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#1 of 32 Sam Posten

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Posted December 09 2010 - 05:43 AM

Looks like some early registers are getting their CR-48s today, hoping i get one!


http://www.engadget....-the-lucky-few/

http://www.anandtech...gles-chrome-os/

http://techcrunch.co...book-delivered/


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#2 of 32 DaveF

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Posted December 10 2010 - 01:16 AM

Can you clarify the "Chrome Web Browser is the OS" thing? Is "Chrome" browser the same thing as "Chrome" OS? A poor choice in naming by Google? I mean, I understand that iTunes is becoming Apple's new OS ;) but I don't yet get web-browser-as-OS :)


I guess after that, my question about Chrome is...why? When I can get a $400 "netbook" with Win7 that runs every piece of software known to man -- and turn it into a Hackintosh if I want -- what's the real or anticpated value of a netbook that can't run anything except web pages?


Apple tried this with the iPhone with their 'Let them eat web" attitude towards apps, and was loudly and continuously criticized until they came out with native app development a year later. Why doesn't Chrome get the same rebuff?


And third of my two questions is, what's the predicted pricepoint? Or, how can it compete with $400 netbooks with "free" Verizon 3G service (that would cost about $300+ retail) baked in?



#3 of 32 Hanson

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Posted December 10 2010 - 02:10 AM

I think Sam can rundown the web thing, but in a nutshell, it's design for cloud apps although you can install local programs and they have cached versions for offline use.  Chrome is an "always online" OS since it is so dependent on the cloud.


And while a $400 netbook can install "every piece of software known to man", many of them are too underpowered to run them competently.  In the end, netbooks are for surfing the net, working on email and docs, and playing the occasional video.  All of which Chrome can handle, except Chrome literally starts in seconds.  And if you want to get online out of wifi coverage, you need a $30-$60/mo hotspot or data card.


The online plan for the Chrome laptop is free 150MB of data per month and then the option to have additional data plans.  This way, the Chrome laptops can operate anywhere.  Couple that with the current ubiquity of wifi, and you may be able to be online 24/7 without having to pay monthly fees.  I like that I can get online in a pinch outside of any wifi coverage with my Galaxy Tab, but it costs me $29/mo for the privilege.



#4 of 32 DaveF

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Posted December 10 2010 - 02:41 AM

So it's expected that the Cr-48 will sell for $400, including two free years of 3G service? Considering current plans are $15/mo plans for ~200 MB data plus fees and taxes, that's a $200 - $400 value. Any word on how Google and Verizon will make that work? And if a basic 3G service plan will be free with a $400 netbook, will it then become free with the Galaxy Tab? iPad? All smartphones?


This data plan per se seems like a watershed for the telecom industry!



#5 of 32 Sam Posten

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Posted December 10 2010 - 04:59 AM

I bet you see netbooks similar to the CR-48 in the $250 range at launch.  And yes, the free 3g is a brilliant move, all advertising subsidized.

Google is having fun with this:




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#6 of 32 DaveF

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Posted December 10 2010 - 05:27 AM

Is the very OS is ad-sponsored (shudder)? Or like NetZero where it imprints ads on every web page coming from 3G service? Or Google is sharing its adsense revenue for all ads seen / clicked from a Chrome OS system?


In the latter two options, we could then see free-3G PCs of all stripes.


Is "Chrome OS Chrome" any different from "Chrome browser Chrome"? Setting aside free 3G and SSD bootup, is the end result any different from running Chrome full screen on any other computer?



#7 of 32 Hanson

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Posted December 10 2010 - 06:45 AM

I don't know that, but I do use Chrome for everyday browsing because of the unified search/address bar.  It's one of the features on my phone browser that I really like -- start typing and it will search or it will pull up history or you can input the URL and it will go there.  I don't even really have bookmarks anymore since I can access all my pages with a few keystrokes.  And I suspect that's essentially what the Chrome OS is -- the interface for everything is a browser type window with an all in one search/address/app bar.  The OS indexes all the contents of the local and cloud drives so you can search for anything, like Google Desktop.  So no more folders and finding files -- it's all there, you just have to ask.



#8 of 32 DaveF

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Posted December 10 2010 - 07:23 AM

Chrome has been my regular browser on my Mac at home: Firefox seemed to be causing problems and I don't care for Safari.


But I struggle to imagine Chrome being my *entire* computer existence.



#9 of 32 Ken Chan

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Posted December 10 2010 - 09:53 PM


Originally Posted by DaveF 

my question about Chrome is...why? When I can get a $400 "netbook" with Win7 that runs every piece of software known to man -- and turn it into a Hackintosh if I want -- what's the real or anticpated value of a netbook that can't run anything except web pages?


Apple tried this with the iPhone with their 'Let them eat web" attitude towards apps, and was loudly and continuously criticized until they came out with native app development a year later. Why doesn't Chrome get the same rebuff?


Web technology (like HTML 5, JavaScript, and WebGL) and the way people spend their time on the web (the fact that many spend much of their computer time on certain sites) has advanced quite a bit in the last three years. We may not be there yet, but at least we're close to being close. Chrome also supports Flash -- at least that's the intent, right now it apparently sucks on the Cr-48, as it can on Linux -- and maybe NaCl; those give you an "out" that iOS won't.


As for why, consider the "freedom" from the headaches for all the things that can't go wrong, because of all the things it can't do. It's an appliance: you turn it on, log in, and it works. If it breaks, you get another one, log into that, and (almost) everything is where you left it. All the data it caches locally is encrypted, so you can safely recycle the broken one. Great for corporate environments, and for lots of consumers. It updates itself automatically.

Originally Posted by DaveF 

Is the very OS is ad-sponsored (shudder)? Or like NetZero where it imprints ads on every web page coming from 3G service? Or Google is sharing its adsense revenue for all ads seen / clicked from a Chrome OS system?


In the latter two options, we could then see free-3G PCs of all stripes.


Is "Chrome OS Chrome" any different from "Chrome browser Chrome"? Setting aside free 3G and SSD bootup, is the end result any different from running Chrome full screen on any other computer?


The OS itself is not ad-sponsored. Google makes plenty of money with all the non-ad browsers we use today, and will make even more if people spend more time in web apps.


Engadget has updated their preview with a hands-on. From that and what I've seen elsewhere, the two Chrome experiences are (not surprisingly) mostly the same; it's the stuff on the edges that are different.


You log into your Gmail when you log into the machine; then you don't have to log into the Gmail site. The browser window is full-screen; multiple windows then act like multiple desktops. No minimize/maximize controls; in their place are the usual time/wireless/battery indicators.


A new "floating panel" UI element. It looks like the chat window in Gmail, except that it stays visible on top when you switch tabs. Its demonstrated use: a chat window! No way to put two or more tabs side-by-side that I've seen. Still has standard file system dialogs, but that seems like something they will change.


Simplified the keyboard. Replaced the Caps Lock with a Search key. (It can be changed back with a setting.) Several global keyboard shortcuts, like to open a Terminal (wonder if they're gonna hide that too).


Instant-on from standby. Eight days of standby. Fast startup/shutdown. Easy to have multiple users, and an automatic incognito-guest user. If you have more than one in the house, it might not matter which one you pick up. Integrated 3G. Zero-configuration cloud printing. Just like with the iPad, if you want to use the computer, you pick it up, open it, do your thing, and put it down; no calculation as to whether it's worth the wait or trouble to do something.


Aside from the stuff that it absolutely can't do, like pro video editing, there are fewer and fewer mental friction points. Maybe if you don't have connectively, which is more rare since it has 3G, you might have to think about how each app works differently (if at all), especially if the connectivity is intermittent. It will be interesting to see how the apps deal with that. Not exclusive to Chrome OS, but more critical.


One thing they haven't figured out yet is what to do when you plug in a USB drive or camera.



#10 of 32 DaveF

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Posted December 12 2010 - 08:20 AM


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Chan 

The OS itself is not ad-sponsored. Google makes plenty of money with all the non-ad browsers we use today, and will make even more if people spend more time in web apps.

Ken, Thanks for the overview. This is the item I'm still really wondering about: Google is specifically subsidizing 3G for the CR-38 not out of specialized advertising on the CR-38, but out of its overall business? Is it known if this will be a feature for all Chrome netbooks?


And if the Chrome people can subsidize 3G for their netbook out of Google's general revenue, why can't the Android people do the same for their cellphones? If Android phones had free data plans, the iPhone (and all others) would be dead, or at least on life support, in a year.



It's going to be interesting to see what happens. I don't see a place for such a device in my life. But I can see how some other people I know could really like this, especially if it appears in ~$300 range. I'll be interested to see how it's reviewed, adopted, and used.



#11 of 32 Hanson

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Posted December 12 2010 - 02:36 PM

While laptops are not usually data enabled, data plans on smartphones are an important source of revenue. Most Android phones require a data contract, so having a subsidized 150mb plan would be peanuts compared to the $30-$60 data plans the carriers can charge consumers.


The Chrome laptops, OTOH, can be gateways for carriers to sell more data plans which would be secondary to the main smartphone data plans.  Bundled data packages for phone and laptop could open up new revenue streams as users see the value in having always on data access for laptops.



#12 of 32 DaveF

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Posted December 12 2010 - 02:41 PM

That's the question. Is Verizon paying for the "free" 3G in the Chrome, in hopes of upselling customers to higher capacity 3G services? Or is Google subsidizing the 3G cost to Verizon? And is this solely for these early review units, and retail models won't have free 3G?


So far, nothing about Verizon indicates they're a company to give away services in hopes of making money on the upsell. Why would that change with this netbook?



#13 of 32 Sam Posten

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Posted January 13 2011 - 06:02 AM

Heh, this is cool!  You guys know I've wanted to check out the CR-48 for a while right?


It turns out they liked my Haiku from their Facebook post enough so much that they are giving me and 4 other folks lappys from the next batch to ship out!

http://www.facebook....id=321662419491


Pretty sweet reward, not bad for 30 seconds worth of typing =)


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#14 of 32 DaveF

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Posted May 11 2011 - 05:54 AM



Originally Posted by DaveF 

That's the question. Is Verizon paying for the "free" 3G in the Chrome, in hopes of upselling customers to higher capacity 3G services? Or is Google subsidizing the 3G cost to Verizon? And is this solely for these early review units, and retail models won't have free 3G?


So far, nothing about Verizon indicates they're a company to give away services in hopes of making money on the upsell. Why would that change with this netbook?



New Chrome laptop. 3G optional. Looks like my suspicion was correct that the free 3G was a promo / beta feature and not a requirement for a Chrome laptop.


http://www.engadget....chromebook-349/


http://thisismynext....mebooks-coming/




#15 of 32 Sam Posten

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Posted May 11 2011 - 06:16 AM

My CR-48 sits at home barely touched.  It's a nice concept but ....  guess what?  I don't want a cheap notebook.  I want a laptop I can play real games on if I've committed to lugging one around.  If I need light duty web access my iPhone works just fine.  I don't see where Chrome as a product fits in.  Students will love to hate these things if we force it upon them...  I dunno...


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#16 of 32 DaveF

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Posted May 11 2011 - 09:22 AM

I agree. I don't know why I'd buy a $349 web browser when I can get a Windows laptop for the same price. Or buy a nice iPad or Macbook Air for double.



#17 of 32 DaveF

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Posted May 11 2011 - 09:36 AM

Here's the model: leased computer solution to businesses with modest PC needs.

http://www.wired.com...me-os-business/



#18 of 32 mattCR

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Posted May 11 2011 - 11:07 AM



Originally Posted by DaveF 

Here's the model: leased computer solution to businesses with modest PC needs.

http://www.wired.com...me-os-business/



This may account as one of the dumbest ideas ever.   I say that will all niceness.   A company with Modest PC needs still generally will incorporate an accounting package, or a point of sale, or a custom app.. which google doesn't offer.  And the $28 a month sound attractive, but the roughly $350/year doesn't sound attractive when it's ongoing.. with cheap desktops to be had in the sub $400 market on the Windows side, which could run the apps that people actually use, the benefit goes away.  And having Google handle your tech support?  Good luck with that.


I can't think of any business client I work with that would be interested.   Everyone has an "app" they require, which generally is setup for them.  I don't know a single company where "The Internet" is the only app they need.  Maybe they exist; but it's not as frequent as Google seems to think.


From Medical Billing Software to Dentrix to Debt Collection software to hell, a retail store using a barcode scanner and quickbooks.


Sam, I'm interested in your take.   Even my clients who use Mac would scratch their heads at this as a concept; there isn't a single admanagement company we work with that would say "oh yes, I can replace Dreamweaver with an online editor powered by a mobile CPU" ??



I may be incredibly out of step.   But, I hate to break it to google: companies that are after "SUPER CHEAP" and "need a lot" will find that ThinClients that run from a terminal server are available at about $150/each, pure ownership, and yes, they'll let people run everything from call center software to quickbooks to Snow Removal Booking software...


I guess for a sales force on the go?   But then the lease option also sucks.   I don't know, don't get it..


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#19 of 32 Sam Posten

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Posted May 11 2011 - 01:21 PM

I wanted the CR-48 cause I couldn't see that this would work for me or anyone I know.  Owning one confirmed it.  so I dunno.


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#20 of 32 Ken Chan

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Posted May 11 2011 - 03:49 PM


Originally Posted by DaveF 

I don't know why I'd buy a $349 web browser when I can get a Windows laptop for the same price.


The argument is that there are costs/burdens with a "full" "real" laptop: malware, updates, administration, and vulnerable unencrypted local storage. If you lose or break your Chromebook, you just get another one. It boots quickly, so there's much less reason to avoid turning it off. The battery will last longer. Every time you turn it on, the OS might have been updated; when you open an app, the app might have been updated. It automatically gets faster/better (on the software side) during its life, not clogged and crufty.


But since there is less "in the box", they could price it cheaper or use better quality components than their crap laptops to make the value more obvious and appealing. We'll have to compare the hardware when it ships.






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