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What Will The Expanding World of ChromeOS Mean For Windows? 263

Posted by timothy
from the if-only-it-was-more-useful-sans-network dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Hewlett-Packard is the latest PC manufacturer to jump into the Chromebook game, whipping the curtain back from a 14-inch device loaded with Google's Chrome OS. Powered by a dual-core Intel Celeron processor, and touting roughly 4.25 hours of battery life, the HP Pavilion Chromebook follows in the footsteps of other Chromebooks released by Acer and Samsung over the past few months. While these manufacturers continue to produce devices loaded with Windows, the growth of Chrome OS could spark some worry among Microsoft executives, who have become used to their hardware partners operating as Windows-only shops. But is Chrome OS a true threat to Windows, or just a way for manufacturers to gain some additional leverage in negotiating with Microsoft over licensing fees and other matters?"
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What Will The Expanding World of ChromeOS Mean For Windows?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:29PM (#42786073)

    Shame that it's in a creepy, Google-centric way. Goodbye, last vestiges of privacy!
    (also, first post)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:33PM (#42786111)

    For the reasons stated in the summary, from the manufacturer's standpoint it just doesn't matter. The effort to port ChromeOS, measured in engineer hours, could easily be paid for by a 50 cent drop in the per laptop licensing fee for Windows. It's a good gamble. It's a win either way.

    Personally though, a Nexus 10, with all those pretty pixels, and a bluetooth keyboard seems to fill this niche better than anything I've seen with a hinge.

  • Windows 8 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by schneidafunk (795759) on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:34PM (#42786121)
    Windows 8 is the true threat to windows.
  • LiveBook (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spacemky (236551) * <{moc.ifyra} {ta} {kcin}> on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:34PM (#42786123) Homepage Journal

    Introducing the new Microsoft LiveBook. Boots right in to Microsoft's cloud-based OS. Skydrive, Skype, Office365, Bing search, Hotmail. Coming your way in 2015 or sooner.

  • Evolutionary Niche (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:35PM (#42786129)

    It seems that Chromebooks are trying to slide into the market slot that Netbooks are currently vacating. I'm not entirely sure I understand what's going on there, netbooks were well refined products that seem to have gone out of favour and everyone is designing Chromebooks from scratch. Considering these are effectively the new dumb terminals, you'd have thought they could've done better than a Celeron and 4.25 hours of battery life - netbooks were rather more capable than Chromebooks appears to be, cost about the same and had far superior battery life.

    Or has everyone (finally) just realised that 10" is really not that comfortable a form factor?

  • Re:Celeron? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jawnn (445279) on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:36PM (#42786137)
    Really? And compared to your average tablet, how does the Celeron fare? The Chromebook's niche is not that of a PC. Hell, it's not even like that of a traditional notebook. Given that, the Celeron processor is more than up to the task.
  • by gander666 (723553) * on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:47PM (#42786265) Homepage
    Uh, no. Most people care about having shiny baubles, and them being cheap. They may "claim" to care about privacy, but in practice, they give it up pretty freely.
  • Re:Windows 8 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Agares (1890982) on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:51PM (#42786307) Journal
    I agree with you say, and that is why I try to learn as much as I can about every peice of technology I come into contact with. That way I am not tied into a single thing that could eventually die off some day. Nothing lasts forever everyone knows that, and that is why I think knowing just Windows, Linux, or Mac OSX is a bad idea. You are putting all your eggs in one basket so to speak.
  • Re:Celeron? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:55PM (#42786363)

    Who cares? CPU isn't the limiting factor on either a tablet or a chromebook. The lack of productivity software is.

  • right... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @12:56PM (#42786373)

    And revenue down 20% overall...

  • K12... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Monday February 04, 2013 @01:10PM (#42786539)
    In North America, Chromebooks are largely an education (K12) play. The "traditional" OEMs are seeing tremendous market share erosion to iPads in schools - So this provides them with something to sell. The schools struggle with iPads because they're expensive (next to no edu-discounting from Apple), fragile, difficult to manage and are theft targets. It's also difficult to create content (such as writing and essay) on iPad.
  • Disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @01:37PM (#42786823)

    "because obviously there is no such thing as software that is only able to run on Windows"

    If they don't port it, it doesn't run, and their commercial decision isn't a turin machine. There *is* such a thing as software that can only run on Windows.

  • by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Monday February 04, 2013 @01:43PM (#42786865)

    14" isn't too bad actually, around 13-15 inches is a nice sweet spot for the keyboard if you're trying to build for people with big hands. To be honest, the best way to improve laptop usability would be to ditch that shiny coating for matt non-reflective screens instead.

    Yeah, I love my Thinkpad and I don't see myself getting over it any time soon ;)

  • Re:Windows 8 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:00PM (#42787029) Homepage Journal

    Creative accounting aside - Microsoft's share of the market is shrinking. Bear in mind that their share is so huge, that any measurable shrinkage is freaking HUGE!

    If Linux adds five million users to it's share, it will make a huge bump in the charts. When Microsoft loses five million users, it's hardly noticeable. But, over time, continued losses will add up.

    Economic ruin? Not for awhile yet.

  • Re:Windows 8 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flappinbooger (574405) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:07PM (#42787101) Homepage

    MS will always be around, they are too big to just disappear, but in what capacity, health and excellence they are around depends on how they deal with this portable tech iPad/iPhone/Android phenomenon.

    Everyone wanted windows 7 and it is amazing IMO and the true successor to XP but I just don't .... want ... anything they're making right now. Give me Win 7, Server 2008R2, Office 2008 and my Android devices and leave me alone for about 5 years and then come around again and see if we need anything ok?

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:30PM (#42787321) Journal

    Not to mention with the ChromeBook all you are doing is trading the openness of X86 for a system that is as locked down as a cellphone. With a Windows laptop i can be booting up in under 10 minutes with any flavor of Linux or BSD that I want, I'm not beholden to ANYBODY to continue support of the machine as its mine and i can run what I want. With ChromeOS you have to 1.-Go into "dev mode", 2.-Wipe the OS completely (no dual boot allowed!), 3.-After all that you can run ONE and ONLY ONE OS, and that is a bootloader hacked version of ubuntu run by just one guy. if he quits hacking Ubuntu bootloaders or doesn't support your ChromeBook? Tough shit, regular Linux and BSd WILL NOT RUN on a ChromeBook.

    So while i'm all for breaking up the MSFT monopoly on X86 this is NOT the way to go about it, we are trading one corporation for another that is worse in every single way. With Windows laptops if you don't like the latest from MSFT, or they no longer support your hardware who cares? You have dozens of distros to choose from that will have updated software so your device is still usable. With this you're getting the worst of X86 (shorter battery life, more heat) and the worst of ARM (locked down hardware, little support outside the OEM) with the upsides of neither.

    What we need is an open laptop running the latest Android NOT a locked down Internet only OS. There are still a lot of places where free WiFi isn't available and if all the ISPs go to 6 strikes you can kiss free WiFi goodbye anyway so unless these have a SIM card slot and you buy a data plan they are gonna be paperweights quickly enough. Maybe its just me but I want a system i can use offline and on, that I can put whatever OS I want onto, and which isn't gonna be locked down like a cellphone and be a PITA for other OSes to support.

    I thought MSFT locking systems down with UEFI was wrong, and its still wrong if a company does it while claiming they "do no evil". So I hope these bomb, maybe they'll give us open Android systems instead.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Monday February 04, 2013 @02:32PM (#42787337) Homepage

    I personally would like ChromeOS to come touchscreen with a little android compatibility thrown in :)

    I can't for the life of me figure out how you'd mix a keyboard and a touch screen and have that make sense.

    Ergonomically, it would suck to have to reach up to your monitor from typing ... it would look like hitting the carriage return on an old typewriter or something. :-P

    On my desk, my monitor is about a foot or more behind my keyboard, I'd need to lean forward to even touch it.

    Either I'm suffering from a large lack of imagination, or all of these people clamoring for a keyboard and a touch screen haven't thought this through. It seems more like you'd get a bad compromise of both.

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday February 04, 2013 @03:03PM (#42787723) Homepage Journal

    What we need is an open laptop running the latest Android NOT a locked down Internet only OS

    Yes, that's what WE need, but the vast majority of users want a secure machine that only runs signed code, because they REALLY don't want to do system administration, way more so than they care about software choice.

  • by Teckla (630646) on Monday February 04, 2013 @04:03PM (#42788437)

    Not to mention with the ChromeBook all you are doing is trading the openness of X86 for a system that is as locked down as a cellphone.

    Which is great in some places (e.g., education) and for some people (e.g., very non-technical users).

    With a Windows laptop i can be booting up in under 10 minutes with any flavor of Linux or BSD that I want, I'm not beholden to ANYBODY to continue support of the machine as its mine and i can run what I want.

    Running Linux or BSD on the desktop appeals to, what, maybe 1% of desktop users?

    So while i'm all for breaking up the MSFT monopoly on X86 this is NOT the way to go about it, we are trading one corporation for another that is worse in every single way.

    Wow! Claiming Microsoft is worse than Google in every single way is quite an extraordinary claim!

    What we need is an open laptop running the latest Android NOT a locked down Internet only OS.

    What's wrong with having both?

    I thought MSFT locking systems down with UEFI was wrong, and its still wrong if a company does it while claiming they "do no evil".

    This hyperbole is beneath you.

  • by Teckla (630646) on Monday February 04, 2013 @04:23PM (#42788653)

    Microsoft killed the netbook, Tablets simply are immune to Windows.

    I think this is one of the most insightful comments here.

    Microsoft went out of their way to make sure the netbook experience sucked, thus it's no surprise the netbook market has shrunk considerably.

    Fortunately, Microsoft has not been able to sabotage the tablet market.

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