is on it's last legs and I'd like to procur something new.  Not convinced a Chromebook will be able to do what I need though - your video reminded me to start looking again.
Tom Nolle   Maturing Google Chrome   12/30/2013 1:39:34 PM
Re: I am usually an early adopter of all things Google
I've had the same dilemma, ProgMan.  I decided to rehab some of my older laptops using Linux (Ubuntu) and that's worked out for me quite well.  You can still run cloud apps but also local ones, and Linux seems more resource-tolerant than Windows.  The only issue is that none of the new platforms match Office fully; too many incompatibilities in presentations for example.

Tom
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mejiac   Maturing Google Chrome   12/30/2013 3:53:19 PM
Still ahead of it's time?
Excellent video!!!

I've always seen the Chrome OS as a concept ahead of it's time. But, now that Windows is sorta going that approach (by integrating Office 365 and sky drive) and that sharing files with other devices like tablets and smartphones is pretty straight forward, I'm starting to think that Chrome OS those have a value, but not as they intended.

I mean, for students, yeah, it's a budget laptop, but it won't work if you don't have internet connection, and many times you need to be able to review files stored locally, and share them with ease.

For companies, I really don't see the Chrome OS being an option, mostly given the dominance of Windows Eco systems.

And if I were to purchase a companion device, it would be a tablet, and not Chrome OS.

So did Google miss the mark?
Tom Nolle   Maturing Google Chrome   12/30/2013 4:20:22 PM
Re: Still ahead of it's time?
Thanks for the kind words!

I think Google has let ambition rule logic a bit.  They've always had a thing for Microsoft, and being the Microsoft-killer would likely feel good for them.  But rather than try to kill off the old I think they needed to support the new.  Android, with the right combination of cloud-hosted and device-hosted components, could have built a completely new hybrid model for computing where you put software where you need to.  That would have been enormously valuable.  Just creating a thin client isn't enough, IMHO.
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mejiac   Maturing Google Chrome   12/30/2013 4:23:41 PM
Re: Still ahead of it's time?
@Tom,

Agreed,

Google those have the right ideas, but it hasn't been able to pull of that "one" thing that can be considered an actual alternative.

I absolutlye love Android based tablets, love the flexibility and the features...if they can apply that to a PC, then it's a different ball game
Tom Nolle   Maturing Google Chrome   12/30/2013 4:39:18 PM
Re: Still ahead of it's time?
That's been my view, mejiac, and I've never understood why Google didn't see that opportunity.
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Pedro Gonzales   Maturing Google Chrome   1/7/2014 12:55:49 PM
Re: Still ahead of it's time?
great video tom. I think Google Chrome is not ready to take over microsoft, you pointed out many interesting issues about it.  May be that is one of the reasons purchases of google chrome haven't spike like that of tablets.
Tom Nolle   Maturing Google Chrome   1/7/2014 1:02:50 PM
Re: Still ahead of it's time?
Thanks, Pedro, and I think you make a key point.  Android has outpaced Chromebooks in no small part because of the vehicle--smartphones and tablets.  The problem Chrome OS has is that it's trying to unseat an incumbent desktop/laptop OS that's been around for decades.  To do that when it doesn't match the configuration capabilities of the thing it's fighting against is a tall order.
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mejiac   Maturing Google Chrome   1/13/2014 12:56:24 PM
Re: Still ahead of it's time?
@Tom,

As a follow up, here's a link to an interesting article about using a Chromebook to cover the CES event.

The arthur mentions that "It was better than working with a tablet or smartphone because it's got a real keyboard and because WordPress hates mobile browsers."

This is very interesting. The fact that a Chromebook is being compared to a tablet and not a PC/laptop tells what the user experience feedback is.

So can a Chromebook be considered the inbetween of a tablet and a PC/Laptop?

Based on the discussions had on this forum, I think that's a valid statement.

But the question is, is this what Google is aiming for?

What do you think?
Tom Nolle   Maturing Google Chrome   1/13/2014 1:05:26 PM
Re: Still ahead of it's time?
I think that there is a kind of dualism in terms of whether a Chromebook is a super-tablet or a crippled laptop.  Functionally, I think, it would be possible to say that it's either one.  From the perspective of Google, though, I think they'd be very concerned as to whether Chromebook might end up competing with tablets (Android).  I think Google wants Chromebook to compete with laptop and even desktop computers.
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Sara Peters   Maturing Google Chrome   1/28/2014 3:10:48 PM
Re: Still ahead of it's time?
@mejiac  Great points, here:  " So can a Chromebook be considered the inbetween of a tablet and a PC/Laptop? Based on the discussions had on this forum, I think that's a valid statement. But the question is, is this what Google is aiming for?"

Is that what Google aiming for? And if it isn't, what ARE they aiming for?


Also, you all pose valid examples of things that Google COULD do... so why aren't they? Google's never been known for sitting around missing out on opportunities.

mejiac   Maturing Google Chrome   1/28/2014 3:50:22 PM
Re: Still ahead of it's time?
@Sarah,

Maybe this is a case that Google had certain expectations, but the consumers replied in a different way.

The probably said "We're Google...it should fly", but when people started to get there hands on it, it turned out to be a different story.

If we compare to the Microsoft Surface, it's also a hit and miss. What do you think?
batye   Maturing Google Chrome   2/6/2014 4:42:23 PM
Re: Still ahead of it's time?
I think Google wants to be everything and everywhere... same as Microsoft.... or even bigger???
mejiac   Maturing Google Chrome   12/30/2013 3:59:08 PM
Chrome OS Desktop?
Recently I read an article that LG will be producing a desktop based on Chrome OS.

 

If I'm honest, I don't think this will fly.

I have a pretty robust desktop at home, which I use for testing and gaming. For light use, I have a tablet (which I trully enjoy). This desktop, doesn't fall in any category that I would find appealing.

I mean, a desktop is somethign that you sit down and do stuff (work/play), it's not on the go. So a desktop that can't do much aside from web browsing and media playback? (gaming is off the table)

I don't know...I think this is a huge miss...but I may be getting ahead of myself.

What do you think Tom?
mejiac   Maturing Google Chrome   12/30/2013 4:03:48 PM
Re: Chrome OS Desktop?
Here are the details of the Chrome "all in one" desktop:

"The LG Chromebase features a 21.5-inch widescreen Full HD IPS display and houses 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and an Intel Celeron processor.  It also includes single HDMI, USB 3.0 and LAN ports. The desktop also has a 1.3-megapixel webcam that takes 720p video and a 5-watt speaker."

So basically, you're current line up of tablets are more powerful that this desktop.

So here's what I'm seeing:

- I can't play games (unless it's strictly online)

- I can't have office (unless I use Google's)

- I can't run desktop applications (with 16GB of storage, that's not enough for...well...anything)

- It can only do 720p, so it's not even an option to consider it as a Home Theather PC

 

Am I missing something?
Tom Nolle   Maturing Google Chrome   12/30/2013 4:21:59 PM
Re: Chrome OS Desktop?
No, I think you've captured exactly what the problems are with the notion of a Chrome OS desktop.  All except one, perhaps, which is why I'd want to have a desktop in the first place if I needed only 720p screen technology and no hard drive!
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batye   Maturing Google Chrome   1/2/2014 12:37:47 PM
Re: Chrome OS Desktop?
interesting to know I use before google chrome but after I change to firefox... but I think Google chrome have a bright future...
MDMConsult   Maturing Google Chrome   1/10/2014 3:52:17 AM
Re: Chrome OS Desktop?
The number one browser in the world is Google Chrome. The company first released its version in 2008. Since then, According to StatCounter, Chrome's global market share in June 2013 was 43 percent, up from just 33 percent a year ago. At 25 percent market share, Internet Explorer remains the second most popular browser in the world. Microsoft's (MSFT) browser retains a particularly strong position in North America, where it is almost head to head with Chrome.
batye   Maturing Google Chrome   1/10/2014 9:06:10 AM
Re: Chrome OS Desktop?
yes, but we never now as Chrome books enetered the battlefield... as Google trying to bring chrome everywhere...
soozyg   Maturing Google Chrome   2/9/2014 8:35:52 PM
the Plus
I do like Google Chrome. It's the least bad of all the browsers.

What I find particularly interesting is that with all the things that Google gets so right, that Google Plus is such a struggle for them. Communities/groups on there are very confusing and there are many duplications. It's like Google Plus is their bald spot in an otherwise gorgeous, thick strong head of hair.
Tom Nolle   Maturing Google Chrome   2/10/2014 8:48:40 AM
Re: the Plus
I think Plus is evolving as Hangouts evolve, and it's hard to say where Google plans to take it.  Clearly it won't be an alternative to Facebook, but it might be something useful for those with different "social" tastes.
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soozyg   Maturing Google Chrome   2/10/2014 10:47:43 AM
Re: the Plus
it's hard to say where Google plans to take it. 

Tom, I think you nailed it with this comment. Whereas other SM sites have their purpose or niche defined, Plus seems so, I don't know, random and lackluster. And even though they keep adding amenities to it, all the video and bells and whistles in the world don't help if there isn't a clear initial vision.
Tom Nolle   Maturing Google Chrome   2/10/2014 10:59:26 AM
Re: the Plus
That's my view too, Soozyg; Google I think went into this simply to have a social network like Facebook, and it's kind of lost its mission in a flurry of features.
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soozyg   Maturing Google Chrome   2/10/2014 12:07:18 PM
Re: the Plus
it's kind of lost its mission in a flurry of features.

Yes! And the commercials  and ads are so quick about showing all the things you can do on Google, it's difficult for people not in the tech world to see how it's all connected and how they can truly benefit from it.
Nicky48   Maturing Google Chrome   2/26/2014 9:40:49 AM
Re: the Plus
I tried Google + I really did, but I agree it is confusing to look at and confusing to use.

Facebook have managed to make their interface very easy to use and very intuitive.
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