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I like that the screenshot says "11 seconds ago". An idle thought while setting up my new MacBook Air became a TC post in record time!

The Facebook mobile app will definitely die in the next year since they already have a website that does everything it has and more!

Oh wait, they're similar products for different devices and customers.

Chrome OS devices are the perfect netbook companion for most people that I know who own one. Many relatives of mine aren't that great with a computer, and they only use it to get to the internet. Anything that gets in the way of that for them is a big deal and can often ruin the whole experience.

aren't they better served by a tablet?

They may be more familiar and comfortable with a laptop form factor... Also, it is foreseeable that a chrome netbook could hit $150 to $200, especially with Google subsidies. A tablet cannot go that low and still be useable...

Not if they need to type out emails

When Google started to make noise about Chrome OS I had a similar thought - what company in their right mind would want two mobile operating systems?

It was a more plausible sounding strategy before the iPad came out. Now that it's clear that tablets are huge, and that Android will be Google's tablet OS, then you start to wonder why adding a keyboard sudden switches you to a different OS (losing all of the Android apps in the process).

"it's clear that tablets are huge". I agree but I'd say it's clear that the iPad is huge, and that tablets will be huge. So far there's no competitor to the iPad. I'm not sure why Google are arsing around with the Cr-48 (a netbook/laptop) - they need to get their resources behind a tablet.

Are tablets huge, or are touchscreens huge?

To know, we need some decent laptops with touchscreens.

It seems like the best of both worlds will clearly be a tablet that docks to the bottom half of a laptop - so we get a laptop with a tablet that can be carried around.

I also think it's a fairly good long term bet. At the moment we're in this strange 'appstore' download applications era which is like being back in the 1990s. This current era will end once wifi etc is everywhere and the novelty value of downloading an application has worn off.

Obviously for a hardware heavy device such as a mobile phone, you need some specific OS to be able to interface with all the hardware, take calls, etc. But for a laptop, where the user is mainly just surfing the web, things don't need to be so involved. That's why I think both are necessary.

>It seems like the best of both worlds will clearly be a tablet that docks to the bottom half of a laptop - so we get a laptop with a tablet that can be carried around

Seems a little gimmicky to me, and I don't see an OEM putting the kind of effort it would take to make it a seamless experience. Plus, when it's docked, are you going to have a trackpad with cursor? That would require a fairly major customization of Android to support. I don't see it happening.

I think Bluetooth keyboards might take off. What you're describing sounds exactly like the iPad docked with a keyboard.

Edit: And to test it out I've just paired a keyboard to the iPad and edited this. It works a treat - I might stop rolling with a laptop when I travel now. I keep reaching for a mouse though!

The hinge is kinda useful to angle the display.

A touchscreen that docks to a keyboard eh? Have you seen the iPad keyboard dock? Aside from lack of mouse (which would be marginally useful in iOS, if at all), that's what an iPad + keyboard dock is.

Compaq and some others made resistive tablets like you might be getting at a decade ago and one of the biggest problems was that they all ran Windows XP and were underpowered, so you just got a smaller, heavier, less capable Windows box you could draw on.

Does the dock have a hinge, trackpad and speakers? Maybe a large battery as well?

The hinge is a deal breaker.

Microsoft pushed a similar form factor to what you describe, a few years back. The market rejected it.

Personally, I think a keyboard/touchscreen combination sounds great, but apparently we're in the extreme minority on this one.

Perhaps they just rejected Windows XP on tablets with keyboards, not tablets with keyboards.

you start to wonder why adding a keyboard sudden switches you to a different OS (losing all of the Android apps in the process).

Basically, you can think of ChromeOS as a bare-bones but specially optimized Linux with just one application running on it. (Google Chrome with certain extensions)

It strikes me that "merging" this with Android would be fairly easy! (As far as OS mergers go.)

Now that it's clear that tablets are huge

Yes, but workstations are not going away. Right now, tablets are more about consumption than creation. Cloud-usage patterns are also likely to be huge. I think laptops like the Cr-48 and the Macbook Air are one future direction.

I think the idea of Chrome OS is to see if its a viable successor operating system for tablets and other devices. They can't seem to be anything less than 100% behind Android at the moment though.

i think folks are seriously underestimating google apps and the related business model. chrome os is going to be a business-focused platform, where the use of keyboards is extensive. you can only take productivity so far with touch screen devices.

Look at what Microsoft did. Dumped Windows Mobile 6.5 for Windows Phone 7, yet it also had the Kin phones with their own custom OS. They died, came back, and seem to have died yet again...

FriendFeed (at least for me on Firefox 3.6.3/Ubuntu) doesn't update that time as the item scrolls down the screen, so the screenshot was probably taken more than 11 seconds later. But yes, it is remarkable how fast they picked it up.

(I don't especially want that time to update in real-time. I find it distracting when Facebook does it.)

I'm amused that they use the verb "tweeted" for a native FriendFeed post that happens to go to twitter.

You're easily amused :)

:-) Two years ago it was questionable whether Twitter or FriendFeed would ultimately be bigger. I predicted Paul would stop being known primarily for gmail. I'm laughing at myself as I look at this article about "Gmail Creator Paul Buchheit" and his FriendFeed post being called tweeting.

Lord knows we're fast around here :)

Don't you find it unsettling that comments you make on social sites become 'news'?

As the author, I'd be happy to have a discussion about that.

In my mind, comments made on any public platform, whether it'd be on stage at a conference or on a public account of a social networking service, can constitute news if there's a clear angle.

Perhaps, but the limitation imposed by this medium (140 char) as you noted gives little. Consider any overheard single sentence and how much insight you usually gain from it.

I like twitter, but the reliance on this platform as a source is a little too much sometimes.

But it's much better than taking a sentence out of context from a regular conversation or article because it was authored with the intent of being distributed sans context.

To me this is a great strength of twitter's model, not a weakness.

I always thought that it was an unspoken social more to not turn comments on social sites into news. Something about it feels eerily intrusive, like overhearing a conversation at a restaurant and immediately broadcasting it to the world.

Perhaps I'm old-fashioned/alone in this view/mistaken.

Well, it rarely happens, for starters. And I think the analogy with overhearing a conversation at a restaurant is completely off the mark. Broadcasting a message on a vast network like Twitter is anything but a private remark or conversation.

For the record, I would never publish anything I would overhear at a restaurant, nor something that gets posted on a social site but for an intentionally limited audience.

Ok. I'm not accusing you of anything though; am just trying to better understand my own thinking.

The top link on Hacker News last night ("Today you, tomorrow me") was a direct link to a Reddit comment.

More amusing than anything. It's interesting to watch http://friendfeed.com/paul/1af77944/prediction-chromeos-will... turn into http://friendfeed.com/paul/950d810b/well-that-amusing-i-m-su... in a matter of hours.

Haha, that is great.

Does it ever trip you out that you have that kind of influence lol?

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