ComputerWorld published an article yesterday that predicts low volume sales for Google’s new 11.6-in. Samsung Chromebook offering at $249. Cloud Sherpas co-founder and CTO +David Hoff responds to the article in the post below, exploring the history of netbooks and tablets to predict the future of Chromebook sales.
The subheading in a recent article about Chromebooks caught my eye. ”Some analysts say it is really a netbook and won’t sell well.” While I agree with the first part (this new model is akin to netbook or even tablet in terms of hardware), the second part is where I have an issue.
If we look back at history, Netbooks actually sold well early on. In fact, the brisk sales established Asus as a player in the pc world. The problem wasn’t with the machines; it was with the OS they were running.
Netbooks were never built to run a clunky legacy operating system like Windows, they were meant for a lighter and modern OS like ChromeOS.
Windows is plagued by a fundamental design fail that forces consumers to be their own system administrators. They have to buy/install/manage everything: anti-virus, malware protection, firewalls, update tools, defragmentation, service packs, power management tool, disk space management, driver updates, etc…oh, and applications too.
If my parents are any example, consumers aren’t really qualified for this type of work. When I look at the mess that existed on their machines, no wonder netbooks failed. Even a massive multi-core CPU with tons of memory would still strain to run all of this overhead.
I’ve loved my netbooks, and it was a really big deal several months ago when I ditched my Lenovo X100 for a new Samsung Chromebook. I’ve always run the base OS with Google Chrome so the shift was actually much easier than I was expecting.
Tablets took off because they were a fresh start in terms of what they expect users computer management skills. And they took off a rate nobody expected. I suspect that we’re in the early days with Chromebooks, but as people start to understand what they are getting, I expect we’ll see very significant growth.
So, if you’re an IT person that is tired of the explaining to family and friends about why traditional computers are so frustrating, thank +Sundar Pichai and +Rajen Sheth and the rest of the +Google Chrome Developers by getting some of these new Chromebooks for your friends as Christmas presents.
In the immortal words of Eddie, “it’s the gift that keeps on giving.”