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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks alive?

    (alright, trying this again, since the site erased my previous attempt, sorry if this one is less thought-out)

    So, earlier today, our sister site WPCentral reported that HP will soon start selling a Windows laptop that rivals the corresponding Chromebook. I tried to find an OS-agnostic website to do a comparison, but I think this one from Paul Thurrott (which, in all honesty, he is probably more critical of Microsoft than most of the people reading this) has the best breakdown.

    winsupersite(dot)com/mobile-devices/so-what-does-200-pc-look

    In his breakdown, he notes that this laptop from HP rivals (and in many way beats) HP's 14-inch Chromebook (at least on paper). It has a faster processor, more storage, and is a whole $100 cheaper (admittedly, the Chromebook does have some very very minor advantages like port selection).

    Now, I don't follow Android Central daily just like I'm sure most of you don't follow WPCentral daily, so let me catch you up to speed:
    -Microsoft has recently started to give away Windows for $0 to OEMs for devices costing $250 or less (Chromebook's main market).
    -Windows 9 (known internally as Threshold) is going to be focusing a lot more on the desktop than Windows 8, which would negate ChromeOS's advantages on non touch-screen devices
    -Microsoft also offers a version of Windows that only requires 4GB of storage, which gets rid of ChromeOS's "light and simple" advantages
    -This one is debatable, but the Windows Store is very close to (if not already reaching and surpassing) a point where the average person can just download everything from the store, which makes Windows way less susceptible to things such as viruses and Trojans (which, just like Android's malware, is an overblown problem in the first place). I, for example, can use a sandboxed email app to open a file in a sandboxed .pdf reader and not have to worry about viruses, which was also a big advantage to Chromebooks.

    So with all of these changes, do you guys think that Microsoft just killed any momentum that Chromebooks were gaining? I hope not as I always think that 3 competitors are the best way to be because none of these changes would've happened if Chromebooks didn't start to catch on. I think that even though none of us may like it, ChromeOS may be crushed out of the market. I will admit, however, that I am just an outsider looking in and don't follow this kind of thing daily, so I was curious what your thoughts on this are. Do you guys think that Google will kill the Chrombooks if their already small market collapses?

    (P.S. I am not trying to sound like I am spreading FUD, I was just curious what the Google experts thought. I hope I didn't came across that way (: )
  2. #2  

    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    It's nice to see competition, because that will drive further innovation. It's obviously too early to tell, but I wonder if these ultra-low cost Windows laptops will be any better than the cheap Windows laptops that are currently available (and which are generally quite mediocre, which I can attest to from personal experience). It may have a faster processor, but it only has 2 GB of RAM, which is quite low for a Windows 8.1 machine. Complete startup for Windows 8.1 still takes a few minutes--I'm not talking about when the welcome screen or the desktop shows up, but rather when you can actually start doing things without a lot of lagginess as background processes load. Security remains an advantage on Chromebooks--no need for Norton Security there. And there's the whole issue of constant patches that force a restart--which Chromebooks do as well, but the restart there only takes about 10 seconds.

    Obviously, I like Chromebooks. But I also see a need for more powerful computers when I need them (which isn't very often). To me, there is still a convincing argument for both types of computers coexisting.
    UJ95x and Kevin OQuinn like this.
  3. #3  
    Kevin OQuinn's Avatar
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    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    I want to see total system performance before I make any judgement calls. Netbooks kinda failed because they didn't perform very well. The concept was great, and helped lead to Chromebooks and other small form factor portable machines.

    If these cheaper Windows machines perform well (under a typical Windows load, not just web browsing) then sure, they might hinder the growth of Chromebooks. But if I install iTunes, or Office, or Photoshop, or anything else and it doesn't run well then it's not good for me. The advantage of Chromebooks has always been the relatively good performance at the tasks they're designed to do (for the most part, there are duds in both camps).

    I just find it hard to believe that on almost identical hardware Windows can be more efficient and perform as well as ChromeOS.

    P.S. At the very least it's a cheap ADB machine right? :P
  4. #4  
    UJ95x's Avatar
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    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    Agree with B. Diddy for the most part. Windows is known to have poor memory management, so having 2 or 4GB of RAM on these devices is going to be a bigger issue than it would be on Chromebooks. The article I read earlier doesn't specifically say whether the devices would have 32/64GB of storage on an HDD or an SSD. If it's the former, then the Chromebooks are going to have a huge advantage (because like B.Diddy said, Windows takes awfully long to load on devices with an HDD. As a matter of fact I booted up our old Windows 7 laptop earlier and had to wait over 3 minutes before I could even begin to use the computer. On my Macbook I can turn on the computer and be posting here in roughly 20 seconds. Probably similar for Chromebooks).
    I would imagine they'd be using SSDs in order to be able to compete well, but only time will tell if they can do that while keeping costs down like Google and their hardware partners have done with CBs.
    Competition is always good though, so I'm glad that they're at least going to put in the effort to make budget laptops actually worth buying.
    Kevin OQuinn and B. Diddy like this.
  5. #5  
    Golfdriver97's Avatar

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    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin O'Quinn View Post
    P.S. At the very least it's a cheap ADB machine right? :P
    That is an interesting way to look at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by UJ95x View Post
    On my Macbook I can turn on the computer and be posting here in roughly 20 seconds. Probably similar for Chromebooks
    Just clocked it: Including typing in my password, and bringing this page up, roughly 24 seconds on an Acer C720.
    Kevin OQuinn likes this.
  6. #6  
    UJ95x's Avatar
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    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    Quote Originally Posted by Golfdriver97 View Post
    That is an interesting way to look at it.



    Just clocked it: Including typing in my password, and bringing this page up, roughly 24 seconds on an Acer C720.
    Nice! Give me a sec and I'll clock it as well. Just hope I don't butcher my password when trying to sign in.
    Edit: OK. 27 seconds from when I pressed the power button to when I was on the home page of AC.
  7. #7  
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    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    I am inclined to agree with the posts from Kevin and UJ. If‚Äč MS managed to cut down on the memory loss they will be able be able to compete. Until then, I really don't think so.
    UJ95x likes this.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    All right, now I'll have to time my HP Chromebook 14.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    23 seconds from powered off state to AC website coming up. I wonder if it'd be faster if I didn't have various Extensions like Checker Plus for Gmail and Calendar installed.
    UJ95x likes this.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    As more and more people use the cloud in their everyday lives, the more people will realize that a Chromebook is superior to Microsoft's attempts to compete with Google. Google's services are far more consistent and easier to sync across the board. All you need is a Google account and you're set.

    Microsoft can't compete with Google when it comes to the web. Their attempts to compete with Google always ended in failure. They tried to make Bing a thing, but it failed. They created OneDrive, but nobody really uses it.

    Either way, Microsoft and all of Chrome OS's detractors still don't seem to "get it". It's such a simple concept - the average person is not a power user and the average person only needs the web. Google fully took advantage of this impending technological development years before anyone was ready for it. Also, the fact that Photoshop is coming to Chrome OS is just another leading innovation on Google's part. Within the next few decades, even most power users will be working exclusively in the cloud.

    Except Google did it first and they're still doing it the best. Chrome is the most popular browser for a reason. Google, YouTube, Gmail and Google Drive are among the most popular websites in the world for a reason. Microsoft can even create a super cheap IEBook that only runs Internet Explorer and nothing else, and it will still fail because everyone hates Internet Explorer and by then Google would have improved its services tenfold.
    B. Diddy likes this.
  11. #11  

    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    I really don't see Windows being able to compete.. They might be able to come up a half notch once the various Windows 10 variations are released unless 10 becomes just an updated version of 8/8.1. They have been hemorrhaging customers for a few years now and many don't see it stopping anytime soon..
  12. #12  

    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    I'm a little late to the party, but I still want to weigh in as the mere suggestion a Windows netbook could compete seems ludicrous to me. My brother has a Surface Pro (original one so he managed to get it pretty cheap recently) and he loves it to bits, but all I see is an unusably small UI and finnicky controls. His claim, as is often the prevailing opinion, is that you can do so much more on Windows, that "You Don't Need To Be Connected To The Internet"tm. To that I asked him, so what do you do on there when you aren't connected to the internet, and how often does that even happen anyway? Furthermore, what can you do on Windows on such a small screen that I can't do on my Chromebook?

    So considering you're in this forum you probably know the answers to these questions all too well. The small amount of stuff we do offline these days generally can be done offline on ChromeOS, in fact in some ways ChromeOS makes the offline/online divide much more seamless with using apps that have offline states. In terms of doing stuff like professional photo and video editing, lighter options do exist on chromebook, but arguably that's not something you're going to comfortably be able to do on a small screen anyway. My brother uses Lightroom on his Surface and I think he's insane, as the UI elements are FAR too small to use and you can't see details in the picture that you'd want to consider during editing.

    Point being, Windows adds very little more useful functionality when it comes to being a netbook and performs significantly worse. If lots of people buy into these cheap Windows experiences and get terrible performance I think it will only hurt Microsoft's brand image further in any case (somehow, since I think that's pretty tough to do now), but it's not as if Microsoft ever let irrational, stupid planning and marketing get in the way of their plans.

    Disclaimer: I use Windows 8 on my PC and I actually really like it for the flawed OS it is, because in that form factor all of the extra functionality is useful to me. Still think Microsoft just randomly pick what they're going to do next and hope it works - about 10% of the time it does - and somehow they survive despite their terrible decisions.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    I don't think chromebooks are even required
  14. #14  

    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    The hardware specs of the HP Stream -- for the price -- compare favorably to the HP Chromebook 14, especially the 4.5W TDP of the AMD quad-core (though I suspect the Intel Bay Trail is probably a better performer). What I don't like about it is the 2 GB RAM that's unexpandable, though I would think that they would offer a 4 GB version (if they don't already). Expandable RAM would've been better, but it's probably HP's strategy to keep it from being 'improved' enough to compete with their higher-end products.

    Given the better hardware, what I expect is that some clever boots will figure out how to replace Windows on the HP Stream with ChromeOS/ChromiumOS. Certainly it's a no-brainer to pick the Stream over the Chromebook 14 if you wanted to make a decent general-purpose Linux laptop with an HP logo for $200.
  15. #15  
    coltoz's Avatar

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    Default Re: ChromeOS may be in trouble from a new wave of Windows laptops. Will Google keep Chromebooks aliv

    I think that the Android Studio will run on ChromeOS in the near future.

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