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Advantages of Windows for the casual consumer continue to erode

There's no denying that 2013 was a bleak year for sales of Windows 8 devices to consumers.  On the other hand, Chromebooks -- laptops running Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Linux-based cloud-centric operating system -- were picking up steam, particularly on the budget end.

I. Windows Apps on Chromebooks

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) seems aware of Chromebooks' growing popularity and it appeared eager to nip this trend in the bug airing commercials late last year which inferred that, in part, Chromebooks were useless as they could not run Windows apps.

Well, thanks to VMWare, Inc. (VMW) that's not really true anymore.  VMWare this week announced a new cloud Windows virtualization platform that will specifically target Chrome OS.

VMWare is billing its technology as "Desktop as a Service (DaaS)".  The technology is expected to enable users to run nearly any Windows app in Chrome.

The technology employs VMWare's Blast software and uses HTML5 to help with the client-side graphics and audio. 

VMWare Horizon
VMWare Horizon (shown here running a Windows desktop) makes it a breeze to do 3D modeling on a $300 USD Chromebook client.

Given the cost of Windows licenses for x86 laptops is >$50 USD, Chromebooks are virtually guaranteed to be the cheaper buy.  While virtualization may add to that cost, it can be viewed as either a temporary solution from a migration standpoint and for some large business may be effectively free thanks to existing VMWare volume licensing agreements.

The new service is being rolled out as a two-part solution -- one part as a free Chrome Web Store client app, and one part as the vendor side paid enterprise VMware Horizon View 5.3 software.  VMWare writes that the client app will be "available soon" for Chrome OS.

Customers adopting the solution will have the option of having Windows servers or desktops on premise, which pipe fully virtualized remote desktops to off-site (or on-site) workers using Chrome OS laptops.  Businesses can alternatively rent virtualized Windows desktops from VMWare vCloud Service Provider Partners (VSPPs), who are going to be offering DaaS as a new enterprise service.

II. Chromebooks Ready to Explode in Sales With Termination of Windows XP

Only around 2.5 million Chromebooks sold in 2013, according to the Interactive Data Corp. (IDC). That's about 1 percent of global sales.  But that figure fails to illustrate the growing threat that Chrome is to Windows in a couple regards.

First, Chromebooks are currently mostly shipping to the U.S. and to consumers, rather than enterprise users.  According to the NPD Group, 1.76 million Chromebooks shipped to American consumers between Jan. and Nov. 2013.  That's over 70 percent of all Chromebooks sold.  Worldwide IDC estimates 314.6 PCs shipped in 2013, but NPD notes that only 14.4 million were sold on commercial (consumer) channels in the U.S. between Jan. and Nov. 2013.  Furthermore, the NPD Group notes virtually all Chrome OS products sold were Chromebooks. 

Lenovo ThinkPad

Now you're looking at the U.S. laptop market, which saw sales of about 8.4 million
units in eleven months of 2013, according to the market research. 

According to the NPD Group, Chromebooks more than quadrupled their eleven month sales from 2012 to seize 21 percent of the U.S. consumer notebook market.  That would account for the fact that Chromebooks are dominating Windows devices in some top online retail sites such as Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN).

Chromebooks are seeing key inroads in potentially lucrative enterprise markets, such as off-site work devices and school laptop buyers.  With the advent of offline Chrome OS apps and a growing app catalog, which now features nearly 35,000 apps, Chrome is a serious contender.

This year OEMs are testing the waters with new totable Chrome OS mini-PCs (nicknamed "Chromeboxes").  With Microsoft terminating Windows XP sales (which are currently the primary OS loaded on PCs sold in developing markets), international sales of Chromebooks may spike this year, as well.


Windows XP is being yanked from the market in April, a nice supercharge to Chromebook sales.

 

Detractors will likely continue to point to Chrome's small chunk of global sales.  But with one in five laptops sold last year in the U.S. running ChromeOS, it's folly for developers and consumers alike to ignore this growing threat to the long-standing Windows hegemony.

Virtually every major PC OEM either has a growing stable of Chromeboxes and Chromebooks, or plans to release such products.  Meanwhile, savvy businesses are starting to realize that, as VMWare's fresh focus on products for Chrome OS users illustrates.

Chrome OS is basically free to OEMs (Google gets a cut of the advertising in the built-in browser).  

Source: VMWare



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Licensing
By RGrizzzz on 2/13/2014 3:22:42 PM , Rating: 5
I'm guessing while being technologically possible, there are huge licensing issues to be worked out. The article totally neglects that aspect. Windows APIs required to run Windows apps aren't free.




RE: Licensing
By DT_Reader on 2/13/2014 4:09:25 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly. The point of Chrome OS is that it's free as in Linux, but Grandma friendly like MS Windows. Now you're asking Grandma to run VMWare and run Windows as an app on top of it? And she needs a license for both VMWare and Windows? Just to run Office on a $300 Chromebook? Why not get her a $300 Windows laptop?


RE: Licensing
By ResStellarum on 2/13/2014 4:45:44 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
And she needs a license for both VMWare and Windows?

It's my understanding that there's a free version of VMWare for consumers. At least it was the last time I used it. As far as Windows goes, if they had a Windows PC previously, then they can reuse that licence. Or they can use DaaS.

quote:
Just to run Office on a $300 Chromebook?

I think this is more directed at enterprise users than regular consumers. Normal users have GoogleDocs, or Microsoft's own free online office suite if they want to do Office stuff.

quote:
Why not get her a $300 Windows laptop?

Because for $300 you'll get a POS. Chromebooks require a lot less powerful hardware to run them than Windows. Then there's the cost of the Windows Licence itself.

And all that is ignoring the real issue, which is having to deal with malware, rootkits, keyloggers, viruses, etc. Users don't have to deal with any of that nonsense, nor updates / outdated and vulnerable software, it's all automatic on ChromeOS. That peace of mind is worth it and more.

I always advise my family and friends never to do banking etc on Windows PC's for that very reason.


RE: Licensing
By amanojaku on 2/13/2014 5:26:51 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
It's my understanding that there's a free version of VMWare for consumers. At least it was the last time I used it. As far as Windows goes, if they had a Windows PC previously, then they can reuse that licence. Or they can use DaaS.
Yes, but this isn't a consumer product. It requires VMware Horizon View (Daas), which is not free. Or cheap. You cannot reuse your Windows license. MS has specific licensing requirements for virtualized desktops that does not allow for the reuse of physical desktop licenses.
quote:
I think this is more directed at enterprise users than regular consumers. Normal users have GoogleDocs, or Microsoft's own free online office suite if they want to do Office stuff.
Correct. The TCO is higher for VDI than it is for physical desktops, with certain exceptions due to scale, so a single person would be better off with two desktops or laptops. The cost would be lower, and the performance would be greater.
quote:
Because for $300 you'll get a POS. Chromebooks require a lot less powerful hardware to run them than Windows. Then there's the cost of the Windows Licence itself.
False. For between $300 and $350, you can get an Intel Celeron over 1GHz, with 4GiB of RAM and a 500GB HD. Including Windows. Those are the exact same specs as a $300 Chromebook, only with a hard drive you can actually use instead of a 16GB SSD.

http://www.newegg.com/All-Laptops-Notebooks/SubCat...
quote:
And all that is ignoring the real issue, which is having to deal with malware, rootkits, keyloggers, viruses, etc. Users don't have to deal with any of that nonsense, nor updates / outdated and vulnerable software, it's all automatic on ChromeOS. That peace of mind is worth it and more.

I always advise my family and friends never to do banking etc on Windows PC's for that very reason.
Right, because Windows is the only OS that has security risks, and Windows users are constantly hacked... /sarcasm


RE: Licensing
By Labotomizer on 2/13/2014 5:31:13 PM , Rating: 4
Wish you posted before I started. You pretty much nailed it.


RE: Licensing
By Reclaimer77 on 2/13/14, Rating: -1
RE: Licensing
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/13/2014 7:23:06 PM , Rating: 1
If anyone is willing to flash the BIOS, chromebooks also make good Linux machines. Since there's no need to pay a premium for a Windows license, it's like getting $50 worth of hardware for free.

Coming from XP, I think Ubuntu looks more compelling than Windows 8... and even 7. Operating systems, office suites, photo editors and most conventional software out there is a solved problem. Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk and others realize this and use or are pushing for subscription pricing.


RE: Licensing
By Reclaimer77 on 2/13/2014 8:03:11 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't it like nearly impossible to run Linux onto a Chromebook? Or did they loosen them up?


RE: Licensing
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/13/2014 8:35:47 PM , Rating: 2
They've made the process easier over time, but it's still clearly discouraged. Chromebooks have always allowed access to the command line by entering "developer mode." The downside is you have a nag screen you have to bypass on every reboot.

You can run Linux by dual booting, through a debian chroot or standalone. Google included a legacy BIOS with the Pixel onwards making the install process easier... but kept the nag screen.

People have begun extracting the legacy BIOS firmware and overwriting the locked down BIOS to natively boot Linux. The newest crop of Haswell chromebooks are being worked on now. It sounds complicated, but it's pretty straightforward if your comfortable in the command line.

Since the design of many chromebooks are... ehh... "influenced" by Apple laptops, it's easy nowadays to make your own chracbook. Legal in all 50 states!


RE: Licensing
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/13/2014 8:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
*you're


RE: Licensing
By nafhan on 2/14/2014 11:50:09 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think that's ever been the case. You can install whatever you want (including Windows, if it's x86) by pressing a key combo at start up.


RE: Licensing
By atechfan on 2/14/2014 11:55:43 AM , Rating: 2
From what I have read, you have to make sure you do not forget to hit that key combo during boot-up or it will factory-reset, wiping your Linux install.


RE: Licensing
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/14/2014 12:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
Windows is a no go unless you flash the BIOS. Even then, from what I've seen driver support isn't nearly as good as Linux.


RE: Licensing
By nafhan on 2/14/2014 3:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
Woops. I think you are right about the BIOS thing. SeaBIOS can support Windows, but it sounds like there's ACPI issues, for Windows, with the SeaBIOS that ships by default with most (all?) Chromebooks (i.e. you'd need to flash).

Still, this is more of technical issue. Unlike other devices, no one is being locked out of their purchased hardware. I'd also say that with Linux chrooting is the way to go unless you really don't want Google stuff on your Chromebook.


RE: Licensing
By Camikazi on 2/13/2014 8:55:58 PM , Rating: 3
I'm running Windows 8.1 on a 7 year old Dell Precision M65 and it runs BEAUTIFULLY and the best part is I bought it on eBay for a total of $140 and it has a gorgeous 1900 x 1200 resolution LCD. Don't underestimate what you can get if you know where to look and don't assume that old hardware can't run Windows well. BTW I have tried running Linux on it and oddly enough Ubuntu and Mint were sluggish on it while Windows 8.1 has no lag, so much for Linux being lower footprint and faster.


RE: Licensing
By atechfan on 2/14/14, Rating: 0
RE: Licensing
By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/14, Rating: -1
RE: Licensing
By atechfan on 2/14/2014 11:57:55 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I am an asshole. And I won't change that for anyone. Thanks for the sort-of welcome.


RE: Licensing
By damianrobertjones on 2/14/2014 10:01:45 AM , Rating: 2
But... It's NOT! It is giving you LESS for the same price as a standard machine. For example HP makes Chromebooks (That had a power adapter recall) and windows machines... NO-ONE can stand there and say that the Chromebook has better hardware ESPECIALLY when made by Dell, HP, Lenovo etc.

Wake up... You're falling for the damn marketing. If you REALLY want something other than windows then there are alternatives but Google shouldn't really be one of them UNLESS you admit that you're getting less.


RE: Licensing
By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/2014 10:46:57 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
If you REALLY want something other than windows then there are alternatives


Unless you play games or need to run a specific piece of software, there's really no need for Windows. That's the world we live in today.

Do you realize how many people use tablets and smartphones to perform functions that required Windows (or similar OS) just a few years ago?

Why do you think the PC market has been in such a slump the past few years?

Why are you being so hostile? I don't even own a Chromebook, I can't make do without Windows. But there's a LOT of people who just use computers for very simple tasks, and you don't need a Windows machine today to do them.

I never said the hardware was better on a cheap Chromebook anyway. Learn to read! I only stated ChromeOS runs better on cheap hardware, especially with an SSD, as apposed to Windows on a horribly slow HDD.

Wtf is so controversial about that exactly? It's a fact.


RE: Licensing
By atechfan on 2/14/2014 12:31:43 PM , Rating: 2
ChromeBooks are probably OK for people who just need Facebook and e-mail, but then a phone or a tablet will suit them just as well. You seem more balanced about it than Jason. Stating that no one needs Windows now because you can run Windows apps remotely in a VM shows that he has no idea how VMs work. You still need a Windows PC running the program that you can terminal into from the ChromeBook. That is definitely now Grandma-friendly.


RE: Licensing
By Reclaimer77 on 2/14/2014 12:40:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
ChromeBooks are probably OK for people who just need Facebook and e-mail, but then a phone or a tablet will suit them just as well.


Agree.

I guess if you're typing a lot, Chromebooks traditional form factor gives you an advantage there.

quote:
You seem more balanced about it than Jason.


Me and Jason go way back, don't always see eye to eye on everything, but mutual respect is there. The guy is under a microscope and every little thing gets magnified here. Don't judge him too quickly :)


RE: Licensing
By Labotomizer on 2/13/2014 5:29:53 PM , Rating: 5
You can't run Windows without a Windows license. So saying that the cost of a Windows license on a low end notebook is a disadvantage to running Windows on a Chromebook is completely contradictory. And, if you're running a virtualized version of Windows then the fact that ChromeOS requires less resources is again negated because you now have to support resources for Windows AND ChromeOS.

Again, if you're running a Windows virtual machine you also need to worry about security software on the Windows VM.

I always advise my family and friends never to do banking etc on Windows PC's for that very reason

And what do you tell them to do? Also, the browser Chrome has been targeted heavily lately by malicious plugins. These same plugins will work on the ChromeOS version of Chrome. So there's that.

Windows 7/8 are every bit as secure as any other OS on the market and in some ways more so. Just because it's under constant attack doesn't make it less secure. It usually benefits the users in the long run because people are paying more attention. Attitudes like yours, the whole "my system is built on Linux so it's invincible" does more harm than good. That leads to less suspicion of users when installing "video codecs" and other things and makes them more likely to be infected with something bad.

After all, if I want to grant something the ability to install malware on a system, be it Linux, Windows or Mac, then that turns out to be the weak point. Other security doesn't really matter.


RE: Licensing
By XingWheel on 2/13/2014 6:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
An enterprise license is needed for this solution and IT managers know that. This is not meant to be a mom and pop solution. Google is targeting big huge businesses with this. Mom and pop can use Google Docs for free and don't need the types of productivity apps which big corporations need.


RE: Licensing
By Labotomizer on 2/14/2014 11:06:16 AM , Rating: 2
Not debating the usefulness of a Chromebook. Simply debunking the statements in the post I was replying to.


RE: Licensing
By StevoLincolnite on 2/13/2014 5:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because for $300 you'll get a POS. Chromebooks require a lot less powerful hardware to run them than Windows. Then there's the cost of the Windows Licence itself.


It's implied it would be for a Grandmother.
They wouldn't be playing Crysis, you don't need allot of performance.

It just has to be good enough and a $300 device powered by Intels Atom is more than enough.

For such a use-case, you're far better off with Windows, there is no re-learning for the oldies if they have used it prior.

My grandmother is still using a 4-5 year old Intel Atom 330 Dual Core, 2Gb of Ram and a Radeon 3450 with Windows 7 and it's perfectly adequate for all her needs, anything more would be overkill.


RE: Licensing
By Reclaimer77 on 2/13/2014 6:58:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
For such a use-case, you're far better off with Windows, there is no re-learning for the oldies if they have used it prior.


Have you seen an old person who prefers Windows 8? Talk about relearning!

Have you ever used ChromeOS? Its way more intuitive than Windows at this point. The UI blows it away.


RE: Licensing
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/13/2014 7:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
I agree.

There are videos on YouTube of old people using Windows 8 for the first time. It's painful to watch.


RE: Licensing
By TakinYourPoints on 2/13/2014 7:34:07 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair, using a web browser is easier than learning any real operating system, not just Windows 8.

This isn't a bad thing btw, that increase ease of use is the whole reason tablet and smartphone usage has exploded. Not everyone needs access to a file system and a command line to do what most people use computers for in the first place.

Applying that same idea to a very low end desktop isn't a bad idea. This tech may be in its infancy right now but the concept could meet its potential in five years or so as web applications get more and more powerful.


RE: Licensing
By atechfan on 2/14/2014 4:45:17 AM , Rating: 2
What UI? The Chrome shortcut?


RE: Licensing
By althaz on 2/13/2014 6:23:18 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Because for $300 you'll get a POS. Chromebooks require a lot less powerful hardware to run them than Windows. Then there's the cost of the Windows Licence itself.

Windows apps don't get magically easier to run by running in a VM - in fact in 100% of cases the software will run worse on a Chromebook than it would on a Windows laptop.


RE: Licensing
By Lerianis on 2/14/2014 1:04:34 AM , Rating: 2
You kidding about 'you will get a PoS' there? I've seen 300 dollar notebooks that are BETTER than my current gaming laptop on everything but graphics card.... even then, the Intel HD solutions, according to Passmark, get almost 2/3rds of the performance of the graphics card in my gaming class laptop.

No, Windows PC in the 300-400 dollar range today are damned good and can be made even better by upgrading the memory in them from 4GB's (the usual baseline) to 8GB's or more.


RE: Licensing
By mattclary on 2/14/2014 10:01:37 AM , Rating: 2
Your Grandma is checking her email on AOL.com. The VM will be used by more savy folks.

Any licensing of Windows APIs will be done by VMWare. VMWare and ChomeOS talk, ChromeOS doesn't talk to the Windows app.


RE: Licensing
By nafhan on 2/14/2014 11:23:41 AM , Rating: 2
There's not huge licensing issues to be worked out here. It's the same licensing issues you have with any DaaS deployment. There's also not API issues. You've got Windows apps running on Windows.

The problem here is that this article makes it sound like a free service (when there's no way it will be), and that it might make a lot of sense for consumers, when it won't. I can see this potentially being useful by large corporations who were planning to do DaaS anyway, though.


This solves nothing...
By Wolfpup on 2/13/2014 4:05:24 PM , Rating: 5
If it's not actually running on the hardware.

I've found Microsoft's Surface (RT versions) are AWESOME for a casual user. They get a full web browser, flash, file system, Office 2013, lots of other programs here and there, and it's a tablet or a desktop or a notebook, and all actually works, and is waaaaaaaaaaaaay more versatile than these Chromebooks are.




RE: This solves nothing...
By ResStellarum on 2/13/14, Rating: -1
RE: This solves nothing...
By coburn_c on 2/13/2014 5:31:45 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
1. I'm sorry but IE is a POS. No one with any sense uses it.


I use it alongside Firefox, it's actually every bit as capable and a tiny bit faster.

quote:
2. Who doesn't have flash?

Android and iOS come to mind.

quote:
3. File system huh? What can you do with it? Not much considering metro apps are sandboxed.


Are you implying you wouldn't want you downloaded apps sandboxed? or are you implying that explorer is not a massive advantage over 3rd party or neutered file management?

quote:
4. And speaking of apps, well there aren't any that matter on RT. No developer interest, no userbase, incompatibility with Windows / Phone. Yeah that platform's DOA.


I'll take 10 polished core apps over 500,000 fart apps anyday. Office anyone?


RE: This solves nothing...
By Labotomizer on 2/13/2014 5:33:43 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I find IE11 to be superior and less susceptible to attacks than Chrome. I use Chrome for a few things but, overall, I much prefer IE.

As for sense, well... I am responding to your nonsense statements so I suppose I might be lacking there.


RE: This solves nothing...
By althaz on 2/13/2014 11:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
I prefer Chrome, but there's no getting around the fact that IE11 is a superb browser.


RE: This solves nothing...
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/14/2014 11:15:23 AM , Rating: 2
Internet Explorer gets deprecated faster.

Windows XP --> IE 8
Windows Vista --> IE 9
Windows 7 --> IE 11 (probably)

Modern versions of Chrome, Firefox and Opera are available for all three. IE11 is superb for those that can use it.


RE: This solves nothing...
By Lerianis on 2/14/14, Rating: -1
RE: This solves nothing...
By flyingpants1 on 2/13/2014 6:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
If it had close-enough hardware to an iPad, the RT would be the tablet of choice for power users.

It's an iPad with some familiar MS software as opposed to none.


Hehe
By bug77 on 2/13/14, Rating: 0
RE: Hehe
By atechfan on 2/13/2014 6:21:30 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, the huge library of Linux games sure won me over.


RE: Hehe
By bug77 on 2/14/2014 9:55:03 AM , Rating: 3
You don't honestly believe Valve has bothered to create their own Linux distribution if they weren't expecting and/or working on major changes in that department.


RE: Hehe
By atechfan on 2/14/2014 12:44:58 PM , Rating: 2
Gabe was angry at MS for creating an app store. I don't think he thought it through much farther than that.


RE: Hehe
By bug77 on 2/14/2014 1:05:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I'm pretty sure he got where he is by reacting on impulse.


RE: Hehe
By atechfan on 2/14/2014 1:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
Even successful people can make illogical, emotionally motivated decisions.


two
By p05esto on 2/13/2014 3:25:42 PM , Rating: 4
There are two classes of computer users: 1) mostly clueless consumers, even many people who think they have a clue but really don't. 2) Power users, that work on their computers all day doing real work (not surfing CNN and sending a few emails). These people need input devices, large screens and desire speed and power.

Chomebooks, most laptops, tablets, apple products, etc all are for the first group. Nothing wrong with those devices, I have some of them.... but we'll always have two classes of need.




RE: two
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/13/2014 7:37:24 PM , Rating: 1
3) Power users that use "real" computers at work all day who want to come home and be lazy.

Need to re-install Windows 7 because your computer is getting slow? You forgot to backup an image of your fresh install!?! Have fun watching your computer update and reboot itself forever because Microsoft won't release SP2...


RE: two
By A11 on 2/14/2014 4:16:21 AM , Rating: 2
An hour or two, which is what it takes on a reasonably fast system, isn't forever and windows 7 doesn't slow down much over time.

But yea SP2 is way overdue.


RE: two
By TheEquatorialSky on 2/14/14, Rating: 0
RE: two
By captainBOB on 2/15/14, Rating: 0
I kinda do this already
By Solandri on 2/13/2014 3:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
I run multiple Windows and Unix virtual machines on my file server, and access them via Remote Desktop or VLC (or ssh if I just need a shell). I can then "run" Windows apps on anything that can run a Remote Desktop or VLC client - laptops, Android phones and tablets, iOS phones and tablets, 12 year old PCs with 128 MB of RAM, etc.

It's a very useful setup. Obviously it doesn't work if I'm out of wifi/cellular network range, but in some cases it's better than running apps natively. e.g. One of my VMs is set up for encoding videos. This can typically take 1-4 hours for a movie, during which time my server's CPU is running at 100% and burning up 95 Watts. None of that affects my laptop or phone - they still get full battery life, they don't get hot from high CPU use, and other apps or games I'm running don't slow down.

I realize this is the old "thin client" paradigm redux. But given the advanced state of current mobile computing and wifi/cellular networks, it really has a place for some tasks. If you don't want to run a home server, you could even set it up an Amazon AWS cloud server and pay based on the amount of CPU time you use.




RE: I kinda do this already
By Camikazi on 2/13/2014 9:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
Do you mean VNC cause VLC is a media player?


So then
By amanojaku on 2/13/2014 4:08:52 PM , Rating: 2
The Chromebooks aren't actually running Windows apps. They're running a remote session into a VDI environment, with local hardware acceleration of video and audio. This is nothing new, except for being available on Chrome. Was selling this stuff five years ago at VMware, and later at Citrix, using Wyse terminals for acceleration. It had quite a few caveats, as well, requiring high bandwidth and specific codecs.




RE: So then
By Belegost on 2/13/2014 8:11:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, it's a thin client for Chromebook. I suppose being a mobile thin client is somewhat novel - but considering that thin clients are generally given to employees for whom the PC is not their primary need, I'm not sure a mobile thin client is something really needed.

I'm struggling to find the right use for this.


This is for Corporate
By grooves21 on 2/13/2014 8:23:20 PM , Rating: 2
Why aren't people understanding this.

This is not for the average consumer. For those people they don't NEED windows apps, they can get by on the Chrome alternatives just fine.

This is to sell to corporations that have specialized applications (hence the need for a sever to do the Windows processing.) It makes it easier for them to deploy a more cost-effective solution across their user base (who's needs aren't much different than the average consumer 90% of the time,) while still allowing them to use those specialized apps for the few cases where they are needed.




RE: This is for Corporate
By someguy123 on 2/13/2014 11:53:09 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know where you work but from my experience the "need" has usually been all or nothing. Lower level employees can get by just fine using browsers or even terrible pocket pcs and would likely never need windows (especially with wifi direct access to printers. nowadays your phone works and it doesn't even require custom software), meanwhile other businesses are built on legacy software and/or around Office applications. Where is this niche of corporations looking for the inconvenience of VMing windows on a chromebook? They could just get similarly cheap windows laptops, which has the entire feature set of a chromebook.

Chromebook is meant to be very lightweight. This is completely counter intuitive.


Other way around
By DrApop on 2/14/2014 12:26:10 PM , Rating: 2
I would rather be able to put ChromeOS on my Win machine than put Win on my ChromeOS machine. Sometimes I just want to cruise the net or have little jobs to do or just prefer ChromeOS and don't want to have to wait 5 minutes for Win to boot up on my 3 year old laptop.

let me download and install ChromeOS. Why must I buy a machine with it already on it!




RE: Other way around
By atechfan on 2/14/2014 12:46:19 PM , Rating: 2
Install Linux, install Chrome. Done.


just keep it simple
By frozentundra123456 on 2/13/2014 5:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
This seems like outsmarting yourself to me. The appeal (limited in my opinion) of chromebooks is that they are cheap and can run on cheap hardware. A lot of times they are targeted at poorly informed users because they supposedly cannot get infected with viruses. Is Joe/Jane consumer who is too careless or poorly informed to keep from getting their computer infected on the internet really going to want to run a virtual machine on a cheap,low end hardware chromebook.

Sometimes the obvious and simplest answer is actually the right one: just get windows. A low end windows laptop can be had for 350.00 or so. In fact I just got one for my wife and it is plenty fast enough.




RE: just keep it simple
By captainBOB on 2/15/2014 5:44:18 PM , Rating: 1
You, like a disproportionate number of tech geeks continue to underestimate the power of convenience over features on a spec sheet.

The appeal of Chromebooks is that for 300 dollars you get a PC that has significantly longer battery life, is more resistant to malware, and does the same things you were doing on the Windows PC but you no longer have to deal with Windows Update, antivirus, cryptic error messages, accidentally stumbling into "advanced" sections of the UI.

If you have a family member that has a tablet and also has a PC that hasn't been turned on in months because the tablet fulfills their needs while being much easier to operate, that is what the Chromebook offers, only with more powerful hardware compared to the tablet and a physical keyboard.

Keep you Windows, I'll keep mine, but for the less technical friends and family that just want the simplicity of the tablet with beefier hardware, I will happily point them to a chrome book and not worry about being tech support.


By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 2/13/2014 3:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
If you can still get one, it's not a bad little piece of kit.




Remote desktop already there!
By Penti on 2/13/2014 4:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
You already had support for remote desktop/terminal services from the begin from many vendors including Citrix. Well Citrix receiver was announced back in 2010 at least. VMWare View has been available since 2011 on Chromebooks and HTML5 browsers. Nothing new here.




DaaS is garbage
By dgingerich on 2/13/2014 5:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
I hate DaaS services. It's no better than the dumb terminals we moved away from back in the 80s. Just like wireless internet from cell phone companies today, you could wind up on some cluster that so oversubscribed it could take days to take red eye out of a single photo.

In addition, all the data is stored on someone else's drives, far out of the users' control. Who knows what they could be doing with it. Then there is the little matter of what happens if a hacker gets into their system. All your data, including your private photos, medical records, porn site payments, or your family's financial records could be in the hands of some random hacker or dishonest ex-employee. Do you really want that sitting out there on someone else's drives, where you can't control how it's stored?

On top of all that, how are you going to get into the remote VM to rebuild the OS when it is so degraded your apps run even slower? It's on someone else's server, so you won't have any access to what's behind the OS.

It's a bad idea, all the way around. I hope someone gets their head back on straight and see all these could services aren't such a great idea. Sure, they'd be good for backup infrastructure or offsite data backup, so long as it's encrypted from the near end. Any other use is just inviting disaster.




the hidden cost
By w8gaming on 2/13/2014 6:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
Well, Microsoft will just charge full OS prices on the usage of each virtualized instance to run Windows and hence earn the same profit. Even if existing licensing agreement might be cheaper, it is still up to Microsoft to revise and set the price. Does not seem to affect Microsoft or PC vendors (because they will be making the Chromebooks) much except making VMWare richer.




"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins














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