The problem with ChromeOS is it is trying to solve a problem them doesn't exist.
I couldn't disagree more. Everyone seems to forget that slashdot users are a VERY small portion of the computing market, and that ChromOS is not aimed at you. This type of market has been Apple's bread and butter for years. Apple doesn't give a hoot about what people "can do" with their computers, but cares very dearly about what people "will do" with their computing devices and concentrates on making that the best experience possible.
Look at the ipad, iphone, and ipod. Sure you can't install your own programs or run as root, but you do get a guarantee that your device will be tightly integrated with a user friendly ecosystem, great hardware design, and more protection from poorly coded apps that take up all of your system's resources. If you don't know what I am talking about, try going over to your neighbors to instruct them on adding a movie to their android phone.Good luck. With an ipad, you login to iTunes buy it and sync. That's it.
In contrast you could tell them; Download from amazon, click on my computer after mounting the android phone, navigate to the download location, select edit copy, navigate to the SD card, select edit paste..... annndd you've already lost 90% of the users. Users that would gladly pay for "an overpriced netbook," if it means they can get what they want easily. I know this is a hard concept for everyone here to grasp, but people will pay for something that gives them simplicity.
When was the last time you saw a 4 year old Windows box running well with an AVERAGE JOE behind the wheel? I understand that you are so l33t that you don't need a virus scanner, but the average American has zero interest in learning how to be as l33t as you. And why should they? I know everyone here is a master of the computer realm, but are you good gardeners? Are you talented cooks? Are you experts on why the economy may face a double dip recession? Contrary to popular slashdot belief, people can be extremely smart and well educated, but not know a thing about computers.
Look around today's college campuses, kids don't care that windows has backwards compatibility. They care about, "how easy will it be to get songs on my ipod, and how often will I have to be at the help desk with the creepy slashdot guys."
This is the market chromeOS will appeal to. I know A LOT of people that use computers for 3 things: the internet, music/movies, and word processing. That's it. And contrary to what everyone here thinks, they greatly outnumber you. Google thought, "let's make a product that satisfies those people and does it in the cheapest most intuitive way". People hate having to wait for a computer to boot, that their computer freezes, and that their batteries die. They don't hate losing local storage, losing the ability to run an ssh session, and the ability to install a linux distro.
Sorry about the rant....
One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener