Chromebook; powered with Chrome OS, a web-based operating system, is the most highly anticipated device. Chromebook seeks to revolutionize the way we work with computers today. It will boot quickly in just 8 seconds, will automatically connect to your favorite Wi-Fi connection, resume your last web session and take you to your desired webpage in a snap. Chromebook is the first commercially available consumer cloud-centric OS. Your documents, applications and settings are stored in a cloud
and nothing is stored locally, that means even if you lose your netbook, your data will remain safe within the cloud and you can continue to work, anytime anywhere. You won’t need to install any software on the netbook, install upgrades, your apps will be up-to-date always and hence minimizing the security threats from virus and malwares. Despite Chromebook’s all pleasures, it’s not for you!
Chromebook is not for you if you are one of these people!
- If you extensively use graphic editing softwares such as Photoshop/GIMP. Or you are a web programmer and need files to be stored on Local storage. Or you are a designer and use Adobe creative suit or Inkscape to create vector images. Surely any app in the web-store cannot be as sophisticated as these dedicated softwares.
- If you are a programmer, using tools such as Matlab for your computations and programming. Or you use other consoles or IDEs for programming. Chromebook won’t let you install any software locally.
- If you work in a security agency and handle some crucial data, then the cloud based storage may not be a good idea for you. It may pose serious security threats to your data. Morevover, possessing a critical data you will not ever want to hand it over to a cloud administrator.
- If you rely on your data and require it to be available anytime, and every time. In such a case, a portable hard drive can be a better option than a typical Cloud. Cloud services no matter how reliable they claim to be have inherent risks and unreliability. The server can be down, the cloud can be hacked or can be unavailable for some time. A very recent example of such scenarios appeared when the Amazon cloud service caused customers to lose data and when blogger collapsed shortly.
- If you are a scientific researcher, and you have to write highly formatted research papers and draw index and bibliography, then Google docs might not be as efficient and sophisticated as Libreoffice (aided with extensions) or MS Office.
- If you are handling crucial data for your organization. You must realize that Cloud computing is a stateless system and is not completely secure for storage purposes. You do not actually know where you data actually reside in the cloud over the internet; therefore in case of any emergence you might not be able to spot the data.
- Internet is not completely free. The content on the internet has always a reflection of the government’s policies, a very popular example is of WikiLeaks. Therefore when you store your data in a cloud it can certainly be altered by anyone, let’s say by the government or by any agency under any political. Your cloud provider might not give the guarantee of the integrity of the data in most cases. If you possess such a controversial data, then Chromebook is not at all for you!
- If you use video and audio softwares extensively for playing, editing, merging etc for audios/videos. There is online software for accomplishing such tasks, but either it are expensive or they are not as feature rich as software you use daily on your desktops. You won’t be able to use itunes!
These are just some scenarios where you can’t really make use of Chromebook, there might be many others. It will be more obvious once the chrome books are released by the mid of June this year. The Chromebook is actually for people who spend most of their time on internet and are used to Google apps or other web-apps. This can be a very handy device for students and researchers who spend surfing much of their time on the internet.
Personally I feel Chromebook are a new paradigm of computing and definitely a must try device, but the major question is the price. Would you pay 500 USD for a low-hardware device that actually has no hard drive? And when in that price you can get an iPad 2 or an Android tablet.