"Gee, thanks, but it doesn't run the software I need for my classes. Can you return it, and I'll put the money towards a mac | linux | winbox ? Also, I need something with a bigger screen, and more storage. This doesn't cut it."
I can certainly grant that there's no web-based alternative for Mathematica or Photoshop yet, so that's certainly likely to be an issue for a small number of students. Techies aren't going to want them, naturally, but if you're a history student who needs to use Photoshop twice for his digital media studies class, there are still computer labs.
I guess I'm basing this more on my own anecdotal experience. I know tons of people with netbooks, and I can't remember ever seeing someone using an application that couldn't be done through the web.
You think ChromeOS is a bad idea, but porting a cell phone OS back to PC is an obvious success? Really?
I think you had a brain fart on that one. I'm saying it's a FAIL.
Somehow I missed a connection with this. How does Android make ChromeOS obsolete? You've argued (I think) that ChromeOS won't work because it offers too few of the features afforded by a full PC. How does Android, a cell phone OS that might find its way onto some palmtops, encroach on ChromeOS's market at all?
Alex: The answer is "Business".
Me: Who won't be using ChromeOS?
Hey businesses who moved all their internal apps to ASP.net years ago, here's a $200 client for all of those. You'll never have to roll out software to it. Enjoy.
"Here's a free linux DVD that converts your obsolete hardware to a thin client." ... and ...
"ChromeOS is missing the plugins and functionality I need!"
Most businesses don't ever consider Linux because it's not packaged as a single solution behind a unified brand. Managers barely know what Linux is, let alone the difference between Slackware and Fedora. They know Google's name, though, and if the see these things marketed as simple, it-just-works clients backed by a company they trust, they'll get considered and purchased.
Netbooks are already razor-thin in terms of profit margin. Manufacturers have to sell 100 (or more) netbooks to net the same profit Apple makes off of 1 laptop. Look at Apple's cash balance. they NET 10% profit on every sale. A $2000 laptop is $200.00 NET, after all expenses. Netbooks? $200, 5% gross margin. Say 2% net. That's $4.00. So, to compete, a netbook running ChromeOS has to be even cheaper, which means even lower margins. That $4.00 per unit becomes $2.00 - or even less, because at the lower end, even a small incremental cost will kill you. 1 warranty support call kills the profit from a dozen other sales. 1 return kills 100. What are you going to do - try to refurb an returned ChromeOS "appliance" - they're just too damn cheap to be worth the effort.
This one I really don't understand at all. This is the exact same argument that someone would have given three years ago about why current netbooks won't work as a business model and it's obviously been disproved by the booming netbook market. I doubt anyone at Asus gives a crap what Apple's margin is; they're too busy selling millions of EEE PC's to notice. If the units suddenly need $50 less in hardware and no one has to pay Microsoft for the OS, they'll just knock $75 off the sale price. The sky will not fall down.
Open source has nothing to do with ChromeOS being a FAIL. Both my desktop and laptop are linux boxes. I'm thinking that I really want a Droid for my next cell phone. But ChromeOS? There's no business case for it. Thin client? Sun already mined that with SunRay. Netbooks? The market is already saturated, with full-featured ones at the $250 price point. So, are they going to sell this for $100? By the time it comes out in the fall of 2010, netbooks will be starting at $150 - $175. There's simply no market for it, and for $100, people will buy an iPhone instead (and I expect the Droid to be down to that by then as well) - and both of those are far more useful.
Again, you've been arguing that ChromeOS will fail because it can't replicate a full PC, but now you're saying people will just buy an iPhone or Droid and do their homework on that instead? A ChromeOS netbook, at least in the near future, is always going to be cheaper than a Windows netbook (lower hardware specs and no Microsoft royalties), and will always bring more features than a cell phone. That gives Google enough space in between for a viable market.