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A look at Amazon's holiday winners may mark the beginning of a major shift for Microsoft and Windows

Over the last year I’ve been paying close attention to the growing number of laptop vendors selling Google powered Chromebooks. We’ve got a Samsung Chromebook in my house, which otherwise is a mixture of Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry. 

I think it’s going to take many years to happen, but I firmly believe Microsoft Windows will keep losing ground as more and more of what we do is Internet-based. Families that have been all-Microsoft will experiment using a cheaper Chromebook. Android customers will enjoy the natural integration of Google’s services on these products. In time, this will eat into Microsoft’s operating system share. That’s my working thesis anyway.

On Boxing Day I noticed an interesting press release from online retail king Amazon. While the focus of the press release is how many new customers joined Amazon Prime, there is also a series of bullet points about product sales.

Looking under the “Holiday Best Sellers” section of the release I spotted the following bullet point: ”Laptops: Samsung Chromebook; ASUS Transformer Book; Acer Chromebook”.  If I’m reading this correctly, Amazon is telling us that two of the top three selling laptops did not run Windows, but instead ran Google’s thin, web-focused OS. The usual disclaimers apply. Amazon didn’t release actual data. There are hundreds of Windows-powered laptops versus only a few Chromebooks available. But, still, this data point provided by Amazon is fascinating.

I’m very curious to see how this trend continues into 2014. It looks like HP will put its 11-inch Chromebook back on the market soon, now that it has a replacement charger. I don’t want to fall victim to overestimating change in the short run. I don’t think Google laptops (or Chromebox desktops) are going to take over the world in the next two years.  But when I think about the next decade it seems unstoppable.  The ability to run both local and cloud-based apps is sure to improve, and the need to run Windows in the home environment (followed by enterprise) should nosedive.

My big question heading into 2014: What is Google going to do to push deeper integration between Android and Chrome OS? 

 

Reader comments

Pondering the ever-bright future for Chrome OS

170 Comments

Im not liking this move to more 'limited' OSes. Chrome OS has a LONG way to go before it replaces Windows for me, its not even 10% of the way there. Commercial Linux distros like Ubuntu arent even half way there.

I couldn't agree more. I think when one's own tasks might be adequately handled by web services or severely limited OS's, they should be careful assuming that's necessarily the case for others or most others.

Over the years, we've read countless journalists/bloggers claiming the imminent demise of Windows at the hands of mobile OS's and the cloud, and while *their* needs might be suitably met, there's been very little headway made by these services/products in handling the many, many tasks that require more and local processing and storage capabilities.

Like Rovex, regardless of what my opinion is of Windows (it's been bad, it's currently not so much so), the fact remains that *no other OS* has even the slightest chance of coming close, to say nothing about matching or exceeding, the capabilities of Windows - and ones which I rely upon to do my job. Even Linux, which HAS a few of the applications I use, can't realistically fill my needs because it doesn't have ALL of them. Any advantage of Linux is lost if I not only need to keep a Windows OS installed, but continually boot back and forth to and from it.

I'm not saying Linux or one of it's many variants (ChromeOS, etc.) *can't* eventually supplant Windows, but realistically, we're decades away from that happening.

And I'll add that I'd be more than happy if it would happen. I'd love nothing more than a modern, clean OS that could handle my needs without all the baggage. I've tried virtually every Linux variant out there, I was a huge fan of the BeOS years ago. I have no inherent loyalty to Windows beyond the fact that it singularly meets all of my needs, even if it does so with some hassle and inefficiencies. At the end of the day, it gets the job done.

So yea, let's hope for/push for ChromeOS to continue to be developed into a full featured and robust OS, but let's not kid ourselves that it's already there. It's ultimately counterproductive to portray it as, and convince people to purchase systems running it, for a desktop replacement. It's a desktop replacement with a pretty significant number of asterisks. Misrepresentation and unmet expectations can doom a product, as we've recently seen with Windows RT.

The only thing that other OS has to compete against Windows is that they offer cheap Ineternet borowsing. After that they are a waste. I have a niece with a Chrome book, and let me tell you that it was such a waste. It at best is a note boot that is out doen by a Samsung slate.

Productivity wise Windows right now holds the crown of all encompassing in the get it done arena. I think that Windows will be more nimble in the future as you can see things being pushed into the cloud. The set back of cloud based products, and information is that they open up a privacy can of worms with who can see what you are doing when connected in my opinion.

I can see why people who use mostly IE can dismiss ChromeOS as a "browser" OS. In fact, Chrome browser (and to a lesser extend Firefox) are becoming more of "application containers". Who develops apps for Windows only these days? I know, there are many good traditional Windows apps, like Photoshop, but they have been around for long time. And how long before they come up with a "web" version as well? Even Microsoft is hedging their bets with 365. The OS is becoming almost irrelevant. In fact the best OS stays out of the way, and provides a reliable, efficient environment. And in this ragard Linux (including ChromeOS), has Windows beat to a pulp.

npco543, we can just as easily turn your statement around:
When one's own tasks might *not* be adequately handled by web services or "severely limited" OS's, they should be careful assuming that's necessarily the case for others or most others.

While Chrome OS may not fill *your* needs, the fact is that it is capable of meeting the needs of what the majority of users do on a computer.

What specifically are these "many, many tasks" which require more local processing and storage capabilities?

I'm not the one who made the initial assertion, so there's no turning it around as I repeatedly acknowledged that the cloud and mobile OSs can serve some people's needs.

As for the many, many tasks that require more local processing and storage capabilities? You know all that content you're consuming on your content consumption device? This may come as a surprise, but virtually none of it was, nor could be, created on the consumption device. It's like asserting a TV is all that's needed to produce a TV show, or an MP3 player as all that's needed to create music.

None of the apps you use were programmed on the OS, none of graphics in those apps, none of the promotional video production and none of the apps support web sites were created on the OS the app runs on.

None of the hosting, verification or payment processing was done on Android or Chrome OS.

No serious/professional photo manipulation or retouching is done on either OS.

No buildings are designed on mobile operating systems, no CAD/CAM, no engineering, no product design, no simulation.

The list goes on. My god, it's shocking that one can even ask for such a list, as it represents such a tragic disconnect between what you consume and the slightest realisation of the processes, technologies and resources needed to produce it.

If I might seem a bit terse it's because my work is, on many levels, involved in producing the very content you consume, and here you are advocating for the abandonment of the very tools I need to use to produce that content in favor of the drastically limited and feature restricted tool by which that content is distributed. It's the proverbial cutting off on ones nose to spite ones face, and it's a tragic shortsightedness that's at the root of so many of our problems today.

How did I advocate abandoning the tools needed to produce content? I never said that there was no place for Windows. I was speaking about the use cases for the majority of users. Clearly, your computing needs are not those of the typical home or enterprise user.

I'm sure that you would agree that the number of people producing the kind of content that you describe, thus requiring the capabilities that an OS like Windows provides, is quite small compared to the people who are consuming this content.

My point was that you are not speaking for the majority of users for which a Chromebook would indeed be all the computer that they need. And this is why the author makes a fair prediction in saying that market share for Windows will continue to drop in coming years.

95% of Windows machines do not complete any serious or professional photo or video editing, no CAD, engineering to product design. 95% of Windows devices do not do any web hosting, verification or payment processing.

95% of Windows computers do need virus protection. 95% of Windows computers do need skilled upkeep or administrators. 95% of Windows computers are $100 more expensive because of the Window license.

The problem is ive seen a few people buy Chromebooks because 'they only browse the net' only for them to then ask me how you do various other things, which a chromebook cant do.

If you are going to buy one you need to absolutely sure you will never need to do anything it cant do. Windows laptops can be very cheap, just as fast and much easier to use.

^^^ This.

I really am not seeing the big deal about Chromebooks. For about the same price you can get a "real" computer that will be more than a tablet with a keyboard. Chromebooks are not going to have the ecosystem of a PC for a very very long time. They are a niche product at best.

I still don't know anyone that owns one and uses it. Between tablets and cheap laptops, Chromebooks seem superfluous.

You make me some valid points. However for some people like you me who already have a Windows desktop or laptop they might be in the same position and want an additional device and see how it goes. They're such a risk free investment. I can see it replacing the majority of things I do on a computer such as Facebook, email, google play music, YouTube, and light photo editing. I just don't know how a Chromebook would connect to my sound system and I want to use dual large monitors. Anyway I am going to get one soon but I really want a stationary chrome desktop. I see the chromebook market share rising by people who already have another computer.

No, you're absolutely right. There's any number of uses for these products right now, and many of those uses are just as, if not better suited by them as opposed to traditional PCs/OSs.

All I'm saying is that it's absurd to suggest were on the cusp of traditional systems being entirely replaced by these more targeted systems. We're simply not. Hell, I have Android phones, Android TV sticks in my TVs, an Android tablet, I have Android X86 and Chrome OS X86 installed on one of my PCs, I love playing around with the OSs. But the only tool by which I can do the work that pays my bills is my Windows PC. I'm not saying I love it, but it's just a fact - those other systems are designed almost exclusively for content delivery. Any creation tasks they may be capable of are mostly limited to textural input. That's fine, but it's a very small part of the whole process.

I can already do all that with a tablet. And my tablet is lighter and more portable, and sometimes even has better specs.

Completely agree. They will need to work long hours to replace Windows (Linux/Mac). However I will say that as a "thin" OS it is a great supplement. Just like its OS it physically tends to be thin and light. It is great when I just need to look something up, write something up really quickly, but if need to fire up after effects, gimp, or eclipse...there is no web based app that can replace those...yet.

fucken idiot, a huge amount of web traffic already occurs through mobile shit, ios and android, which means that shit has already almost replaced windows and your ass is dead wron

Unfortunately Amazon is not a major player in the retail computer market. This makes the Chromebook a big fish in a very small pond. It's great to see Chromebooks top any sales list, but when I look at website analytics, Chrome OS isn't even a blip on the radar.

While ChromeOS is neat and great in its own way I just don't see it replacing anything yet. I will get my first taste of MAC OS in a few more days for the first time and I hope its great. But I do like the Chromebook idea as a low cost laptop replacement!

Enjoy your mac, I have had mine (macbook pro) for almost a year now. I installed window 7 on a bootcamp partition thinking I would need it,I have booted to it maybe 10 times or so and that was to play some games not available for Mac. The main reason I got the mac was windows 8,I tried it for 3 weeks and returned the laptop because of mertro, it just wasn't for me.

Start8 by Stardock makes Windows 8 great. brings back the Start button and you never have to see Metro. and you get the under the hood speed of 8 and ubiquity of Windows.

Ha! Same thing happen to me (almost). I tried before Mac osx and kinda hated it. So when windows 8 arrived, I dive into Linux and never been happier.

Posted via Android Central App

I have a Chromebook. Actually we own a Samsung one and an Acer C720. They are both great, fast little web browsing devices. If you want to experience this on your home computer, just open Chrome and make sure you have the app drawer icon in your taskbar down below. That's all Chrome is. Nothing more. Its actually a little less because some of the apps in the Chrome Store that work on your PC wont work on the Chromebook because some rely on software written for windows ... Oh, one other thing ... what you cant duplicate on a Windows machine is the ability for the machine to boot up in 6 seconds. Chromebooks are good at that

Bootign up in 6 seconds is nice.
The crippling lack of some really basic functionalities makes the tradeoff far, far from worth it. is houldn't need a workaround to transfer files from my laptop to my Android device. I should be able to connect via USB and be done.

It should, should it? Have you ever tried transferring 1.5gb of video wirelessly? It SUCKS! Oh and good luck trying to do anything else over WiFi while that's happening. USB connection is far faster and much less likely to crash out.

Actually, you can do it wirelessly on both Chrome OS and Windows.

Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.

My 2 year old laptop running Windows 8.1 boots to desktop in 11 seconds. A brand new top of the line machine should be able to get there in 6.

Posted via Android Central App

The fast boot time is more a function of the SSD than the OS, although ChromeOS is clearly leaner than Windows or OSX. But my MacBook from early 2011 boots in 9-10 seconds ever since I replaced its HDD with an SSD.

Of course, the SSD I installed is 256GB and cost about as much at the time as a whole Chromebook does now, so...

yes, sorta, it can be a software solution as well as hardware, but in today PCs the bottleneck is with the hard drive Read/Write speed. SSD is the way it should be (for a ton of reasons) but it is also way too expensive right now, especially since it is also a low capacity.

In less than 5 years it will be common.

For what it's worth, my Linux system (no SSD - I5 circa Jan 2013) boots in 10-15 seconds, while Windows 7 on the same box takes over a minute. Neither one is as horrible as XP was on the predecessor machine, but when booting Linux these days, I don't even think of the boot-up time. And I only boot Windows when I absolutely have to - my employer's VPN doesn't have a Linux client - damn. I used to RDP to my office desktop from Linux in the good old days ;-).

All this talk about boot up times? How often do you need to boot anyway? For me, it's once a month after Microsoft patch Tuesday (second Tues of every month). Otherwise I leave my PC's on all the time with just the screen and hard drive set to shut down after an hour of inactivity. When I wish to use them, they're available immediately! :D

While it's true windows won't boot up in six seconds, Windows 8 boots up hella fast

Posted via Android Central App

Not if you're going to desktop mode, and expect things to be launched and ready.

True, it gets to the Metro start page quickly, but it's actually slower on the three systems I've tried it on than W7 when it comes to loading my normal install.

All smoke and mirrors.

Pop an ssd in any windows machine and it won't be far behind 6 seconds. The reason chrome books boot up so quickly is light os and ssd, the old Acer had a HDD and it took much longer.

Posted via Android Central App

That might be part of it. But Linux *does* boot much faster than Windows. Has for years now - without resorting to tricks like storing the last successful boot as a memory image like Windows 8 does.

I get my windows to boot up very close to that. If you sign on the password protocol slows Windows down. The new Windows 7, and Windows 8 boot extremely fast in fact Microsoft had to slow it down to allow the boot configuration for the BIOS!

You'd have to have a full drive to dedicate to it. You can't install Chromium OS without wiping other partitions on the drive.

You can, however, image a USB with an image of Chromium OS and try it out by booting to it. It's not *exactly* the same but it is, pretty much. I recommend looking at ArnoldTheBats World of Whimsy for details on how to do it.

Why dual boot when Chrome O/S isn't as full featured as the Chrome browser?

Posted via Android Central App

I've purchased 2 Acer Chromebooks in the over month. C710 for myself and a C720 for my 10 year old daughter. It wasn't my intention to move completely over to the chromebook for work and play but that's what happened. I have probably used my windows laptop twice since my purchase. Does everything I need it to do for work and is quick. My 710 has 4gb of ram and 64gb ssd

Posted via Android Central App

I'm curious what's the use of Chromebook to a 10 year old ?
Isn't a tablet far better choice for the kind of things kids normally do ?

Also it seems dangerous to give full web access for kids, is there any kind of built-in parental control ?

Chromebooks are a great web portal for kids, and the keyboard and education apps in the Chrome web store allow them to get work done too.

I agree about the danger of giving full web access to kids, which is why I'm very happy about the "Supervised User" feature that is currently in beta for Chrome.

I like Chrome. But it has a VERY long way to go. That I can't connect my Android device (made by Google) to my Chromebook (made by Google) via USB cable is just absolutely, 100% unforgivable.

Also it has no terminal. No custom romming, but the people that want to do this stuff is not who chrome OS is looking for. Although, it see!s pretty basic that theirs no way to sync your android phone with your Google made chrome is device.

Posted via my defective Nexus 7(2013)

Wrong. ChromeOS does indeed have a terminal. Ctrl+Alt+--> before logging in is the best time to do this if you want to accomplish anything on a system level. Otherwise it will just open a new tab in Chrome.

Exactly. I don't see what can't be accomplished using the internet as far as syncing goes. You can't use it to hack into your phone anyway. And as far as a file reader, it'll save to an SD card all day.

Posted via Android Central App

Try transferring a 1.5gb movie from your Chromebook to your android device. Over a USB cable (with any other OS) it's a fast transfer. Doing it through the cloud is a FAR slower task, whether that's through Dropbox, Drive or even Airdroid.

There is simply NO excuse for it not being an available feature.

Yeah, I tried using Google drive to transfer files from my Acer Chrome Book to my Galaxy Nexus and it was very painful. Oftentimes, Drive would crash and I would have to start over.

It crashed on the Chromebook, 7 out of 10 times. I'd start the upload, go back to browsing, and upon re-opening Drive to check the status of the upload, it would be "stuck" at a certain percentage. It only ever occurred during the bigger (more than 100mb) uploads.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Glad to hear I'm not the only one... But sad it happens. I have a 14" hp chromebook. It sits in my basement to surf the web...

Posted via Android Central App

What would you gain by doing this? And can't you use something like airdroid instead?

Edit: just read that you dont think airdroid is a good solution.

Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.

Its already replaced my mothers windows 7 machine and my gf which uses it for college machine. Slowly chrome os is replacing my families machines because of the hastle free style of chrome os. Sure some people will need that more powerful machine but for a lot chrome os is perfect for them. Its the simplicity of the device that makes it great open it up and hit the ground running. There's something to be said for a worry free computer which a lot of people severely underestimate.

Posted via Android Central App

There's some things Chrome OS can't do for me, and I don't imagine it will be able to. Things like buring CD's, ripping DVD's, and Photoshop come to mind. Until that day, I'll use Windows. I also would like to see a 17" Chromebook before I switch.

I have a chromebook but to make it useful I also run Linux over the top of chromeOS most of the time. And its because of how limited chromeOS is. I like the idea but until it supports its android hardware buddies better and separates some of the stuff from the browser and handles more video formats its just a playground to mess with for me.

Posted via Android Central App

My view of a chrome book is this:
If you don't have any media device(smartphone,tablet,fulllaptop) and need a basic, clean,low hassle device with a large screen, built in keyboard and the laptop form factor, the chrome book is probably your best bet.But, if you want a larger selection of apps and programs, go android or windows. My biggest dream will be when Google merges android and chrome os apps completely. Then, it will only be a choice of size and price.

That is all. The darth lord android speaks.

I find your lack of faith in android disturbing.

I love my Chromebook (Samsung).. But it's an additional device to complement my windows machine. By no means can it replace anything (yet). I'm in the market for a new machine right now.. Looking at Windows 8.1.

I can see a household running numerous chromebooks for everyone, but one main Windows/Mac computer for real tasks.

And I'm sure Mac are fantastic.. But I don't care, I know Windows, why learn new software that offers nothing better?

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

I completely agree with this post. I see Chrome OS continuing to get better and for manufacturers to continue to produce more devices. I hope to see the mid section of Chromebooks fill out a little more as Chrome OS becomes more powerful. Hopefully doing more complicated processor intensive jobs like video and photo editing will get worked out. It will be great when developers start making the new programs Chrome friendly so that they don't have to redevelop for every platform out there. I recently purchased a new laptop. It was a Windows laptop. I hated that I had to buy a Windows laptop because I really wanted a Chromebook to answer all my computing needs, but it's just not there yet. For about 90% of what I do it is there, but I happen to have some non-typical uses with programs that only work on Windows. However, I am seeing new web apps coming out that may change that in the future...

Android itself, none the less Chrome OS, still can't fully multitask like a Windows system. Until that happens, I can't see ever ditching my laptop!

I want all these running at the same time and be able to switch to any of them without one stopping: Outlook, Excel, Firefox browser with video running from Sunday Ticket, Internet Explorer logged into my work network to access my work Exchange mailbox (via webmail).

I don't think you understand the concept of "multitasking." Chrome OS supports parallel processing. I can send you a screen shot of the task manager with several processes (tabs have dedicated processes in Chrome OS). In fact, with the dual core Celeron in my Acer C720 it can even do threaded execution rather than time slicing, if it had to.

Problem is on Android or Chrome OS, the Sunday Ticket video and audio stop when I switch away from it. It never does that on my Windows laptop.

Did it ever occur to you that you're trying to compare a full-fledged desktop OS (Windows) with a more limited mobile OS (Android), and that it is *supposed* to be more limited by design? That's like expecting a car with 4 cylinders to perform as good as a car with turbo charged V8. If you took Windows and scaled it to a mobile phone, you'd have to have a phone the size of a laptop to meet the processing and power requirements. Just buck up and carry a laptop around if you want the desktop OS experience. It won't be changing anytime soon.

Yeah, that would be the HD2. Someone was even able to get Windows 8 and Android 4.4 working smoothly on it. That thing is a beast.

More sooner or later, I am going to scan eBay for one of those, just to throw crap on for testing purposes. It seems as though you cannot kill it for anything...

Fantastic idea. They still can run a good amount on eBay, like around $200 or so. That said, I would totally do the same thing.

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I purchased an Acer 720P (touchscreen) Chromebook and it is my main computer while I am on the road and at my house. We have 3 Windows desktops and 2 Windows laptops at home too. ChromeOS is really nice and the Chromebooks are very fast. I use the Chromebook mainly for work (gmail, calendar, managing contacts, and preparing price quotations). At some point I will get around installing Linux on it, but I have been surprised how much I can get accomplished with the Chromebook. It would be great to have Skype available in the future, but I will not hold my breath for that to happen.

I purchased an Acer 720P (touchscreen) Chromebook and it is my main computer while I am on the road and at my house. We have 3 Windows desktops and 2 Windows laptops at home too. ChromeOS is really nice and the Chromebooks are very fast. I use the Chromebook mainly for work (gmail, calendar, managing contacts, and preparing price quotations). At some point I will get around installing Linux on it, but I have been surprised how much I can get accomplished with the Chromebook. It would be great to have Skype available in the future, but I will not hold my breath for that to happen.

I like my Chromebook. It isn't for everyone, and there are things that it can't do that some people need but that isn't the goal of Chrome OS. It's meant to be a quick computer that can access the web, perhaps the only computer for someone of the "older" crowd. We got my mother one for Christmas to replace her slow old netbook because she literally does all of her computing online. Some may see it as a limited computer but others see it as just enough. Just like some see Windows as too much and for another it may be exactly what's needed.

I have a desktop that runs Windows 8 and is built for gaming. But when I just want to browse the web on the go or take notes quickly I don't want to be lugging around a laptop with Windows that I have to wait on. For me, Chrome OS is perfect but other students or professionals that have only a laptop in their life or need to do more "serious" work on the go should consider something else.

Already replaced my Acer laptop with the HP Chromebook 14 and next year I'll be replacing my desktop with that LG Chromebase all-in-one desktop :)

Posted via a device much better than yours.

That's what I have advised a friend to purchase. I asked her to write down EVERYTHING she used her laptop for. She spent her time purely visiting Facebook, browsing the web, and doing email. She never used her PC for anything else.

I told her that all she needs is a Chromebook or Chrome OS based system. There is no need for someone that does very little and all functions she uses being web-based to have a full on OS or the extra cost of a system capable of powering Windows 8 entails. She could get a cut down laptop with the minimum specification but that was what go her a sluggish laptop to begin with.

All I do is browse the web Haha I don't actually use a desktop or laptop for what they could do. Might as well get a Chrome OS device :)

Posted from a device better than yours :)

I predict your estimation of Microsoft vs Google is wrong. :) One of us will be right. I'm a Google/Microsoft guy. Android phone, Windows PC, Chromebook (that I don't use--gave it to my wife)Android tablet, but I'm seriously considering a new Windows Tablet. The new Windows 8.1 tablets are pretty nifty, especially if you need to run Windows software not available on any other platform. I generally use my PC on weekends some, not a lot, but I use my phone (S3) and tablet (old Transformer) a lot.

Anyone who says that a Chromebook can't replace a Mac or Windows has not really tried Chrome OS. I have 2 macs and a Windows machine. I have several huge spreadsheets and docs in Google Drive. I decided to purchase a Pixel just because of the screen. It also came with 1 TB of Google Drive storage. To my knowledge, no laptop screen has the pixel resolution to date. This laptop has replaced everything that I have needed to do on a desktop. Google Docs has already replaced Office for me because the collaboration and sharing capabilities that Microsoft just can't pull off right now. Cloud computing is here to stay and Chrome OS is at the forefront of this technology, plain and simple.

"Anyone who says that a Chromebook can't replace a Mac or Windows has not really tried Chrome OS."
Anyone who makes a blanket statement is simply an idiot. Chrome is a great OS for the middle managers and paper pushers of the world. Those of us with any technical expertise, the ones who actually GSD, on the other hand, need something with more processing power.
As for the cloud. HA! Of the dozen clients my company is doing work for right now, half of them would take our contracts away if we tried to move our work to the cloud. It simply isn't secure enough and raises too many concerns on accessibility and ownership.

Chrome is a great OS for the average/casual user. For anyone approaching 'power user' level, it suck big sweaty donkey balls. There is literally no job Chrome can do that Windows can't and there is a LOT of stuff that Windows can do that Chrome can't.

Well if Google ever offered their services on premise those problems will go away and chrome will be a viable thin client. To the enterprise it's a thin client with minor maintenance and overhead. Most real world enterprise applications are all Web based anyway so I do think see why you can't just use a full google solution. Looks to start ups they use google services for everything. It's just the larger corporations who can't. Move.

Serious question:  What software do you use?  Sounds like you are far closer to the power user end of the spectrum as a businss user, just as a serious gamer would be as a personal (consumer) user.

What software do you use at work that you consider Web unfriendly?  What part of it will be hardest to move to a cloud app / going forward over the next 10 years (think long term).

Serious question ...

I'm an architect. AutoCAd, Revit, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. We also do work for the government and have several projevt on isolated servers. The cloud will NEVER fly for something like that.
I also come across situations where Sheet simply doesn't do stuff I've taken for granted with Excel like verticalbtext. Yes, that sounds like a minor thing... Until you're used to doing it and suddenly can't.

spot on.

I use different tools, but everything else applies to what I do as well.

Besides that, the cloud is too unreliable for business apps right now and you cannot put a price on uptime.

AND besides that, even my mother in law refuses to do it. She would rather pay $600 for office on her computer (for a variety of mundane tasks) than rely on cloud services and she is cheap as fark.

I am all for portability, and I have a serious amount up on my Drive but it is all sync'd locally.

I had the Acer C700 Chromebook; and although I loved Chrome OS, Google will have to wow me, before I'll pick up another one.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Everything I do for work could conceivably be done on a Chromebook. Unfortunately, I work in drug research, and FDA/HIPAA requirements will never, ever allow us to store data in the cloud as it is now.

Sent from my iPhone

I use the Samsung Chromebook as my tossable, around-the-house web surfing device.... but something really big is going to have to happen for it to become a real-deal computer.
In terms of bootup time, does it really take too long for a Windows 8.1 SSD computer to bootup?

ChromeOS is basically a variant of a thin client. Maybe a thick and thin hybrid. But either way it's always funny how that comes back around every decade or so. Or maybe it just never really goes away. I dunno.

Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.

It's a cycle that is quite funny to watch when you've been around a few years.. Especially as each time marketing proclaim their 'idea' to be revolutionary.

Posted via Android Central App

I hate how we are moving to more limited and less functional os's(chrome, Android, ios) for everything. It is like we are slowly shoehorning more function into toys instead of just using the already more capable machines that were designed for productivity. I will never not have a full pc. Until everyone has gigabit Internet, Web apps will NEVER come close to the speed and experience of running them locally. Even then, I prefer not to be dependent on the Internet to access all of my data/files/everything.

Posted via Android Central App

A lot of people here are missing the point of Chromebooks. Yes anything you can do on a Windows or Mac machine. But Chromrbooks are smaller, more light weight, cheaper, always up to date, and more secure to name a few benefits.

As for ease of moving files from a Chromebook to another device, that's what Google Drive (or Dropbox if you prefer ) is for.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

If most companies have their way, everything will be "in the cloud" and Chrome book will be in a decent position for that.

I sincerely will have a huge sad that day. The cloud is "A" solution, not "the" solution.

I'm considering getting one for my 7 year old daughter. She plays Web based games on my laptop as well as some Web based math homework she has to do for school. That will give her something she can use as her own that is very portable for weekends and vacation.

Posted via Android Central App

I could never live or be productive with just Chrome, Android or IOS. I own a Chromebook (Samsung) but only because in my household we already have 3 PC and 2 Mac OS machines. Chrome is great but I need several programs for my small business.

Lolololololololol. Does this mean you've finally given up on Linux and Mac OS? Why don't you get Amazon to release their returns on Chrome books. You realize that both Asus and Acer are still living on their netbook money from a decade ago.

Posted via Android Central App

For gamers using chrome os for games built for windows won't work unless they start integrating into both. Also building your own computer would be a bit more challenging on chrome os since it doesn't have a ton of available drivers etc. But who knows what the future brings.

Posted via Android Central App

If you're on Android Central, You're probably not the main demographic Chromebooks are geared for.

All these Tech power users coming on here to say how limited the OS is, just shows it's really not for you. Stay with your Windows 8.1, Linux, Mac's, etc...

I have a Windows 8.1 Laptop, Android tablets, Android phone, Windows Phone 8, and of course a Chromebook with Linux in the mix. I know the limitations of each device I own, never take the time to speak of it's limitations, but spend my time looking for it's productivity gems.

The purpose of my purchasing a Chromebook? I travel often, mostly international, and really don't need to always carry my full laptop. My reasons for travel are of a nature that doesn't require heavy apps or programs, but access to get online quickly.

A major demographic for Chromebooks has nothing to do with Joe Blow consumer, but the Education marketplace. These devices are very affordable for cash strapped school districts for the basic needs of getting youth connected and learning in the ever smaller world we live in.

I know my Tech geek friends here on Android Central will argue the children should have more powerful machines to learn coding and app development, blah, blah LOL. The truth is that's your fantasy, you geek you LOL. The young people who feel a burning desire to learn those things will know what equipment and devices they need, just like your geeky self did.

"I know my Tech geek friends here on Android Central will argue the children should have more powerful machines to learn coding and app development, blah, blah LOL. The truth is that's your fantasy, you geek you LOL. "

OK that had me laughing. I had thought for a time that my son would follow me, but he went all band dork on me instead of full on geek.

I can see where it would have its uses, different tools for different situations, but it is a limited OS that some seem to think is as great as a full on OS.

I have tried several versions of linux, Mac osx, chrome, android and still there are too many things that only windows can do. I too was someone who wanted to get away from windows but I don't think it will happen any time soon. I like to be able to use one computer for everything I need. When I'm able to run my Quickbooks, Virtual DJ, Tracktor DJ, Roxio, iTunes, My surveillance camera software, a full version of microsoft office, watch bluray movies, and a bunch of other software that are only available for windows now then chrome or linux may be a viable alternative. But for now I think they are good for people who only need a device bigger and more convenient than a tablet, but not necessarily a full laptop.

You hit the nail on the head! "they are good for people who only need a device bigger and more convenient than a tablet, but not necessarily a full laptop"

I like my Chrome book, but Google REALLY needs to show its app store some love. There are very few "good" apps and some of the most basic ones are just redirects 3rd parties make. That doesn't even begin to cover the spam and false fronts. There are a few good apps (photos and keep) but to much of it is crap.

Posted via Android Central App

Yes, my only issue with my Chromebook is the actual apps available in the Chromestore. It really bothers me to happily visit the Chromestore to see the same old "offline apps" and extensions that are no more than links. The only "app" I really like on Chrome OS, and wish others with follow after, is Pocket (read it later)

Never used one before but reckon its similar to the google apps on the task bar for chrome. Planning on picking a chrome device soon but does it support development tools like JVM, Apache and may be CS6 suite?

Season Greetings!

It's chrome. If you can do it in chrome, you can do it on a chromebook. If you can't there may be an equivalent although I've not looked too hard for things you list (eg. There's no reason why someone couldn't write a kick ass IDE in html5 but nobody has as far as I can tell).

Just purchased my second Chromebook, and got one for my father for the holidays. Since all he does is check email, read/watch news sites, and post to Facebook it's perfect for him. In our household it's used as the generic web and streaming device - my 6 year old daughter loves it. People who whine about Chrome OS being "crippled" simply aren't the target market, but here's the thing - Chrome OS already covers what the vast majority of home users need (not to mention almost all educational customers and a huge chunk of enterprise customers).

Don't get me wrong, I still use home-built Windows towers crammed full of RAM and GPUs that you can't get in a laptop of any sort, let alone a Chrome OS device. I use Photoshop professionally on at least a weekly basis, and I like to game at a level that thin clients can't touch. But none of these things are going to save Windows over the coming decade, as overall market share collapses. Either Microsoft will have to adjust to making money by selling hardware + software (ala Apple, and as they are trying to do with Surface) or else people like me will probably have to switch to Macs (and I haven't owned a Mac since the late 1980s, so this isn't something I'm looking forward to).

Don't mistake "it won't work for me" with "it won't catch on", as your needs may not be indicative of the market at large.

I switched to mac from windows 8 and found it very easy. I'll never use Windows agin unless they get rid of metro. If you realy need a windows program you can install windows on a bootcamp partition or by using Parallels.

At work/school my department uses Macs, so I've gotten used to them this semester. I certainly don't prefer them to Windows 8, but I don't really object to them. My issue with the idea of switching to a Mac desktop is the outrageous cost of stacking memory.

Chrome OS is the "Windows Phone" of Google and just like its counterpart,the chances of replacing a full blown loaded OS are zero.Windows is so damn powerful,you can actually run Google's play store inside it through blue stacks.
Also those boot times are misleading.In the price range that Chrome books sell in any Windows laptop does not have a SSD which all CB have.If you install an SSD windows 8.1 boots up in 6 secs.

Posted via Android Central App from Nexus 7 2013

Some chrome books have a HDD and still boot up in 11 seconds and I do get where you are coming from as no bloatware on a windows machine its quick but just how long they survive without picking up bloatware is anyone's guess. Also, I don't get what you mean by price range that these are in as an SSD in a windows machine is much more expensive than that if a chromebook and were chromebooks may not be powerful yet they are a new breed of computers with a very bright future - no virus's as their is no native apps, always updated, affordable (for almost everyone) and productive. The ssd is only included as light storage anyway as the purpose of this is the web and cloud storage which has also become much more powerful and collaborative... (Just noting)

Posted via Android Central App

Boy I dono. Something like Chrome to replace the Windows environment I agree with and look forward to. As of now, most of my "PC" activities are done through a rooted Note 10.1 OG. As far as on the go I run a Tab 3 Sprint edition and a PlayBook with my BlackBerry Q10.

I only use my PC to run BlackBerry Link and thereby have access to my external 1TB HDD anywhere in the world via my Q10 with unlimited data. I have no ChromeBook and see no use for one NOW. But whatever overtakes Windows in the long run, I have a feeling I will jump on it.

Yes that it is. It's not a powerhouse, but great for on the go and using Google Nav in the car is nice too on trips. :)

I should note that I use Windows 7 OS and won't touch 8 with a 10 foot poll. I use it so little hands on I have no need to change. :)

But I play with Ubuntu from time to time as well as I run my Windows machine in a duel boot mode fashion. I do all of that from a $275 Netbook. Rarely have any issues.

That's awesome, man. Yeah, I have a Windows 8 laptop, and it gets the job done. But, I see very little sense in OEMs putting Windows 8 on non-touchscreen laptops. You ain't missin' out on nothin,' lol.

I wish I lived in a good Sprint area: that's a steal for 2GB of data.

As for Ubuntu, I had installed it on my late Chromebook and my current Windows laptop. I didn't last long, lol. Ubuntu (desktop Linux, in general) has come a long way, but it's still missing that little bit of polish that prevents me from using it as my daily driver.

I'm glad your setup is working so well for you, brother! Inexpensive and efficient!

Posted via my "Gift from God" Nexus 5

Windows is pretty much dead in our house. The only thing we go on our computer for is to print the odd document here of there. And that's only because we are too lazy to update our printer to one compatible.

I am not saying everyone else's needs are the same as my own, but with do time, more and more people are fazing out a dedicated Windows computer.

Posted via Android Central App

I always thought I wanted the fastest most powerful laptop... Until I bought one, a Windows laptop that was powerful and cost me 1000 dollars... 2 years later the fan can be heard across rooms and stays on at all times and it's also become a slow laptop... It's almost unusable... And I always did virus scans and I made sure everything was up to date... But it still became crap.

Now I realized that I just need a nice small laptop that does things great. So I bought an Acer C720 Chromebook. The pros of the Chromebook over a Windows laptop is

Price - $250
Battery life - 8.5 hours
Boot up - 7 sec
No unneeded programs and anti virus programs slowing down your computer, no contact updates that end up breaking things rather than upgrading them...

And it's great for a student... Writing papers with my group all at once from different computers and it's automatically saved to the cloud and I can run to school and open it on their computers to print it since they have a printer..

Everything is just instant... Everything is automatically saved to the cloud... I can get on any computer and my files will be on there...

Chromebooks are definitely there... Most college students just need computers for papers and power points and Web Access... All of which Chromebooks do great without any waiting or lag.

Posted via Android Central App

That's pretty close to my scenario. I had a massive (and heavy) 17" HP laptop. Great laptop. I got it before a deployment because it needed to do everything. For 15 months it was my TV/DVD player, my stereo, my video gaming system, and my "link to the outside world". It lasted 5 years, but for that last year it was nearly unbearable. 5 minutes to boot up, over a minute to load firefox. No amount of cleaning and defragmenting would fix it.

So when it came time to replace the 'ol beast, I had a look at what I use the computer for now. And it was just web browsing. My wife had recently got a new Win8 laptop, what a mess, I certainly wasn't about to subject myself to that. So I picked up a Chromebook, it's been fantastic so far. I've only run into two situations where it's shortcomings were a problem (wasn't able to record audio from soundcard output like I used to with Audacity, and I forget what the second thing was).

My wife and I completely switched to chromebooks in 2013. I had been done with Windows at home for 2 years myself (wife had killed her 2nd macbook), but I was also realizing that a tablet was not a practical device for work, and I did not like having to haul a Windows laptop monster. The chromebook gave me the ability to drop my Nexus 7's and convert to chromebooks exclusively. I run Windows and chromebooks side by side at work. I use the chromebook to run my Web based work tools, and we moved to Google's mail servers a couple years ago, so that integrates well. The only reason I use my Windows laptop at all is that Google drive's spreadsheet tool is often unreliable. I could even live with the spreadsheet, but I need a winPC for Android mods, and general tinkering. I am hopeful for the future of lightweight and user friendly Operating Systems as we moved into the wonderful world of Web based life.

Posted via Android Central App

Chrome OS still have a long ways to go. For one thing, you can't just use a cd and install it on a pc, unlike windows, linux and hackintosh. Second, it didn't even show up on any enterprise environments. It is probably good for people who are not computer savvy or people who wants something which just works and has a pc/mac/linux computer already. It seems that Google is not serious about this OS so what's the point?

Until chrome can do more than open webpages and a faux word it'll never be as useful as a windows computer. As a basic tool for finding information yes its handy but so is a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard and that can play games, download tons of apps etc

Posted via Android Central App

I love my Chromebook, but I don't see it becoming anything more than a secondary device and web-browser any time soon. Not being able to install software just doesn't fit well with the needs of college students and working adults in many industries.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

Most tools start out having a very specific purpose -- it's only [sometimes much] later that all-in-one or multi-purpose versions appear, and then that "Jack of all trades, master of none" thing usually applies so well that these sort of hybrids never become all that popular. Sure the Leatherman-type tools have caught on in a big way, but they're by far the exception.

Now look at the PC, which started out life being an over-generalized hobbyist toy -- it could be anything you wanted -- it was/is the proverbial lump of clay, just waiting to see what you sculpt out of it. Only not everyone is a sculptor. We still like & need & use tools designed for specific purposes -- people use all sorts of things as a hammer, but nothing does the job quite so well as having a hammer in hand.

On to the point of the article, which I think is really the essence of common sense BTW... Most people don't need every feature in the full version of Office, or Word. And even if you do need either, you certainly don't need the power hungry, mini space heater that is the latest & greatest CPU from AMD or Intel. While more hard core gamers certainly appreciate it, you don't need a several hundred dollar graphics card "under the hood" if you're just browsing the web. If all you want to do is follow a recipe in a cookbook, even a tablet can be gross overkill compared to the cheapest Kindle.

We're simply experiencing a sort of reverse evolution, arriving at the logical destination -- where we would have been, maybe should have been already if the PC hadn't turned the normal evolutionary process on its head. It doesn't mean that the PC or Windows laptop is going away -- it means that all those people that were forced to use them aren't any longer.

And overall it's a good thing -- I believe a very good thing for everyone. It won't happen in every case with every professional, but doctors for instance can more easily stay abreast of the latest research without having to be Windows proficient. Stress on our electrical power grids should go down a bit, in part from lower cooling demands in offices that used to be teeming with PCs. Perhaps our aging populations won't be quite as marginalized. And as with efforts in India, perhaps under developed populations might not stay that way quite as long as in the past.

Change can be good or bad -- it's up to all of us to, as Picard would say: "Make it so"

Well said. This whole argument is a non argument. While assuming various positions on the issue many who have responded here have detailed the variety of "computers" which they use or are present in their homes.

I do not need a "computer" by my side 24/7. It's funny these days I wouldnt think of checking email on a pc or even a tablet. Checking email is for phones. Writing long winded emails is for a pc or laptop. That my use case just as an example.

The point being as technology advances and other forms factors and OS's proliferate, comumers, content creators, students will all get to decide which devices/ OS's meet their needs. The markets share of full blown Windows desktops must, and indeed has already begun to, decrease.

I think advertising Chromebooks ( and ChromeOS ) as for everyone is a bit much, there certainly not for everyone, and would I recommend one as a primary device ? no, as neither would I recommend an iPad, or Android tablet as a primary device.
Chomebooks fill the gap between cheap tablets ( great for surfing, but a bit naff for data entry ) and Laptops ( more expensive do anything devices, but generally bulkier and slower ).

"Real" PCs and laptops aren't for everyone either - their complexity, expense and maintainence requriements (not to mention software costs) are too much for lots of users, and simply inefficient for many more. The campaign is just trying to convince that audience to take a look, including those who had previously found computers too complex.

Heh don't remind me about "real" PCs as the Microsoft zealots claim there rigs and software are, after I spent most of my Christmas morning cleaning a relatives Windows 7 laptop of Viruses, Mal/Adware and bloat.
I own a good android phone which I use as my mp3, camera and for the odd app... maybe sometimes even a phonecall!, A 7" android tablet which doesn't see that much use after I got my Chromebook ( which replaced a very slow and clunky Samsung Netbook ) which I use for movies and productivity on the go, and a Desktops windows PC which I use for Mass Storage and grunt work.

Is there anything you can do on Chrome OS (which is just Chrome browser really) that you can't on Android?
Why would you buy a fast/cheap little browsing machine when there is already Android out there, which can do a LOT more...
Don't tell me it's about the keyboard and touchpad, 'cause it's not :)

Actually it is, having tried a multiple of office apps on my android tablet nothing beats a proper keyboard for mass and quick data entry, all of which is available on a small, cheap and quick device. Yes you can get Bluetooth keyboards for your tablet, but the software's not really designed for them and a decent tablet + keyboard will set you back more than a Chromebook by far.
People have argued why don't they just make a Androidbook ?
Because that's not what Google's trying to do with the Chromebook, it's demonstrating that for most users you don't need a uber PC/Laptop... In fact when I was buying my Chrome book another couple where looking, the lady wanted to do simple spread sheet and word processing for her business, her partner was telling her to buy a 1000 pound Mac book pro, she was curious and liked the small Chromebook but I said it probably wasn't for her as Printing her documents wouldn't be straight forward but there was a 350 pound Windows notebook which would have suited her needs easily. You've heard of the right tool for the job ? Yes you can use a pair of Swiss army knifes to eat your dinner with, but I'd rather use a knife and fork.
I come from a generation when system memory was measured in Kilobytes and sometimes Megabyte's!, Moore's law is great and all but I feel it has resulted in a bloated Desktop OS environment where the only thing keeping it together is more gigabytes, cores and MHz!.
Mobile computing has changed all that, forcing people back to making the most from not a lot, which is where ChromeOS grew and why ChromeOS is important as it's a new vision of what a modern operating system can be.

This! Although I love my Nexus 7, I carry a ZaggKeys Flex keyboard because it's so much better for typing and they both fit in my purse easily. Together, they are more expensive than the Chromebook I bought for my mom.

Who wouldn't buy a $200 fast chrome os laptop rather than a 600 dollar android tablet?

Me as a student a chromebook is perfect. Much better than a tablet. It is much easier to use a laptop style computer where I can be writing papers with multiple tabs open for research and videos, rather than an android tablet which is more like trying to do research from a big phone.

I would get a android tablet for entertainment because it is better than chrome OS for entertainment, but at the same time it cost's alot more money and it would just be for entertainment more than also being able to do work on it.

Plus most of what you do comes from a browser so why spend so much more for tablet? Most people facebook, youtube, write documents, web browse, research, and the chromebook does all of that super fast and for super cheap.

The biggest thing that kept me from buying a new windows PC is that I think Windows 8 is awful. That is what made me buy a chromebook 11. I just keep my old Windows 7 for the CD drive & a few other tasks.

Posted via Android Central App on Galaxy S4

youre a moron if you think a chromebook on an arm chip is a better user experience than a windows machine running windows 8. fuck you idiot

im surprised to see chromebooks sell so well given that the hardware is so poor. if they sold chromebooks with decent chips like i3 theyd probably take over most of microsofts windows business. i could survive at home with just a browser but not running on a crappy arm chip

I can certainly understand that some found the performance of the older Atom, Sandy Bridge and Exynos based Chromebooks a bit underwhelming, but the new generation of Haswell Chromebooks ( Acer C720, HP Chromebook 14 ) are a big improvement.

i could never understand people buying the samsung and hp arm chromebooks, theyre slower than most phones. i havent tried the new haswells, but maybe i should if you say theyre much better. still though celeron chromebook is a sort of hard sell hardwarewise when you can get a pentium windows lappy for 300

I would definitely recommend going to your local PC retailer and comparing a Acer C720 and a 300 pound/dollar Windows Laptop if you can.
I think 2014 will be an interesting year for the PC and laptop, with ChromeOS getting some momentum and challenging the established concept of what you really need, ie. light web browsing and productivity a cheap Chromebook is fine, if you require a more flexible and fully featured environment then a 500-600 pound/dollar Windows Laptop will do, and if your a Power User then a 1000 pound/dollar Mac Book is the option.
If you want web-browsing and entertainment at the expense of productivity then a tablet is the device for you.

I can't believe chrome books are selling. I checked them out in Best buy. They are worse than the old netbooks from 5 years ago.

Posted from the Future via Android Central App

Having owned a Dell Mini 10, a Samsung N150+ and now a Acer C720 I can quite categorically say that you have no idea what your talking about.
Most Netbooks had 1Gb of ram, and had a very limited 1024 x 600 screen resolution running on single core Atom processors.

I have a Mini 10 and I haven't turned it on in months. The only thing it is good for is as a lightweight laptop replacement where you can plug in a printer, and my needs have pretty much evolved past it.

I personally dont see chromebooks as a viable laptop replacement. The ability to do so much more on windows and mac is what a pc is all about. Cutting this out for simple web browsing may be good for some but not for all. In fact I think numbers of windows 8 vs chromebook usage is evidence of this fact.

Posted via my Galaxy Note 3

The ability to do so much more is nice... for those who need more! But many people don't need more, and that's the point. It is not for all! No one ever said it was, or would be.

Im just saying, I speak to alot of people who talk gloom and doom about windows products because of chromebooks. Its as you stated its a niche market, im just saying why cut out the option to do more simply because they don't.

Posted via my Galaxy Note 3

Primarily budget was my reason, A 200 dollar/pound Chromebook will out perform a 200 dollar/pound Windows laptop at the expense of full utility.
I wanted a cheap and quick netbook/ultrabook form factor system that would allow me to be productive on the move, and play back HD movies. The Acer C720 fitted the bill.

People talk gloom and doom because they intuit that the majority of PC use is at home, primarily for web-based functions or functions that are replaceable by web applications.

Obviously, that's not true for everyone and especially not the cohort here at Android Central. But it will be largely true for a lot of people in the coming decade as technology progresses and more applications become cloud-based.

Content creation and powerful 3-d gaming will always require a more powerful machine, for the rest of our lives - but maybe not for those who are being born now. There is no telling where technology will go with cloud-based apps.

As to why cut out the option to do more? Because it costs less, and that is the bottom line.

Does anyone here have a Chrome book, and installed Linux on it? Cause to me that option seemed like the best to me.

Also in case you want to know which distribution I'm using. It's the arm version of Arch Linux

Posted via legal Android Central App on the BlackBerry Z10

Does anyone here have a Chrome book, and installed Linux on it? Cause to me that option seemed like the best to me.

Also in case you want to know which distribution I'm using. It's the arm version of Arch Linux

Posted via legal Android Central App on the BlackBerry Z10

Think about this on the case of chromebooks: most people have a connected device in their pocket. In a typical case this has your music, photos, and other media door on it. You have access to other media in the cloud. However, there are some things that require the desktop form factor, a la keyboard and mouse/touchpad. A cheap laptop that does the light work you do on a computer quickly is a good companion device. If you have to do more intense tasks, like editing photos and video, gaming, etc, Windows is still the way to go

Posted via Android Central App

I have switched from Windows to Chromebook, Android and Ubuntu. I purchased an Acer Chromebook touch for my wife and we love it. Our phones are Galaxy Note 2 and S4. I just upgraded our HP desktops from Windows 7 and Windows XP to Ubuntu 14.04. We are very happy with all of it and never plan to go back to Windows.

Where I don’t think Chrome OS is going to get off the ground, even with the billions Google is pumping into it. I do find that Ubuntu has all of the bells and whistles to replace Microsoft Windows. Wine has become so successful that running Microsoft apps on a Linux OS is easy. The only hurtle at this point is for Linux to be able to marry up to iOS and iTunes which will eventually occur.

I have personally lived with Linux as a desktop operating system and had no problems getting through my day to day tasks as I normally did under Windows or OSX. I finally settled with Linux Mint because I like the interface much better than Ubuntu and I’m not a great fan of purple I usually run AMD machines and have been very successful combining even the latest A10 chip, and a Gigybite Logicboard with Mint 17. Microsoft is attempting to make this more complicated with its later versions of UEFI (bios replacement). However If one remembers to turn off UEFI in the bios and loads Windows with bios then this problem is less of a headache. Don't be afraid of Linux, its an excellent operating system.

Windows at this point has become part of the pack with the cutting edge OS being OSX who’s integration with iOS makes for an excellent package. The only way for either Microsoft or Google to stay in the game for the future, is to combine an effective Operating System (not Windows 8) with a stable Phone/Tablet OS (most likely not Android). With Ubuntu already having this mix established, it’s just a matter of time until the right pockets put the hardware with the software and create the magic assembly.

Personally, I look for Apple to possibly purchase AMD and place it together with Ubuntu to form a low end Hardware/Software solution to complement it high end OSX-iOS venture. This marriage could easily sweep the cell phone and desktop markets within 2 years time, leaving Microsoft and Google in the dust bin, and placing Apple at the top of the heap. They certainly have the capital to make the venture work.