Why one network oriented mobile operating system when you can have two? (where one has tons of applications and the web, while the other just has the web).
Why get vendors to build one dedicated tablet/netbookish type device (ref:Asus Transformer) when they can build 2 or 3 (ref:netbooks)?
Why improve netbooks, which are cheap and have decent battery life and are intended for network connectivity (while offering the benefits of local apps) when you can compete with them with similar devices with less functionality at twice the price?
On top of these obvious problems, the OS was announced very early (probably before there was any code written) and it took forever to come out, wasn't really available for people to just use on their own devices conveniently (I'd much rather install this on my old laptop and turn it into a halfway decent web oriented carry-around then buy some new fangled device at 600 bucks) and Google never successfully answered the questions around having Android and this at the same time.
On the desktop, this means less time in native apps and more time in web apps. So they sell netbooks that don't support native apps.
On mobile devices, they just want people to use smartphones rather than dumb phones. They don't even really give a shit whether they're Androids or iPhones, except introducing a competitor to the iPhone grows the smartphone market in total and commoditizes them, so they give away Android. And for that strategy to work, Android has to feature-match iOS, which means native apps. And since iPad, Google now has to grow the tablet market and commoditize them, and since iOS can be adapted to tablets, so must Android.
Which makes the strategy of coupling ChromeOS to specific hardware devices even more odd. Why not just offer it up to people to use? Give it away a la Ubuntu and see if people wholesale switch up? Heck, if it worked decently on old machines I might be able to get another couple years out of some of the unused computers I have lying around.
That'd get the eyeballs using those machines on the web and hopefully clicking on Google ads.
This present strategy (Chrome books) is obviously not doing it and seemed odd from the start -- and smells like mission creep to me.
That's likely due to the design decision to have verified boot. There is hardware specific to Chromium OS in those machines.
They don't need to be so secure, but then it's a tougher pitch to their only market--enterprise.
The kind of people who install different OS's on computers they already own are more likely to actually need to use native apps and more likely to spend lots of time on the internet anyway. ChromeOS is better targeted at a lower end of the market.
Which I agree with. It's too bad that $500-600 isn't the lower end of the market anymore. I can get a usable notebook for <$300 these days. To really make a case, they need to hit the $200-$300 segment for it to make any kind of sense.
At $600 bucks I can get an actually fairly decent Windows 7 laptop.
It just comes off as "weird" to me.
Heh, I did just that yesterday. $600 (no tax or shipping) got me a mid-range quad-core which can be used for casual gaming too.
Only this is an idiotic long term strategy, if Google was to go even more full speed ahead to achieve this. Getting people to spend more time on the web takes a lot more money that can be generated per person via Google ads. Especially when they can spend that time on Facebook or any other Google competitor.
Google, for example, looses tons of money on Android just to "secure" their place among mobile platforms. This will not go well.
The market they are going after isn't small, but it also it's quick to adopting new solutions (Windows XP is still common, it came out in 2001...).
It's possible that Chromebooks are just a shitty idea. That's a pretty boring interpretation and I have nothing interesting to say about it.
But it's also possible that none of the PC manufacturers have the vision to really execute this strategy. Why would they? They aren't technology companies, they just buy parts, assemble them, and distribute them. They live in a world that Microsoft and Intel created in the 90's. No way are they going to try anything different.
What Google needs to do if they're going to pursue this strategy is to contract a manufacturer like Asus and basically design and sell the thing themselves.
I'm inclined to take that explanation. This is a classic case of "how can we make the customer do what we want" instead of "how do we make our customer's life better".
Yeah, Google's profit is all in ads, so it wants you to spend as much time on the web and as little time on native apps as possible. Guess what Google: your customers don't care about your bottom line.
They want the best device, for the lowest price.
So here are our two contenders:
- A "broken laptop" that can't do everything the user wants it to do. It can only go on the web. It uses a strange OS that nobody is used to but yet does not seem to offer any benefits.
- A full-featured laptop/netbook that gets the same battery life (if not better), runs a common OS everyone is already familiar with, runs all of their apps (and the ones their friends are running too), and does the web thing just as well.
And checking out Chromebooks and Dell/HP netbooks... They're even the same price.
So here's Google, offering substantially less value for the customer's dollar, and people are standing around shocked that it's not working.
The core question here is: is this product better than what it seeks to replace. And the answer, IMO, is an emphatic no. It's missing many features people have come to expect from such devices, and for that it's not even cheaper.
Google needs to turn this upside down and work from the customers. At the end of the day, as long as you don't have a monopoly, the users do what they want, you cannot push a product that has a shitty value proposition and expect people to latch on. That's insanity.
If google wants to do something about this , it basically have two options: the android option and the chromeOS option. They're trying them both(because of the risks involved). At some point if chromeOS fails , android will become a desktop OS. it's a natural step from using android on tablets, and google probably has people working on this too.
But, then again, I think some of this psychology directly stems from Windows. MS has traditionally had this feature-checkmark mentality that pushes for more checkmarks & features over substantive quality; and you can see exactly the same thing with most Windows PCs. Now, the consumer's left a complete-shit algebra to reason about which computer is best for them. Ugh, ok, I'm cutting the rant off here.
The PC makers commoditized themselves by provided no added value.
Google doesn't have a marketing team on the ground. Selling to enterprise requires face time. Lots of it. Second, Google doesn't offer good support. The best you can get is email support. Which isn't gonna cut it.
Until Google makes serious investments in these area ChromeOS isn't breaking into the IT shops.
> Google doesn't have a marketing team on the ground. Selling to enterprise requires face time. Lots of it.
Perhaps I'm biased as a Google employee in NYC, but there are hundreds of sales and marketing employees in my building and across the street in Chelsea market. Google is very serious about expanding into the enterprise, and yes, that includes sales and marketing efforts. Why do you think that is not the case?
> Second, Google doesn't offer good support. The best you can get is email support.
The first result for the query [google phone support] on Google is http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/static.py?page=contactin..., which gives both US and international numbers for 24/7 phone support for Google Apps Business and Education editions. AdWords also has phone support. I do not know details about Chromebooks, but it is simply untrue that google only has email support.
If the support you get you when you spend 10,000k+ per week is anything to go by, Google has the worst support I have ever encountered. By far.
(1) get an inferior beta product out in the market early;
(2) then iterate both the product and the ecosystem so that
(3) when the category explodes you have a moat that makes you the default option.
We all know that decisions at Google, particularly for resource allocation are data driven. Google Docs is not good enough for the enterprise today. The only way it will be good enough in 2014 when thin clients explode is for resources to be allocated today which requires the 2011 Chromebook failure.
And it was a shitty smartphone in the first iteration.
"ChromeOS is a huge step backwards from real PCs"
Which is a different category then what ChromeOS is in.
The problem is there aren't a lot of enterprises that are (yet) completely web based. It's going that way and there are more every day, but Google's still ahead of the curve with ChromeOS.
RTFA. The whole point is that they are NOT selling. Period.
"Analyzing Chromebooks' difficult situation, the sources pointed out that although Google is mainly pushing Chromebooks in the enterprise market, its Google Docs applications cannot meet the needs the enterprise users."
Apple bats much higher and rarely misses on the big products. They make big announcements and put a lot of credibility behind never seen by the public products. Out of the major product categories, a lot caught fire fast: ipods, iphones, ipads, OSX, istore, itunes, air. Several didn't catch fire like that but still picked up decent usage: appleTV, icloud, iwork, ilife
It's actually a remarkable experiment. Evolution vs intelligent design. Both are way better than the average but each approach probably has an advantage in certain situations.
Apple's approach is probably better for hardware-software products. You need scale and certainty to get prices down and the wow factor to jumpstart sales.
FCPX was a new codebase. To build upon. There was no "dumbing down" (as some idiots suggest every time the see a redesigned UI), it's still a full professional app. It lacked features, because you can't have everything carried over and ship in a timely manner (ask the TextMate programmer). Those will be added in future releases, until then people can use the old version.
FCP was a tangled mess of a codebase, inherited from a different company, in a different era and OS version, and never rewritten to take advantage of Cocoa frameworks et al. The could have piled some new features to the old bloat and called it a "new release" (Adobe does it all the time, especially with Photoshop and Illustrator). Instead they took time, effort and money to build something they can build upon for the next decade.
Think of it like the transition from OS 9 to X. Was 10.1 perfect? Not by far. Did it lack OS 9 features? It did. But it was the foundation to take us where we are today, while OS 9++ would have gotten us nowhere.
AppleTV? iPod Hi-Fi? MobileMe? Need I go on?
DigiTimes doesn't cite a source, so if anyone has a source, drop me a line here.
"although Google is mainly pushing Chromebooks in the enterprise market, its Google Docs applications cannot meet the needs the enterprise users"
I don't know how google could possibly have released the Chromebooks before their apps worked offline. That alone was a showstopper but the apps themselves are still just not nearly feature-rich enough to replace real office apps. Look at OpenOffice / LibreOffice - even with 10 times the features of Google's solutions it doesn't make a dent even though it is free. I think Google is just delusional about what's needed here. They can't "incrementally" get to where they need to be from where they are. It's a whole different ball park.
It's bad. Period.
My mother had all sorts of problems with Windows ranging from spyware and virii to failed updates. I set her up with Linux years back, and it has suited her needs quite well. Now she has a new machine, an ASUS netbook with Windows 7... and it recently lost wireless ability I some inscrutable way following a Windows update. She spends 98% of her computing time using a browser. As someone who began using modern computers within the past few years, she already has a fuzzy view of the line between a browser and an operating system.
I'm thinking that actually, for her usage profile Chromium OS would be a great fit. I don't think that people should be so quick to declare ChromeOS a failure. It's quite forward thinking in my view and it will be interesting to see if we see significant adoption. As noted by some others here, one thing that is holding back ChromeOS's usefulness is the relative immaturity of the Google browser apps, such as Docs, that are supposed to make up the core of the productivity software for the platform.
I imagine quite a few other people need just that "one extra application" and realized that it wouldn't work on the Chromebook.
Given how much 'better' Ice Cream Sandwich looks on an Asus 'tablet/keyboard dock' than ChromeOS does I believe they are going to lose this round.
Oh, and the kernel's are largely similar its more like 'Phone/Android' and 'Chrome/Android' so that confuses things even more.
ChromeOS is a strategic mistake but an example of Google feeling the need to copy Apple's simplicity sells model.
Businesses are the target market for ChromeOS but simplicity (e.g. Apple's model) doesn't sell well to businesses because businesses want as much as they can for the money, and they can get a regular netbook with native apps for the same cost.
Simplicity is great for personal computing and device markets, but ChromeOS is inferior to Android for this market, so where's the selling point?
If Google made ChromeOS devices really cool, really slick and really cheap, e.g. devoted the effort Apple does, these could succeed. But Google isn't going to do that with G+ and the millions of other initiatives they're focused on.
I could see Chromebooks being more popular if they were a more reasonable price, say $99, but the current ones are way to expensive. I think the problem is that they are basically regular netbook hardware with a free OS. The only difference between a Chromebook and a netbook is the free OS vs. a non-free OS. With it only being limited to the web, there's not much reason for the average consumer to choose a Chromebook over a netbook with all the extra features of Windows 7.
Also, this number can't be right: Google alone probably ordered more than 5000 machines.
'Me have Chromebook', surely.
So you don't have Chromebook, you just have a cheap plastic laptop.
Chromebook is all about running Chrome OS.
Very useful when reading pdfs or long articles.
ChromeOS makes a lot of sense, but there are a few hurdles that will naturally work themselves out over the next 3 years. Things like Internet speeds, connectivity issues, offline/online data sync, the user's hesitations, the current state of web technologies to replace native apps etc.
Times New Roman in the middle of three animated gif ad units, that all change frames at different rates and times.
Google pushing Chrome OS for PCs; vendors give it the cold shoulder
Aaron Lee, Tapei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Thursday 10 November 2011]
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, at speech in Taiwan on November 9, promoted Chrome OS in high-profile for the PC market, but PC players are rather pessimistic about the idea and believe if Google wants to cut into the PC market, the company will need to provide more resources and support.
During his speech, Schmidt mentioned several times about Chrome OS' advantages such as fast boot up, no virus issues and free of charge, and prompted PC players to give Chrome OS a try.
However, due to demand for Chrome OS-based devices (Chromebooks) being lower than expected, PC players are taking a passive attitude toward opening projects. In June 2011, Acer and Samsung launched their Chromebooks ahead of other PC brand vendors, but by the end of July, Acer had reportedly only sold 5,000 units and Samsung was said to have had even lower sales than Acer, according to sources from the PC industry. However, Acer has declined to comment.
Analyzing Chromebooks' difficult situation, the sources pointed out that although Google is mainly pushing Chromebooks in the enterprise market, its Google Docs applications cannot meet the needs the enterprise users.
Meanwhile, since Chromebooks' major advantage is their cloud computing capability allowing users to use online document processing tools, if users are at a location without Internet connection or have poor connection quality, the advantage becomes a disadvantage of the device, noted the sources, adding that cloud computing is the trend of the future, but Chromebook is currently still too idealized.
Not everything needs be an over night success, specially new concepts such as this, they seem to even dismiss the notion of long term projects. Is it just PR attacks from Google's competitors or is it that they just like to gloat?
Product names and logos are a small but somewhat influential aspect, of a product overall perception. I have this perception on some product names and logos, relevant to this discussion:
- apple: cool
- apple logo: very cool
- android: very cool
- android logo: very cool
- windows: average
- windows logo: average
- ubuntu: cool
- ubuntu logo: average
- webOS: poor
- chromeOS: below average
- chromebook: below average