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Blue Skies Thread, Chrome will bring about the ICT revolution in schools in General; Originally Posted by SPM I don't think there has been a big marketing push by Google so far. Speaking to ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPM View Post
    I don't think there has been a big marketing push by Google so far.
    Speaking to the UK Chrome/Book PM(?) at BETT they are certainly taking the softly softly approach - they seem to want schools and colleges to come to them when they are ready, rather than rush in. This seems quite sensible. The Chrome Browser is the gateway drug ("try it, try it, use it, your personal data and apps follow you between devices! You'll love it" was pretty much the pitch), and then Google Apps. Once you're on that platform the chromebooks make sense. But until you are on the platform, you're likely to want what is familiar (read: Windows and Office).

    I think with the jarring change of W8, Google Apps and Chrome Apps are going to see a big up tick this year.


    Mind you we've been here before with netbooks.

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    zag
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    The interesting thing is netbooks have all but been discontinued due to their low cost.

    There is a huge market for £200 devices in schools as netbooks showed, just needs someone to fill the market.

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    SPM
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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    The interesting thing is netbooks have all but been discontinued due to their low cost.

    There is a huge market for £200 devices in schools as netbooks showed, just needs someone to fill the market.
    I don't think low cost in itself is the reason why netbooks were discontinued. My take on this is that Microsoft never really wanted netbooks, and the reason why it licensed Windows for netbooks was in order to prevent Linux from getting a toehold in the PC/laptop market. Microsoft's fear was that because customers actually liked Linux netbooks, there was a danger that customers would become familiar with Linux on the desktop, and Linux would take over a large chunk of the desktop market if customers were allowed to experience Linux preloaded PCs/laptops. Microsoft had to eliminate Linux as a competitor for PC space, and it did this by providing subsidies to OEMs to not sell/preload Linux. Microsoft did this by subsidising OEMs for not selling/preloading Linux - Linux may be free, which is quite cheap, but paying someone not to sell Linux is even cheaper. Microsoft offered advertising subsidies to OEMs for advertising Windows, but I suspect conditions attached to OEM contracts would mean that OEMs would lose this advertising subsidy if they advertised Linux netbooks - possibly including shop front advertising. Which is I suspect why OEMs at first shifted Linux netbooks to online sales even though they were selling well. The second thing Microsoft did was to subsidise Windows for netbooks to make preloaded Linux netbooks unviable for the OEMs. The thing about a subsidy though is that you have to get the money to pay for it from somewhere, and this would have to come from the Microsoft tax levied on other Microsoft users. Of course this would need to be done in a way so as not to undercut revenue from those other Windows users who are paying for the subsidies. I believe this is where the arbitary limits imposed by Microsoft on the number of processes that could run on the crippled Windows OS on netbooks and arbitary hardware restrictions on netbooks like CPU, screen size etc. comes in - they were there to prevent the subsidised Windows netbooks from cannibalising higher priced Windows devices which were required to be charged at a slightly higher licensing cost than otherwise to pay for anti-competitive subsidies to keep them from preloading Linux. In the end these measures to prevent Linux from getting a foothold were successful in eliminating Linux from getting a foothold in preloaded PC/laptop market, and keeping it out.

    The reason why OEMs are dropping netbooks now is I suspect because Microsoft has now cut these subsidies for netbooks. Why would they do that? Simple - look at the sub $899 x86 based Windows 8 Pro tablets (ie. the non-ultrabook Windows 8 tablets). They cost between $500 and $650, are powered by dual core Atom Clover Trail CPUs, and have pathetic GPUs and 10" screens and 1-2GB RAM and 64GB SDD. In other words they are low end netbooks with touch added and the keyboard taken away, retailing for $500+. If OEMs are selling $279 Windows netbooks with the same specs with a 320GB HDD, then who on earth would pay $500 for the Windows 8 Atom netbook tablets? That is why Microsoft killed off netbooks now, just when Windows 8 Pro tablets were about to launch.

    Google has actually brought in the new cheap Chromebooks for the mass market at the perfect time. The 1.1 GHz $199 Celeron processor in the Acer C7 Chromebook and its HD2000 GPU are at least twice as fast as Microsoft's $500-$600 tablets, and don't tell me that you don't need that speed to run typical tablet apps - because there are few Metro apps, and the only reason to buy a Windows tablet over an Android or iOS tablet is to run Windows apps. Windows apps running on hardware of low end netbook specs means painfully slow operation - which may be fine if you are paying netbook prices, but not for a $500 device.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPM View Post
    Microsoft's fear was that because customers actually liked Linux netbooks
    I don't think MS were too worried (see quote below), but you are right that the key to Linux adoption was getting OEMs to ship it on new PCs (as Linus Torvalds once mentioned).

    Our internal research has shown that the return of netbooks is higher than regular notebooks, but the main cause of that is Linux. People would love to pay $299 or $399 but they don’t know what they get until they open the box. They start playing around with Linux and start realizing that it’s not what they are used to. They don’t want to spend time to learn it so they bring it back to the store. The return rate is at least four times higher for Linux netbooks than Windows XP netbooks. (Source)
    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    The interesting thing is netbooks have all but been discontinued due to their low cost.
    Why buy a netbook when you could have an iPad instead?

    Also, low cost usually means a lot of corners have been cut. Perhaps consumers were fed up with crappy hardware that wasn't much cheaper than regular £300 Windows laptops and with artificial restrictions imposed by Intel and Microsoft?

    Even with Chromebooks, you have to pay a premium to get decent hardware. Compare the (£229) Series 3 and (£330) Series 5 Chromebooks. The latter has a significantly better screen, keyboard and trackpad, but costs £100 more. I would pay the extra, but a lot of people just look at the sticker price.
    Last edited by Arthur; 16th February 2013 at 04:59 PM.

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    Google working on touch-screen Chromebooks for 2013 release

    The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has developed Chrome OS laptops with touch-screens. According to the Journal's sources, the Chromebooks will go on sale later this year, though there aren't any details on which hardware manufacturers are working with Google. Last year the company started selling Chromebooks by Samsung and Acer directly through the Google Play Store. The rumoured Chromebook Pixel

    A touchscreen Chromebook would likely require significant alterations to Chrome OS, which uses a desktop-style interface built around Google's Chrome browser and designed for a mouse and keyboard. The touch-screen laptops would mean Google offered two touch-based operating systems; it's unclear how the company would position the new products against existing Android tablets.

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    £1100 for the non-LTE version though!

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    If anyone is thinking of getting a Chromebook, PC World are currently selling Samsung's Series 5 550 3G Chromebook for £299.99 (or £284.99 using the PCWORLD5 promo code). That's £80 cheaper than Amazon (£379.99) and the same price as the Series 3 3G Chromebook!

    I think I might get one myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by psydii View Post
    Speaking to the UK Chromebook PM(?) at BETT they are certainly taking the softly softly approach
    Very softly softly it would seem.

    Report claims just 500,000 Chromebooks sold in last two years « Neowin

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    Its a shame really, they could really push this better if they sold it to their google apps for education customers. I bought in a trolley full of them at my last school, as they fit with the use the school wanted from them and cost hardly anything compared to 'full' laptops. Configuration and management was a doddle also, especially with the dashboard integration.

    Personally, I'd say they're a better device than tablets.

    However, they aren't going to revolutionise anything.

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Its a shame really, they could really push this better if they sold it to their google apps for education customers. I bought in a trolley full of them at my last school, as they fit with the use the school wanted from them and cost hardly anything compared to 'full' laptops. Configuration and management was a doddle also, especially with the dashboard integration.

    Personally, I'd say they're a better device than tablets.

    However, they aren't going to revolutionise anything.
    Are there any downsides?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Are there any downsides?
    You need Google Apps.
    The devices we got were pretty much non-user serviceable. Eg. no 'replaceable' battery.
    No compatibility with Windows programs.

    However, if you're comparing to iPads, then I'd say the disadvantage would be - less 'designed for' apps (but those that exist are excellent as they work across any machine using Chrome or other highly standards compliant browser). However, as their goal is for 'webapps' ie. well designed HTML5 websites, this isn't really an issue, as websites will work properly on them. They also have Flash support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Are there any downsides?
    Google's complete lack of a coherent plan, and their tendency to axe products with notice of months rather than years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by psydii View Post
    Google's complete lack of a coherent plan, and their tendency to axe products with notice of months rather than years.

    Have they ever axed one of their core services? Not that I can think of...

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Have they ever axed one of their core services? Not that I can think of...
    Not to mention, the Chromebooks are sold with dashboard integration for a 2 year period - paid for. So, they have to provide the services advertised for that 2 year period.

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    Never said core.

    Lets see what happens to picasa. And then Blogger. Look how long it took them to get chromebooks working... I fear/expect they will go the same way as netbooks.

    I really wanted them to succeed, but I just don't trust them. Chasing Apple and Facebook has taken them up a blind alley. Google+ is their focus.. and if push comes to shove (which appears to be happening with lots of google stuff at the moment) they will destroy their own ecosystem to promote it.


    TBH I have similar issues with apple and icloud. I'm happy to play myself and recommend to friends, but I wouldn't bet my business on them.
    Last edited by psydii; 21st March 2013 at 10:05 AM.

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