Monday, 9 December 2013

One desktop to rule them all - Why Chromebook should mop up




With the rise and fall of PC sales worldwide over the last few years , one thing is clear. The shift to a 'more' mobile OS has been a transition not only in large numbers but in getting end users away from their Windows powered OS to 'something else'.

That something else is either iOS or Android, sometimes Windows Phone or Google's Chromebook OS. Whats interesting is that all three (Apple, Google and Microsoft) have all got a finger in each of the pies - however both Windows and Apples OS have been established for quite a while and both have seen a decline in sales (in some form) for desktop over the last 2-4 years - with Microsoft seeing the biggest fall.

Chromebooks have been dominating their sector with increased sales and often listed as the #1 sub $300 laptop on Amazon. You can use the same +Google  services on your phone as you can on the Chromebook, Google Docs, Drive etc all work but it has its draw backs. Namely the inability to find network shares, NAS or SAN devices, these features alone stop me from getting a Chromebook. I absolutely love the idea of the device but it misses the mark a little, or maybe I'm missing the point - until Google addresses this issue or finds a way round it then Ill be out of this battle for quite a while. 

Google really have a great opportunity to integrate some of Androids best bits and Chrome, throw in a few extra features and you have a brilliant idea which could grow into a true powerhouse of a desktop, at a price we all can swallow. Mobile has shown us that we can do so much with our handsets, and many features contained in a desktop OS like Apple's and Microsoft's are unloved or wanted - many don't need to have a "start" button, the masses just want access to email, music, documents, browsing and file access, be it photos or alike. After all how many do you know just use a PC for social media and email ?! I bet its quite high in terms of numbers..

Microsoft will continue to sell a dead horse for a while at least, their newer Metro style is their attempt to match an overall experience across all devices - again misses the mark as the PC will cost you north of $500-$600, and Apple just have a full bloodied desktop OS on a very pricey 'mac'. Which leaves the space that Google are currently operating in - and doing bloody well.

There will always be a need for a PC for those that need one, that will never go away but in terms of where the market is going, unification of mobile and desktop is a good target to aim for.

If Google can get this right, and I mean right now. They could just be able to make the one desktop to rule them all.