I've found it interesting that, since I started using my iPhone, I spend significantly less time at the computer and working in Windows. I don't run back to my home office to check e-mail when I'm out and about, and I don't mind doing a bit of Web browsing from my living room. Sure, I could pick up my notebook and work from the couch, but why bother?
Remember, AT&T charges $30 a month for 3G data access. A simple Web appliance, which is what the Chromebook will be, won't require that. There are, of course, times when no Wi-Fi is available and you need 3G, so a smartphone (or a notebook) with cellular access is required. Once again, the right tool for the job is what you want.
Google will get it right -- eventually
As different as they are, Microsoft and Google have a few things in common: They both have incredibly deep pockets and are willing to invent and reinvent until satisfied with the end product.
As InfoWorld's Eric Knorr points out, people will want to use Chromebooks in airplanes or other places where going online isn't a reasonable option. Right now, it appears that the Chromebook won't even boot when it's not connected to the Internet. Well, that could change. And it wouldn't be difficult or terribly expensive to add a few simple offline versions of, say, Google Docs that could run on a small solid-state drive.
It's early days for the Chrome OS. And who knows, it may never be worth much. But not because it isn't Windows. The most interesting computing advances are happening away from the desktop, a trend that will only continue as we approach a new decade. Beating on the nascent OS is a distraction from the real deathmatch: Windows versus the cloud.
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