Final Words

At a high level, Chrome OS sounds like the most interesting thing to happen to the low end netbook/notebook market since we saw the first Atom platforms. The problem has never been hardware, but rather the software. At $299 - $399, for someone who is truly just going to rely on web based applications, I can see Chrome OS being a very good alternative to a netbook.

The integration of Qualcomm’s Gobi modem is particularly brilliant, giving every Chrome notebook a GPS as well as cellular data connectivity. The 100MB of free transfers per month for two years is just perfect for light users. Chrome OS or not, I’d like to see this sort of a setup on all notebooks.

Google does raise some very interesting points with Chrome OS. Although you can technically do more with a Windows PC, Microsoft still has to provide answers to the high security, hands off updating approach of Chrome OS. I suspect Redmond isn’t standing by idle while this happens, but I do wonder when we will see something from Microsoft.

Then there’s everything that’s happening in the smartphone and tablet space. Android, iOS and Windows Phone are all doing battle on their own, with goals contrary to that of the desktop players (Windows, OS X) and Chrome OS. Interoperability is important but something that many of these platforms don’t allow. Chrome OS at least allows it within Google’s browser, but outside of it you’re left with nothing. I’m not sure I like the idea of buying a different app for every single device in my possession.

The beauty of a new era is the diversity you get from the players involved. The downside is the chaos, the fragmentation. The players involved are absolutely huge. The industry hasn’t seen this sort of an environment since, honestly, before I was born. The leaders in computing in the 1970s and 1980s are mostly gone today, I can’t help but wonder who will survive as things settle into place.

I never understood people who liked to skip to the end of books until I started watching all of this unfold. This is one book that I’m too fascinated by to not want to skip ahead and see how things turn out.

Performance & ISA Independence
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  • tipoo - Wednesday, December 08, 2010 - link

    Yeah, its just a prototype to test the OS but I really wish manufacturers used this kind of design more often! No logos, no curves, no patters, no glossy black plastic, nothing but what matters. Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, December 08, 2010 - link

    *patterns Reply
  • yzkbug - Wednesday, December 08, 2010 - link

    Looks like a lot of us here share the same vision of how notebooks should be designed. Here is an idea. Let’s start an open-hardware project (analogous to an open-source project) defining what our notebook should be (high quality LCD, no 16:9 screen, no gloss, thin bezel, no-flex keyboard, etc.) May be one day, a notebook manufacturer will hear us and turn it into a real product. Anand, do you want to drive this? ;) Reply
  • Dug - Thursday, December 09, 2010 - link

    Hear hear!
    It seems so obvious, but good ol stupid marketing and project managers can't get it through their thick heads to listen to customers.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - link

    Perhaps your wants aren't what the majority of people want; and since price is based off supply, demand, and cost, perhaps they really don't want to lose.

    When you start specializing, you lose an economy to scale. There are higher manufacturing costs, which means it'd cost more for the rest of the people, which equals less sales, which equals less profits. This is one of the reasons why the Dell manufacturing process was so successful; they used only a couple of base models so that prices would not be as high.

    But I agree, having some variance in design would be nice. I would not call it "open-hardware", I'd call it "open-design", which could encompass hardware as well as software.
    Reply
  • Computer Bottleneck - Thursday, December 09, 2010 - link

    I like that idea, but what platform/OS would that go best with? Reply
  • mrBug - Sunday, December 12, 2010 - link

    AROS !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Reply
  • gr00 - Friday, January 14, 2011 - link

    I wouldn't call it open hardware because open-source hardware already exists, more like "sensible notebook design initiative". Definitely agree on "no 16:9 screen, no gloss", many of those are just standards that I hope will come to pass. Reply
  • GullLars - Thursday, December 09, 2010 - link

    I liked the design, with exception of connectivity options (seriously 1 USB, and no external storage?), but the name is not thought through.
    The reference platform is called Cr-48, which is a very unstable radioactive isotope (λ < 24 hours) of the element Chrome (nr 24 in the periodic table)... Cr-52 is the most abuntant stable isotope, and would make a better name for a computer...
    Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, December 09, 2010 - link

    Nah. This is a public beta of sorts, its going to be buggy. Naming it after the stable molecule of Chrome would ruin its name, naming it after an unstable isotope with a short half-life makes sense for this :) Reply

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