Sunday, October 13, 2013

ChromeOS Revolution Update

Wow, this is what Amazon's best-selling laptops list contains as I write this (10/12/2013):
  • #1 Samsung Chromebook
  • #2 HP Chromebook 11 (White/Blue)
  • #6 Acer C720-2800 11.6-Inch Chromebook
  • #7 Acer C710-2834 11.6-Inch Chromebook
  • #36 Acer C710-2833 11.6-Inch Chromebook
  • #37 11.6" Acer C7 C710-2856 Chromebook
  • #89 Acer C7 C710-2847 Chromebook
Amazon doesn't publish such details, but the Samsung Chromebook has been #1 on the list nearly every day since it shipped about a year ago. (It's possible it has been on the list every day, I've never seen it not be #1 on the laptop list.) The top two laptops are both Chromebooks and ARM-based, not Intel-based.

NPD says that Chromebooks make up 20-25% of the sub-$300 notebook market and is the fastest-growing part of the PC industry based on price.

Long term, the most important recent announcement about ChromeOS came in celebration of Chrome's 5th birthday: "Chrome Apps". This new breed of apps is the "native" app for Chromebooks. These apps also work on Windows, MacOS and eventually Linux, Android and iOS. These apps, once called Chrome Packaged Apps, but now called simply a Chrome App, provide the following features (link):

  • Work offline: Keep working or playing, even when you don’t have an internet connection.
  • More app, less Chrome: No tabs, buttons or text boxes mean you can get into the app without being distracted by the rest of the web.
  • Connect to the cloud: Access and save the documents, photos and videos on your hard drive as well as on Google Drive and other web services.
  • Stay up-to-speed: With desktop notifications, you can get reminders, updates and even take action, right from the notification center.
  • Play nice with your connected devices: Interact with your USB, Bluetooth and other devices connected to your desktop, including digital cameras.
  • Keep updated automatically: Apps update silently, so you always get all the latest features and security fixes (unless permissions change).
  • Pick up where you left off: Chrome syncs your apps to any desktop device you sign in to, so you can keep working.
  • Sleep easier: Chrome apps take advantage of Chrome’s built-in security features such asSandboxing. They also auto-update to make sure you have all the latest security fixes. No extra software (or worrying) required.
  • Launch apps directly from your desktop: To make it quicker and easier to get to your favorite apps, we’re also introducing the Chrome App Launcher for Windows, which will appear when you install your first new Chrome App. It lives in your taskbar and launches your apps into their own windows, outside of Chrome, just like your desktop apps. Have lots of apps? Navigate to your favorite apps using the search box.
If find it promising that there are already "best apps" articles:
The Best Packaged Apps For Chrome

This article sums up the promise of Chrome Apps rather well:
Chrome apps could be the end of Windows, OS X and Linux. Here's why...

We will hear more about "Chrome Apps" by the holidays.

The Wintel OEMs are embracing ChromeOS with a passion:
Chromebooks, Windows touch laptops offer lifeline to PC makers

HP no longer playing by Microsoft, Intel rules, exec says

Among top-tier Wintel OEMs, only Dell is not delivering or promising a Chromebook.

Chromeboxes don't get the attention they should:
Why this CIO chose Chromeboxes over tablets for his new retail business

There have been several new Chromebooks released:

HP Chromebook 14 2013 with Haswell Hands-on

Acer's new Chromebook has a Celeron 2955U Haswell CPU

This next is the HP 11-inch ARM-based Chromebook, that is #2 at Amazon.
Google introduces a $279 Chromebook designed to work with your cellphone charger

Toshiba and Asus have announced a Chromebook and a Chromebox, but they are not released yet:
Google unveils new Chromebooks, Chromebox with Intel Haswell processors

Chromebooks are huge in education:

Chromebooks now being utilized by 22% of K-12 US school districts

Take a Chromebook instead of an Apple to your teacher

The version of QuickOffice built into Chromebooks continues to make progress:
Google turns on native Microsoft Office file editing by default in latest Chrome OS build

An important note for ChromeOS developers, it is now easy to switch between stable, beta and developer releases:
Chrome OS updates: Easier channel switching, file switching, window management


  1. exynos 5250 in the new cb11 is disappointing. why they chose that horrible hardware-bugged power-leaking overheating disaster of an arm chip again? it could be so much better with the 5420 or tegra4

    - Lgk

  2. I agree... when I saw the first announcements come down the line, they didn't say what chip was in it... finally after some digging I found it was the 5250 and was so disappointed. HP is using the Tegra 4 in a number of other devices, I cannot understand why they chose to use the 5250 here.


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