Google's still pushing its Chrome OS Chromebooks and Chromebox and the latest rumour is that its sweetening the package with a 100Gbyte storage offer. I.D. Scales reports.
Google projects are usually ambitious (eg driverless car, Kansas City fibre deployment) and always seem to take longer than expected to come to fruition (remember, even Android was doubtful for a year or so). So is Chrome OS a sleeper? Certainly Google is still keen to push on.
According to well-founded rumour (aren't they always?) new Chrome OS gadgets are to be given a free 100 Gigabyte cloud storage facility, designed to overcome the naysayers who point out that there's little storage on the devices themselves. Google refuses to say yes or no to this possible development so it's probably a 'yes'.
I must admit I always liked the Chrome OS concept. Instead of a PC, just a browser, no computer insides (that you need worry about) and no whirring noises.
In my experience there is a huge set of people who love the Web but simply can't abide the technology. They don't care for PCs or Macs and when I write "don't care for"... I mean that even fiddling with security software is anathema. To the wise non-techy set anything which goes beep is on a 10 second warning: if it doesn't do what it's told it gets hit.
Back in our techy little world (the one inhabited by smartphone bloggers, software developers, and even industry executives) it's a different story.
A PC without an OS? Ridiculous.
So when Google announced Chrome OS and what it started calling the smartbook (must be about 3 years ago now, I can't be bothered booting up my Mac to find out), the naysayers were out in force. Would they naysay the whole project out of existence?
Predictably the first commercial examples - a pair of laptop-alike Chromebooks were generally panned. Too expensive, not powerful enough and anyway, the entire idea wouldn't work. Like the world NEEDs yet another OS when we've already got Linux!
But Google has persisted as it usually does. It eventually came out with what - to my mind - was the best option for this approach all along, a desktop version called the Chromebox. It's by Samsung and looks slightly like a Mac Mini but costs half as much, is cooler (watch out Samsung, you'll be in court again for copying a square) and will really be appreciated by the non-techy set. It comes up in a few of seconds and drops you into Facebook, Twitter or an online shop, which is all the non-techy set want. No fuss and no ugly File.names that suddenly rear up and don't make any sense.
The Chromebox or something like it must be a good candidate for the home Web station or as a low cost-of-ownership replacement for PCs in many offices. That's why I think Google may be in possession of another sleeper technology whose time will come. That and the fact that HTML5-driven Web apps (even for mobile - see below) are only going to increase in number and quality for those who occasionally need to do more than sit on Facebook.
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