Nov 01

Samsung Chromebook. Copyright © Samsung.

Google, in partnership with Samsung and Acer, has announced a radical new laptop where all the software and data is stored online.  It’s called the Chromebook, which is named after Google’s Chrome web browser. 

The Chromebook runs a full-screen Chrome web browser and does everything via the Internet.  Your word processor, spreadsheets, email and games are all web apps.  There is no local hard drive, so all of your data resides in the “cloud.”

The advantages are many:  There’s no software to download, install and upgrade.  Viruses cannot infect your computer, though email and web phishing techniques can still pilfer your private information.  You don’t have to worry about backing up your data.  The Chromebook itself is relatively light, starts up in seconds, and has a long 8-hour battery life.

There are disadvantages as well:  If you don’t have an Internet connection, then you have a 4-pound brick.  You must rely on the cloud to backup and secure your data, which with all the high-profile data breaches lately, is easier said than done.  And let’s face it, most web apps are still not nearly as good as native apps.

Chromebooks are the dumb terminals of the 21st century.  But instead of green screens and cords, we have web apps and the cloud.  The world is definitely heading in this direction.  The web browser is becoming the computer desktop, and our data is migrating to the cloud.

But just as Americans are reluctant to give up their cars and rely solely on public transportation, it will be a while before everyone is willing to trust their entire digital lives to Google and Apple.  There are still too many Internet data breaches, data losses, and data holes where Internet service is spotty.

Are you ready to hand over the keys to your digital kingdom?

Story on AllThingsD
Samsung Chromebook

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Article published on November 1, 2011

2 Responses to “Google Unveils Laptop with its Head in the Cloud”

  1. TechnoKing Says:

    This is full of fail. The only people interested in a Chromebook will be mouth-breathing, Facebooking morons.

  2. James Says:

    I’m using my Chromebook now. It works quite well, but for something which is crapware-free it is still relatively slow. I only turn it on once a day, so being quick to start up is not as much of a help as other things. Still, it works well, apart from not supporting GLSL and similar. NaCl is good.

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