At my company, all the software that we use is web-based (SaaS), with the exception of software engineers, who are using local tools to develop web based applications.
For non-engineers, the OS provides an extremely simple client to use to do their job. The OS is a slightly better web browsing experience than the Mac, and since all you need to do your job is a browser, it works great. The OS presents your google drive cleanly as a local filesystem, so you can even avoid any local storage completely. The OS is security-first, and is far more resistant to malware than a Mac or Windows machine.
For engineers, you get all of the above and a well functioning linux distribution on which you can build software. Since everything we deploy is on linux, it's closer to our production environment than the mac.
The best part of the experience is how the cloud oriented nature of the OS lets me treat my laptops like cattle rather than pets. If you lose your device, just grab another one. All your stuff is up in the cloud. Strange bug? just power wash the machine and start over.
I also think that journalists or hobbyists may have a hard time appreciating the OS. Yes, it is terrible at things like video editing, games, audio editing, etc. But for a work machine in an enterprise environment, it's fantastic.
I won't be surprised if Google kills Chrome OS in the near future, as they killed a lot of stuff already.
I don't trust Google anymore.
I clearly remember telling people that asked me about whether they should worry about it saying beta on some Google product I had recommended that Google always leaves stuff in beta for years and not to worry. Well, now we all know better. I'm not happy about it, but I don't feel like I can blame them for that either. They were pretty up-front about services being beta in most cases.
But my use of Chrome OS creates far less lock-in for me than most products. Other than my hardware investment--which I don't expect to last forever--I could basically switch to anything else with a browser next week basically without skipping a beat.
Disclaimer I use Google services, but I'm definitely looking for alternatives.
This is changing though - the most recent quarterly report has YTD ad revenues as 84% of overall revenues, with the corresponding previous year's period at 86%. The non-ad revenues are in the tens of billions of dollars - hardly nothing.
Literally the only thing keeping me from using it as my primary work machine is that it only supports one chrome browser profile per login, so I can’t be logged into my work account at an OS level and my work and personal accounts at the chrome level. But I went and paid out of pocket for a pixelbook for home because I thought it was a great all around home laptop.
(Disclaimer: I work at google, but not on chromeos or hardware, this is just my personal experience )
You used to be able to login with several accounts and switch between them similar to virtual desktops.
Once you're signed into the other account, you can switch quite easily with <CTRL> + ,
But as long as you can install another linux on a chromebook(i once bought a refurbished x131e for less than $100,upped the ram to 8gb, put a seagate sshd hybrid in it and dual booted windows10 + ubuntu on it. Its just like any other laptop except no function keys) there's really no issue here..
These 3 year old Chromebooks don't even get Chrome security patches, you would literally be better off with any other laptop when it comes to security.
I was covering two distinct cases, one where Google discontinues a production product, and generally they have a different product to migrate to, and one where Google discontinues a beta peoduct, where it seems they usually don't care if you were reliant on it.
Beta does mean prerelease testing, and while it implies they are moving towards a release, there's no guarantee implied or otherwise that a release is forthcoming.
A) You have to trust third parties.
B) It's boring to point out what Google has killed. But when you look at that list there's nothing as substantial as ChromeOS.
Finally, ChromeOS is incredibly widely used internally, and is a revenue generating product in the Chromebook family sold to enterprises alongside Cloud products. It is not an area where Google is going to capitulate or kill without a sufficiently long runway and carefully considered EOL plan.
Disclosure: am Googler. Am tired of half-considered takes on Google.
Google+ got way, way more investment than ChromeOS and was considered a top priority at the C-level. Still killed.
Before you say "it wasn't widely used" -- that's probably why it was killed. Google customers who use a product that doesn't lead its market and/or make megabucks should be worried.
We know there are other products that are failing to gain traction in the marketplace -- like GCP. While I'm not saying GCP will meet Search Appliance's fate, it has already been reported that there will be financial consequences if GCP is unable to get a #2 position in the cloud marketplace by 2023.
Even if Google would kill all of Chrome in its entirety you could still run other software on it. You would lose secure boot but that's about it. It's more like a PC than an embedded system.
Sorry, maybe "I have nothing to hide as a person, but as a bussiness I have plenty to hide.
Or just avoid Adobe scenario (I live in EU): https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/7/20904030/adobe-venezuela-...
If Chrome OS is dead, we switch to regular Linux|MacOS|Windows laptop running Chrome. It is more annoying and less secure, but all the software still runs.
And Chrome-the-browser is pretty unlikely to be killed.
Looks like they are missing DejaNews / Google Groups (it started as an index /browser to Usenet, but was transformed as a tool for mailing lists)
I think both Chrome OS and Android will be replaced by Fuchsia at some point. Native apps will be written in Dart/Flutter and they will also support web Chrome apps like Chrome OS does today.
I get why they need to kill off products. I took a few minutes to look through https://killedbygoogle.com/ and there are a lot of fleeting, gimmicky things on that list that should have never been released in the first place.
Google has an image problem with this. By releasing all these unfocused products into the wild, they've signaled that they will create unfocused products and kill off the ones that aren't hugely successful.
Now when they launch a new idea, people are no longer excited, but legitimately suspicious. When Google launched Allo and Duo at the same time (while Hangouts still existed), it sent a clear message that they really didn't care about product management and continuity or communicating to their users. They would rather be the ADD company that built 3 competing things and measure usage than to nurture and improve already successful products.
People don't like having the rug pulled out from under them and the repetition of this trope will continue to echo so long as it resonates with readers. Even if it's FUD, this is a big problem for Google.
I don't think Chrome OS will be on this list anytime soon, but if something shinier comes around, can you honestly tell me Google won't drop Chrome OS for the shinier thing?
How one can trust them is beyond me.
Then there is horror stories like this one
The entire business world relys on a third party product (Microsoft Windows) whose business model has already changed and has already mostly killed its once flagship product (perpetually licensed windows).
Google writes contracts for chrome enterprise support that are 5-7 years long, so it’s unlikely they would just make the product go poof.
This means the Thinkpad X131e had under 3 years of support if you bought it brand new like many school districts did in 2015.
The ThinkPad X131e Chromebook was originally released in February 2013  and has received five years of Chrome OS updates from Google. From March 2017 onwards, new Chrome OS devices receive 6.5 years of support  and in November 2019 many received a further year of support on top of that  so the update situation is a lot better than it was.
School districts purchasing X131e Chromebooks would have known at the time of purchase that they would stop receiving updates in February 2018 . Being two plus years into their lifecycle is not really Google's fault. The districts need to do better due diligence.
As you mentioned, EOL dates for all Chrome OS devices are published in an article on Google's website . To get the most life out of a particular Chromebook model it needs to purchased as close to launch day as possible. That's what I always try to do when purchasing Chromebooks where I work.
It's also worth mentioning that the X131e is supported by Neverware's CloudReady until 2025  so the Chromebooks don't have to be thrown away when Google stops supporting them.
My 2011 Windows desktop runs Win 10 and drivers just fine.
2012 Macs work fine with Catalina.
This issue exists with Windows as well. PC OEMs will only commit to a few years of driver support. I have a few thousand PCs that are 2018 purchases that will not be eligible for the next major branch of Windows 10 and will need to be replaced by mid 2021.
You can switch to 'anything' running Chrome as a replacement.
Even if you have all that at your disposal, it's probably still safer (and more reliable) there, unless:
a) you actually have to worry about espionage from Google and various governments,
b) you cannot legally use them (I think some health/financial data under GDPR cannot be hosted outside of the EU), or
c) you are doing something illegal.
Not necessarily my opinion on cloud vs self-hosting, but it makes sense from a business perspective.
But for a work machine in an enterprise environment, it's fantastic
You're using it as a thin client, and that's great; it works for you. But outside of a controlled environment, ChromeOS becomes less and less useful, especially as connectivity deteriorates or becomes less predictable.
To continue with your analogy — the pets will find their way home. Once the cattle are off the ranch, they're gone.
That's exactly the situation I have for about half of my computing: if I'm not at my home office, I'm either at a coffee shop, on-site with a client, or at one of my rural properties. In all three cases, who knows what I'm going to have as far as reliable Internet goes? With Windows/OSX/Linux, the majority of things will work with spotty Internet (although that too is sadly becoming less true over time)
Unless it runs Excel, that seems unlikely to apply to the enterprise in general.
Yes, ChromeBooks make you somewhat more dependent on networks. But, truth be told, I'm not getting a lot done other than reading or maybe writing if I don't have a network connection anyway whatever device I'm carrying.
There's not much I do day-to-day on my laptop that requires anything other than a browser.
A big issue with ChromeOS is its only browser, Chrome. Google has repeatedly demonstrated it's willing to put its ad-tech interests ahead of user demands (reader mode, good adblocking).
Yes, you can enable Linux support and install Firefox. A very small number of ChromeOS users will do so, if they're even allowed to. Note that Linux support is beta and comes with a lot of known issues. For organizations that support Linux, there are better routes to getting Linux into their engineers' hands.
The cloud-oriented nature of the laptop is sort of secondary. Dumb terminals have always had a place in the enterprise, for so-called 'tethered' users. It's entirely unsurprising that Chromebooks are similarly popular, they're better designed than most dumb terminals, and the BeyondCorp (zero-trust) approach to security is a good one.
> journalists or hobbyists may have a hard time appreciating the OS
While there are scenarios (e.g. travel) where Chromebook may be useful for journalists, journalists who need to keep their sources secret would be particularly ill-served by Chromebooks. People who're working on stuff that competes with Google (or indeed Microsoft, as Office 365 also works on Chromebook via web/Android), may also worry.
In short, if you're a 'tethered' user at work and could conceivably use a Wyse thin client, Chromebooks are great and probably superior to most other dumb terminals.
Every OS can be treated like cattle now. Games are in the cloud (Steam), package managers exist for every OS (homebrew, linuxbrew, chocolate) and installed-software manifests can be backed up to GitHub. It took Google years to add basic backup to its Linux system, and if you've customized the text settings for the console then ChromeOS is still not like cattle and you will have more setup to do.
(Termux is a phenomenal project. So glad it exists.)
Ask HN How do you protect your parents against tech scammers?
> Give them a chromebook. No virus scanner or firewall needed.
It's 2020 and the "Personal Computer" paradigm is past its expiration date.
Want to keep hobbying with Windows and manage your "PC" like a pet, good luck with that!
Hardware should be managed like cattle with a cloud native setup if you ask me.
Racehorse owners loose 90 cent on every dollar invested, cowboys fly helicopters.
As a bonus, I don't have to worry about whether Google's ambivalence will eventually make the computer useless.
This is my argument for
- Nix or Guix as my main package manager
- having daily backups--encrypted and stored off-site
I don't want to rent my right to use a computer.
And interestingly, Google has a clear "complementary solution" to ChromeOS for software-engineering use cases: Google Cloud Shell (https://cloud.google.com/shell/docs/), which gives you a "personal POSIX environment as web-app."
I feel like ChromeOS and GCP have an obvious idiomatic relationship to them, sort of like Windows and Azure do.
Sure some of people here do not like google integration. But in a practical world, it solves many problems to normal people.
And android the OS is really better than what people seem to think.
What happens if the knowledge worker loses their connection to the "cloud".
For that kind of money I could get a 10th gen i7 (where applicable) 16 GB ram/512 GB SSD Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7 or Surface Pro X (including type cover and pen for the Pros) with money to spare.
How is this considered cheap? It's insane
Around 2014, cheap ($200) chromebooks seemed impressive compared to low end windows laptops (which didn't have SSDs, enough ram for windows, or good battery life).
After that, the cheap chromebooks completely stagnated, though (in 5 years they have only gone to slightly faster celeron processors and 4 rather than 2 gigs of ram) while cheap windows laptops have gotten much better, and as you have mentioned, the expensive chromebooks certainly aren't competitive, either. I think that somehow the idea that chromebooks are cheap seems to have remained despite the fact that it isn't true anymore.
I think that the cheap celerons that the cheapest chromebooks get just are not good enough - I've had chromebooks for years and years ago those chromebooks with weak CPUs (sometimes obscure ARM ones even) were totally fine and would zip along without issues, but now the weakest celerons just do not seem to be able handle modern web UIs.
So that puts us in the sad situation where if you want to buy a chromebook, you need to consider one with a non-celeron CPU, but those then tend to be really expensive in comparison (e.g. double or triple the price of a celeron one), at which point you might as well just buy a windows one (or even a macbook air or something similar for not much more).
It is a shame - I don't know the bulk trade prices, but I am guessing that the difference between the weakest possible celeron and something less-crap like a base pentium thing is probably only like $10-15, but would make a huge difference to usability, but you just don't seem to be able to buy anything without jumping up to Intel i5s for an extra £500 etc
I'd prefer spending $300 on something like a refurbished Thinkpad for myself, but realize that might not serve my family's desires.
I would consider a 500-600€ device with a decent screen, 8 GB and a (swappable?) disk to try ChromeOS out, I feel I'd be wasting money if I were to get a sub-300 one
When people talk about price being an advantage for Chromebooks, they mean at the low end, where the OS can operate well on hardware that Windows doesn't tolerate, and where the windows license fees become a significant part of the selling price.
Try a comparison of devices around $300US, that's the sweet spot for ChromeOS.
The only thing close is Windows Search Indexer, which is a buggy piece of junk that spins CPU all day doing nothing
I would buy any of them with ChromeOS at that price (I'm interested from a developer point of view, especially for the Android subsystem)
That's leaps over any Chromebook I can find, and those are real laptops that can do any workflow.
These days it's upper middle for the U.S. I would say. For example the new top-of-the-line Dell consumer laptop, the XPS 13, starts at under $1000 (900€). When I got an XPS nearly a decade ago, it was a model they had at a considerable discount (as I recall it was an overstock situation or something) and it still cost me $1350.
As far as I can tell, low-end, mid-end, and high-end laptops are not only more powerful than the laptops of 10 years ago, they're also considerably cheaper at each level. I can't say for ultra-high-end laptops, I'm sure you still can spend $2500 on a laptop if you want, but even the MacBook Pro starts at only $1300 these days.
So let's look at the actual prices: In the US XPS 13 9380 starts at i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $949 listed price. In Europe the same configuration starts at around 1200€, but they are also lower configurations (i3, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD) priced at €949, just so that they can list a lower "starting" price, even though that configuration is almost unusable.
Compare the Macbook Air and the pricing isn't too bad. The air has 1 gen newer CPU (basically a refresh) and thunderbolt 3 instead of usb-c along with an extra inch of screen (pixelbook could add almost 1.5 inches if they shrunk the bezels).
With 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD, the list price of the two is the same ($1700 in the USA). Pixelbook also gives you a touchscreen (with good pen support), better keyboard, and (IMO) better trackpad while shaving off a massive third of a pound. Pixelbook is also completely silent.
Surface Pro X with 16gb RAM and 512gb SSD is $1800 and weighs almost exactly the same as the pixelbook once you add a keyboard. It includes a crappy Qualcomm 8cx processor.
Surface pro 7 with same specs is $1900 and around the same weight. It does include a G-series processor, but it's probably adjusted from the normal 15w TDP to a 12w TDP to save power (lowering actual base clock from 1.3 to 1.0GHz).
Cheapest Surface Laptop 3 with same specs I can find is Best Buy for $2000 for the 13-inch model. It weighs a touch more than the air, but once again, the G-series processor is a bit faster overall.
Pixelbook isn't cheap, but neither is the hardware or build quality. You can often find them on sale for much less though. $500-600 for the i3 version is very common. I picked up my i5 version on sale for $650 (marked down from $1300).
But my point was the same as yours: same price, better hardware, good screens + build quality and a capable OS instead of a full screen browser and mobile apps
All I would say is that thing still still runs and looks like it did the day I bought it. It's a solid device that runs everything through the usb-c port (which was still new back then). The specs are overboard for what a Chromebook needs. But like most things, I guess it just comes down to what you use it for.
Now that it has a built-in Linux support, I could do things that might push it. I was surprised when it got Crostini support, you run the Linux apps inside the Chrome OS and not some buggy sandbox.
The big price differences are on low end hardware where the greater resource requirements of Windows make it uncompetitive.
I use a Chromebook as my daily driver, and I'm happy to spend on good hardware. For my needs, Chrome OS is far superior to Windows and Mac. Hard to beat the security, Linux integration and battery life.
Also updates are really smooth: done in the background, just have to do a quick reboot and you're done.
Since I migrated my mother to a Chromebook, she no longer breaks anything and I no longer have to do tech support.
Incidentally, I put Xubuntu on my grandma's computer for a few years.
ChromeOS also has a package manager and a full local filesystem, you just don't see it. Don't touch it on and XFCE debian derivative and it's the exact same.
Do you really think that's the case?
> Also updates are really smooth: done in the background, just have to do a quick reboot and you're done.
How are there updates if it's stateless?
All your data and applications are on the cloud. So if you loose or break your Chromebook, just buy a new one, and all your work is already there.
If you look at the low end, you'll find devices starting from ~$200.
Thinkpad x230 is 10 years old and it's current market price is below $100, I think. Or you can get it for free from a friendly company admin. Except for screen estate (compared to Retina) x230 is everything I need. It still has in it another 5 more years or so.
So ChromeOS could be cheap and performant at the same time. Chromebooks are different story - never found one with price to performance/quality ratio that suits my wallet.
PS. I disagree that ChromeOS has stalled out. Can't wait till February for version 80.
x230 is some old i5, 100GB SSD and some RAM. Battery is still OK and getting replacement battery for Thinkpad is no hassle.
It works all right and the keyboard is a dream.
Looks like my old MacBook Air (model 6,2) is not supported, but its 11" variant (6,1) is. I'll give it a try when I return home from the holidays.
I bought my i5/8g/128g variant for <$700 USD.
You can definitely find a Chromebook for ~$200 USD.
Chromebook growth has been phenomenal, full stop. There is still plenty of headroom, because the price point continues to beat phones and laptop competitors. Note also the growing success of premium Chromebooks. Classic bottom-up innovation/disruption story.
In terms of making use of the hardware, Android is a necessary stopgap strategy, but webassembly is coming to bring native app performance and security to the web platform.
That's not to say Google is marching from strength to strength. Their product management discipline is poor to non-existent, and from the outside there seems to be a fundamental monetization tension between ads and subscriptions, when the same human flips between being product and/or customer, particularly for the kid/ed sector.
I completely agree. Both my mother-in-law and cousins (that are college age) have switched to chromebooks because of the price point to accomplish what are basic needs for most laptop users.
Looking ahead and making predictions for ChomreOS in the 2020s. I could even see a Stadia style pipeline for more processor intensive apps. Run Creative Cloud / Maya type tools on dedicated cloud gpus. And just send the video frames to the client browser tab. I've been thinking a lot about how 5G adoption really can be leveraged to offload computation from the device and will introduce whole new classes of interactive media.
That's my problem with Chrome OS. It's super bloated. It's like three operating systems in one with containers acting as duct tape.
I liked the original idea of Chrome OS. But that idea hasn't worked out or perhaps it was just abandoned too soon.
The ChromeOS UI has been 2 steps forward and 1 step back. In preparation for their tablet launch, they re-worked the launcher. This was mostly fine, but they made the poor choice to merge settings and notifications to be like Android. They used to sit side-by-side and viewing lots of notifications was much easier. It used to be really buggy too, but now it's mostly just a worse experience for no good reason.
On the other hand, they finally added workspaces that are pretty similar to macOS. They work great and my only complaint is that they haven't made a gesture to switch between them yet (just a keyboard shortcut or expose then select).
When I switched, you had to put the machine into dev mode and run Crouton. This made everything work more-or-less like a normal Linux machine, but made for annoying startups (make a mistake and your machine will wipe and reset) while also getting rid of the security the OS provides.
Crostini has been an amazing advancement and they're making very fast progress. Support for VPNs was my primary issue, but that's been fixed for months. Sharing between the main OS and Crostini used to be a bit painful, but that's easy now too. GPU acceleration can now be enabled and works decently most of the time opening the way for most Debian apps. Tabs for the terminal would be nice, but I usually use tmux anyway. My only particularly annoying issue is UI scaling of Linux apps, but that's not entirely their fault. On the high-dpi screen, things can look really small because most apps aren't optimized. The really annoying issue for me at the moment is third-party APKs in Android. They simply do not allow them unless you want to go back into dev mode. If that isn't something you do, I guess that's not an issue at all.
I'm currently hoping for a pixelbook 2 which simply adds another inch of screen and shrinks the bezels a bit. Other than that and maybe adding thunderbolt, there's not much I'd want to change.
It makes sense when all your assets are also stored in the cloud.
Not sure the economics are there for everyone yet, as cloud storage requirements for digital content creation can get very expensive very quickly.
Pretty much like the Pixel phones that still ignore a few major markets after all these years. What should I feel about a company that doesn't even try to sell its hardware seriously?
Meanwhile, any 2nd tier Chinese OEM will manage to have its products sold at the electronics shop down the road.
I've given up on ChromeOS for the time being as been capable of any serious work I do. The more frustrating part is my kids have Chromebooks and as they've gotten older they've become a real detriment. They can't accomplish anything on them beyond school work. My kids are showing a lot of interest in graphic design and programming and both tasks are too hard or almost impossible on a Chromebook.
To me, the biggest drawback is most Chromebooks (not even the pixels) don't have a good GPU not that you can't get things to run.
It quit receiving updates in June of 2019.
Never understood the thought process behind this as supporting the machine is probably negligible given the platform.
I looked at other chromebook solutions, but unless I wanted to spend close to $1000 there was nothing close performance wise. There are ways of getting chromeos on the machines left behind, but it didn't interest me.
Decided to move on to a refurbished Windows 10 pro dell laptop. I do miss the safety I felt with the chromebook.
Support costs aren't too bad so long as you don't have to update the kernel and requal everything. But newer userspace starts to use kernel features to provide better functionality and better security (consider the massive vulnerabilities associated with Spectre and Meltdown, and obviously none of the remediations would have been in the 3.8 kernels). So you have to consider the costs of doing a requal of all of the hardware platforms using a 3.8 kernel to something newer, versus the costs of continuing to backport security fixes to older kernels, and the costs of testing the userspace components against older kernel, and providing workarounds for the lack of features in newer kernels.
A six year support lifetime is a long time; and Windows 10 has also stopped supporting older laptops on newer releases, so you will also see Microsoft not providing updates to older hardware.
As happened for my HP laptop whose firmware put the GPU in some high performance state, expecting the Windows driver to clock down as appropriate.
Sadly, Windows upgrades (7->8, 8->10, all the 6month updates to 10 except for the October 2019 one) are "full installs" that run in what is essentially Windows' "safe boot" mode with stock drivers, so there was no clock down.
The result was that I could only update the laptop outdoors in winter when it was freezing, otherwise the laptop powered off mid-upgrade because it ran too hot (which then leads to the upgrade being rolled back, repeat ad nauseum).
Compared to that, the 5-8 years of Chrome OS support cover a really long time (the upgrade path and new OS version are actually tested on the very model I'm running), but it's a trade-off: If you're lucky about the configuration and what newer Windows versions expect, a Windows laptop can be usable for 15 years, but there's definitely luck involved (even though I guess Microsoft is also doing some rather arcane testing on their own, but things slip through and they certainly don't provide any guarantees for what's essentially third-party hardware).
I thought windows update failing because an unsupported, never-installed unrelated installer for Netware was in some custom-named obscure backup directory buried 4 levels deep was impressive.
Thanks for taking the time to explain.
You can install something like Gallium if you have the patience, time, and skill, but not everybody does.
I have an Acer C720 that have been running Linux for 5 years.
Now it has Debian with a 5.4.0 kernel and it works just fine.
In the beginning it was running Ubuntu which also worked fine.
I got it because the SSD died a year ago, but I run Linux from an SD-card.
Now I have a Dell chromebook with android. And it sucks. Incredibly slow. Even on guest mode. And it is new. And recent.
Immediately installed Linux, it ran great. I could see myself still using it to this day.
The Chromebook is also a great way to get out of supporting friends and family with technical issues. It's an affordable device and my tech support has been limited to getting it setup with the printer. (Though cloud printing is being killed later this year IIRC.)
The ones who control our digital properties, can control the world (information is power, remember?). They might not, but they can, and also can aid third parties with shady intentions (see all the Facebook fiasco). By the way, we should have learned this lesson already.
Also, people often forget how groundbreaking was to have a compiler (GCC) directly embedded with the OS because you could mess with the source and compile it yourself. Its very liberating to have a platform where you can code and modify it.
So i think a future where the likes of Chrome OS took over the world, is pretty scary as we ended turning our powerful and liberating computers into a sort of "interactive TV".
As i understand it, they will try to make it very easy for us to buy into this platform utopia, the problem is, in my point of view, that in the long term this will lead to some sort of digital feudalism. Lets not forget we are "digitalizing" our lives day-by-day, til the day there are very few useful things we do in the physical world.
So in the future if Google for instance want to ban your account, this could have severe problems, as a side-effect of your digital ostracism. (access to capital, bank, employment, etc..)
They are platforms that put Google strategic plans first and the user in the background.
If they teach (and phones are teaching this) that is ok/normal to have everything in the cloud and not stored locally, we are doomed in the long term if we dont fight this trend.
You are a tech-savy person that can use Gallium instead, but you are a minority and the normal person who bought a Chromium OS wont understand why you got into the trouble in the first place.
If we forget and ditch the culture that came with GNU/Linux, personal computers will be akins to TV's and big tech corps will have absolute control over our lives.
Anyway, your post just reminded me about this trend. Not saying that you are directly involved in it, just to make it clear, but is a possible scary outcome if this thing get out of control.
At my last job in ed tech we developed and maintained a Chrome OS app for about 3 years. Not an Android app, but a web app for Chrome OS.
I had great hopes for the platform for education use but it turned out developing for Chrome OS was a terrible mess. Docs are incomplete and cryptic, there are strange dev restrictions like not being able to use localStore, erratic behaviors of the apps, nowhere to go for help, the chrome web store dashboard was totally obsolete by today's standards, etc.
It felt very bizarre seeing Google doing all the marketing on their new flashy Chrome OS devices, Android apps, and Linux support, while at the same time looking at the docs and working on what seemed like an abandoned project.
I think ultimately Google will replace Chrome OS with Fuchsia. Maybe Fuchsia took longer than expected so they had to improvise and bring Android and Linux to keep the platform alive for a couple more years.
> constant crashes, an insanely slow single-core Intel Atom processor, and questionable build quality would make it clear to anyone that it was very much a product built for dogfooding, not as a replacement for your Windows or Mac notebook
This use of "dogfooding" confuses me, wouldn't the chromebook being used for dogfooding mean it was meant as a replacement for your windows/mac notebook? Or if not, how does it relate to whether the chrombook was meant to replace windows/mac notebooks?
> This can be a way for an organization to test its products in real-world usage. Hence dogfooding can act as quality control,
It smells like the author wanted to use a fancier term for "beta-testing".
The atom processor and the 2GB max of ram is what really was the problem with it.
All that said, they supported the Cr48 for a long time after it was sent to people, especially considering it was basically public beta test hardware.
To be honest, I’ve never seen “dogfooding” used in such negative terms, but this seems the most likely explanation.
Building a x86 laptop, sourcing processors from Intel is actually much harder than you’d expect if you’re new to the game and doing smaller runs.
(Disclosure: I work on Chrome OS firmware, but started later, so I never saw one of the Cr-48s)
Something like table scraps does seem more appropriate in that sentence to me. Unless there is some context that I am just not picking up on.
The author isn't familiar with Berlin's cafes and restaurants ;)
Lumping restaurants in there seems a bit bizarre unless he's just talking about SV.
Well that's about GCP marketing team, as for Chromebook -
1. The power brick broke down with single night plugged into power, that seems to be a problem with that particular model of power brick and the one Acer replaced with doesn't have any problem for ~ 2 years.
2. This particular model is like a tough-book(kids?), I was very impressed with the quality of build for the price ($299).
3. Underpowered Atom CPU, but that meant being fan-less. Fan-less X86 means, I use it as SBC (which it technically is) and it's hard to get a x86 SBC with this spec for this price.
as for ChromeOS,
1. I am content with the premise of low end netbook with browser as the frontend (whether that should be Google Chrome is another discussion).
2. I am happy with the updates, first it was vanilla chromeOS, then I received Android App support, then I received notification that my Chromebook is EOL(it was fixed later), then I received Linux support.
3. Android apps compatibility became better but there are some fundamental issues as heavy threaded apps stall when moved out of focus (this may be due to hardware, someone with Chromebook Pixel should comment on this).
4. Good security architecture and regular security updates.
Conclusion: As a commercial replacement for MIT Labs OLPC, Chromebook is a clear winner; as for $1500 laptop I think the OP article makes sense.
Why spend 800 bucks on your phone and laptop.
Third parties have tried to implement such systems with minimal success but I wonder what it would look like with Google backing it.
I loved the idea of Chromebooks, and hoped ChromeOS was a way that Linux would finally be "mainstream" on laptops. I've bought at least 10 Chromebooks since 2013, including all of the Google flagship models, since I use them as my main dev machine and at tradeshows. My next laptop is either going to be a Dell XPS 13 with Linux or (shudder) some random Windows 10 laptop.
 "1080p on a 13.3-inch display works out to 166 pixels per inch, a far cry from the 235 ppi on the first Pixelbook and the impressive 293 ppi on the Pixel Slate. Google does offer the Go with a 4K screen, but that option is only available if you get the top-of-the-line model, which costs an eye-popping $1,399." https://www.engadget.com/2019/10/25/google-pixelbook-go-revi...
 I won't ever buy another Google phone -- I bought a Pixel 3a and it completely broke by dropping it 3 feet with a screen protector and highly protective case, due to the very cheap display tech they used. I searched youtube for stress test videos about the 3a and could only find one where somebody's pixel 3a shattered after being dropped 1 foot; in comparison phones like iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S10plus have dozens of videos with high end equipment testing dropping under rigorous conditions.
I've got a 3a and haven't experienced this. My kid has dropped my phone everywhere (from the cart at the grocery, from his high chair, his car seat, etc.) - note the phone isn't playing anything, he just likes to hold it and pretend he's talking to 'oma' or 'gigi' - and I just have a cheap rubber cover. To each their own though.
I'm using a MBP now, instead, partly due to the quality issues and partly because Google's privacy stance has made me more uncomfortable as time goes on.
I think there are good use cases for a cloud-based OS, and it's something I could be interested in using, even helping develop. But, like Android and Search, Chrome OS is just another harvester of personal information to feed Google's advertising profit machine.
> Chrome OS doesn't have a robust photo editor? Don't worry, you can download an [Android] app! Chrome doesn't have native integration with cloud file services like Box, Dropbox, or OneDrive? Just download the app! Chrome doesn't have Microsoft Office? App!
The problem is that Chrome OS is attempting to be a desktop platform, using web apps and mobile apps.
Desktop OSes (Windows, macOS) are all about files. Apps are files. Your documents, photos, and videos are files. Any app can access any of your files.
On mobile, you don't normally interact with files. Apps aren't files; you launch apps directly from the app launcher, and they store data internally; when you delete an app, its data is deleted, too.
Web apps are like mobile apps: they don't have access to your files. You can't make a web app photo editor that opens a file, makes some changes, and then saves those changes to the file. Instead, you have to "upload" the file to the web app, and then you have to "download" the modified file.
Microsoft Office has a web version (Office 365), but it's like Google Docs, lacking access to your local files. Dropbox has a web app, but it just lets you download files one at a time; it's impossible to implement Dropbox-like file synchronization in a web app.
Google is aware of this problem, but you might not like their proposed "solution," to develop a cross-browser standard file access API. https://web.dev/native-file-system/ Google's currently running an "origin trial," where a small number of web sites have temporary access to the feature to try it out.
I think Google's not going to ship it until they convince Apple or Mozilla to approve; it's not clear when (or if) that will happen. Here's the most recent discussion from May. https://github.com/mozilla/standards-positions/issues/154
So file access isn't technically "stalled out," but it's still going to take a long, long time.
Really hope there is RHEL (10+ year release) type ChromeOS.
As general purpose OS, I never got the point of it.
Any OS other OS is able to offer browser juggling support alongside the benefits of having a proper OS, better hardware that a Web browser is capable of (does not matter how good is the GPU, Web GL 2.0 can only do so much).
And the security story is kind of meaningless when everything that matters is stored in someone else's computer, with the traffic going through Google's servers.
The point is it doesn't need to outsell Windows it just needs to have markets it targets and updates for those markets. That it doesn't have updates for markets it doesn't target is irrelevant unless they've maxed out all the markets they target (they haven't yet).
'Cause I steer my folks away from such stuff.
It all depends on your threat model. Some people don't mind Google knowing everything about them, and are happy to reap the benefits of making that tradeoff.
That said, I regularly use it over my MacBook and still is the best form factor laptop I've ever used.
The day I buy a Chromebook is the day I read that Google only issues Chromebooks to their employees