The Verge has an interesting piece on the implications of Google’s Chromebooks, cheap-as-dirt laptops that run a browser-based OS and purportedly do not suck. Writer Tom Warren emphasizes the threat this poses to Microsoft, obviating the entire netbook and cheapie Windows machine markets – – if they sell.
But I think that’s not who should really be worried (I mean, Microsoft has a lot to be worried about, but that’s not where I’m headed). Seems to me that if Google really does have a fleet of compelling $250 laptops, it’s Apple that needs to worry. I can tell you from my experience as a blue-shirted Apple drone, folks buying iPads were doing so because they loved the idea of a smallish computer that cost 500 bucks. But in what I remember as being a majority of cases, they were always disappointed in a lack of a physical keyboard, or a lack of expandability via things like SD cards. They wanted a computer, but the iPad was awesome in its own way, so that was that.
A Chromebook is a real computer, which, like Apple in a way, strips away the parts you don’t really need (in this case a super-powerful processor and full-blown desktop OS), keeping only what you do (a top of the line browser and Web apps aplenty).
I mean, look at this kind-of-adorable ad. This is not targeted at those who need MacBook Pros or even fancy Android tablets. This is the alternative to the iPad, the computer-for-everyone that is actually a computer.
That’s assuming, of course, that it doesn’t suck. But I wonder.