I think the Chromebook concept may find a home in the corporate world sooner than the consumer space. I would imagine many companies would find it attractive to simply outsource a big chunk of their IT needs to Google's cloud. It would be like leasing computer services for each worker by the month. The average office worker could have a very uniform hardware and software environment. Systems administration and computer support should be very easy, potentially saving money.
Google has the potential to look like Apple or Microsoft over the next ten years. Newer generations of users don't have our biases toward particular tech brands (biz a different matter). I predict that Google's offerings will evolve into ones very similar to Microsoft's (and Apple's, if Job's creativity lags). MS has an uphill battle to be "cool" in the phone space right now but actual users like MS's phone OS. RIM will RIP.
At $500, I don't see what values the Chromebook adds to the table. I can get a decent notebook for $500 with an i3 or even an i5 processor (on sale) running Win7. This notebook can run Windows applications plus all the cloud based apps from Google. The Chromebook has no applications other than the web based apps. Am I missing something here?
I'm very curious what the user experience with a Chromebook is like. For the past two days I've been without my notebook (which crashed due to a virus) and have been using my anchient home PC, along with Google Docs, to get by. It's very frustrating because it is just taking me much longer to do everything. Granted, my computer is eight years old and slower than heck. I assume it would be a whole new ballgame with a brand new Chromebook. But I'd love to hear from someone who has used one of these.
Why don't Google try to make Android user experience better for netbooks than throwing their resources at another OS. My guess is Chrome OS will disappear or merge with Android within next few years. IMHO The world is not ready for a full cloud OS yet.
At the same price, why would you pick a netbook over an iPad? I don't know if I would want to pay the additional cost of 4G (or 3G) connectivity. Maybe WIFI would be enough. I would like to see a good analysis of the trade offs of the available devices.
What's the value of Chromebook brought to the table? If it is competing against netbook, it doesn't offer price beneift. It doesn't occur to me it is designed to compete against tablet PC. Lighter in weight, Google backed OS may open a niche market. It may not create a Ah Ha moment. Yet, there will certainly be some audiences.
So is this a tablet with a keyboard or a notebook without a hard drive? I can think of some people to whom I would recommend it, mostly because it is a lot harder to screw it up with viruses or by deleting files. The BOM seems a bit high, though.