Google unveiled the Cr-48 notebook last week in a soft launch of their ChromeOS operating system.
And this week, naysayers are calling it a waste of time.
Richard Stallman has said that ChromeOS looks like a plan to push people into "careless computing" by forcing them to store their data in the cloud, and he supposes that many people will continue moving in that direction because "there's a sucker born every minute." Business Insider's analysis is that ChromeOS is a waste of time saying that "Based on what Google is showing now, unless they give away Chrome notebooks for free, there's no reason to use one."
Is ChromeOS a waste of time? That depends… ChromeOS may or may not manage to win consumers over to cloud computing, but there definitely could be some useful side-effects from Google's efforts.
Is there ever a time when it's more secure to push people into "the cloud"? Yes, there is. When the cloud, and the data, belongs to an organization. After all, the Cr-48 is really nothing more than a Google thin client.
And what's a mobile thin client cost these days?
Here's an HP Windows Embedded mobile thin client starting at $625:
Geez, that's pretty pricey for a computer without a hard drive.
Yet, many organizations, such as hospitals, need mobility, and they cannot risk having hard drives on which data can be stored (and lost), and so they pay a high cost for Windows Embedded machines. There's money to be made offering a cheaper alternative. We predict it won't be long before somebody wants to adapt ChromeOS for thin client usage (and HP's webOS is very likely to follow).
But you don't want your organization's data in Google's cloud?
Cool hardware for personal use via cloud computing with virtualization technologies providing secure connections to an organization's data via thin client software. Work and play, without the fear of data loss.