With the announcement of the Chromebook, I can officially consider Google to be a competitor to Apple. It’s about damn time.
Rather than trying to create an “iPad killer” which is simply a blatant rip-off of Apple’s iPad, Google has finally released something innovative! Enter Chromebook: a laptop with only one application: Chrome. No other software, no desktop, nothing else. Just the internet. Which can do a hell of a lot these days.
Up until recent years, this would have been a pointless product but Google has done a pretty good job working towards eliminating the need for a computer. Need storage space? Google provides tons of free storage. Want to edit a document? Google provides Google Docs free of charge. Want to manage your photo library? Google has Picasa. Music? Google just announced Google Music.
That about covers everything that the average consumer needs in a computer. Access to the internet, documents, photos, and music. These are the features of Chromebook. Google has cut out anything superfluous. There is nothing else to worry about. No viruses, no updates, no backups, no headaches.
You may remember me mentioning, in a post about Net Neutrality, that Google presented a new and innovative vision of the future at their 2010 I/O conference. Rather than a world based around Windows or MacOS, Google predicted a digital world existing entirely online, using web applications rather than computer applications and using cloud storage rather than hard drives.
Google was correct, judging by the technological advancements we’ve seen in the past year. Apple’s rebranding of the iPad as a “post-PC” device is a prime example. And the release of the Mac AppStore partially moves software into the cloud (by allowing users access to all purchased applications on authorized computers). However, while the apps still need to be downloaded and the iPad still needs to be tethered to a computer in order to activate and update, the Chromebook is completely unchained. The Chromebook is an actual post-PC device.
But don’t run out and sell your computers just yet. Those of us with iPhones and iPads still need to sync our devices. And PC gamers, computer programers, and web developers/designers won’t find much use for the Chromebook at this point.
But things may be different in the not-so-distant future. Once your must-use software moves online there will be no need for an operating system. Once your smart phone syncs to a cloud, you won’t need the cords. All you will need is access to the internet.
Jump online and your entire digital life will be right there.
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