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Kogan Beats Samsung and Acer With World's First Chrome OS Laptop

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-counting-the-cr-48-of-course dept.

Chrome 103

cylonlover writes "Australian manufacturer Kogan will ship the world's first notebook featuring Google's open source Chrome OS from June 7. The release date for the 11.6'' Agora Chromium Laptop means that Kogan has pipped Samsung and Acer by just over a week in the race to be the first company to offer a Chromium OS notebook."

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103 comments

Beat? (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 2 years ago | (#36347852)

Does this really matter (news about one beating others by a week) when chromebooks are at least 2 years late to the party? (netbooks accounted for about 20% of laptop marketshare (NPD 2009), tablets are taking 60-70% of that... there is not much left AFAIK)

Re:Beat? (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#36347932)

Google is dominated by engineers, not designers. That is why the work on the interesting parts of problems that mattered four years ago, instead of the essential parts of problems that matter now.

Re:Beat? (2)

Barryke (772876) | more than 2 years ago | (#36347958)

You're not getting it. Also, two years ago, these would be less useful than now.

The internet evolved enough to allow everyone to "carry their own kiosk", which denies the user a full-fledged local persistent storage. Somewhat like iPad and iPhone, taking the idea to the extreme, allowing web applications to evolve and allow customers to further detach from well known OS vendors (such as Apple, Microsoft) that could sabotage access to Google web applications.

ChromeOS and Chrome and Andriod are here for two reasons:
1) Prevent "vendor lockout". (eliminate dependence on competitor-supplied products)
2) Upgrade client side technology. (allowing a better web application experience)

Re:Beat? (5, Insightful)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#36347994)

ChromeOS and Chrome and Andriod are here for two reasons:
1) Prevent "ad lockout" ie ready for flash/cookie/tracking/database/web 2.0+ads every start up.
2) Upgrade client side revenue stream technology (allowing a better profiting from web applications)

The Race to Get a Google OS Laptop to Market!! (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349274)

or: "Where did all those flames come from and why are we in this handbasket?"

Re:Beat? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348734)

I think its been well proven that Android does not prevent "vendor lockout" - quite a few vendors just treat it the same as any other off the shelf OS they would have purchased for their mobile device, not as the open and ubiquitous single OS/multiple device platform that Google wanted.

Re:Beat? (3, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348896)

Yes and no. The fact that you can get an android phone from any carrier or vendor makes it hard for anybody to go way overboard on controlling the platform. Ultimately if anybody messes up the consumer experience too much they'll go elsewhere since they have options.

I think their main concern was that they didn't want the iPhone cornering the market. Apple is pretty heavy-handed with controlling the experience there, and if they felt like Google ads or services weren't the ones their customers should be using, Google would be stuck fighting things out in court. By giving consumers options it constrains what everybody else can get away with - why would you buy a phone that limits options you actually care about when other devices don't?

Plus, Chrome and Android are forcing the market to advance. How fast were Javascript interpreters a few years ago? How fast are almost all of them today? Arguably Firefox is a lot faster at rendering Google's pages as a result of Chrome coming out than it would have been if Google merely tried to submit patches for it.

Competition keeps everybody honest.

Re:Beat? (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348906)

The internet evolved enough to allow everyone to "carry their own kiosk",

And mobile devices have evolved enough to allow everyone to run a full fledged OS with a web browser AND apps. And laptops are even more powerful. There's just no good reason now to lock yourself into a web browser.

Somewhat like iPad and iPhone, taking the idea to the extreme, allowing web applications to evolve and allow customers to further detach from well known OS vendors (such as Apple, Microsoft) that could sabotage access to Google web applications.

Wow, now that's just FUD. How are Apple and Microsoft going to sabotage your access to web applcations? As long as you can install Firefox or Chrome, you've got at least the same functionality as a Chromebook, and then some. Besides, even if Apple or Microsoft did do something to cripple Google apps, there's always Linux.

But as long as we're talking about FUD, what is stopping Google from making it difficult to export your documents to other competing services? At least Microsoft doesn't basically on the documents I create with Office.

Re:Beat? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36349022)

Simply put, you answered yourself. Competition. If Google locked you in to their service, then people would just use a competing service that didn't lock you in to using their formats. Proof reading your post, while thinking about what you're saying would prevent FUD that you're unnecessarily spreading.

Re:Beat? (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349142)

You don't seem to get how companies lock you into products. You can be effectively locked in despite competition. Look at how many people would so desperately love to get out of the hold that Microsoft has on almost everything business related. But it is hard. They make it hard. Once you've built everything around a vendor, it is incredibly difficult to switch gears when somebody wakes up and realizes that they've put all their eggs in one basket.

First post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36347856)

So, does it have just enough processing power for a web frontend to the 'cloud'? Or can I use it without a data connection?

ChromOS is worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36347868)

It cant run any of my apps,. its a closed source walled garden, and its only seems to runn on underpowered systems with limited system resources. Why should I care about ChromOS?

Re:ChromOS is worthless (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348220)

You sound like you're talking about iOS a few years ago.

You can install ChromeOS on any PC you want, not just "underpowered systems".

Re:ChromOS is worthless (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348506)

Have you tried that? My every attempt at that has been dismal at best, even with Hexxeh's compiles. Unless the system is designed for ChromeOS, or Hexxeh has specifically targetted it, it's a bit of a nightmare.

Re:ChromOS is worthless (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348592)

Haven't tried it nope, and I don't really feel the need to now that I have my Xoom. They are a bit late.

Re:ChromOS is worthless (2)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349948)

3G Xoom + keyboard + keyboard case = $1000

3G iPad + keyboard + keyboard case = $1000

3G Chromebook = $500, or $20/month if you're a student.

That's the math that they're counting on people doing.

Re:ChromOS is worthless (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36355884)

Netbook + 3G modem = $400 at most.

But most likely you already have a 3G phone through which said netbook can be easily tethered (why pay for 2 data plans when you can pay for one?), so make that $300. And I'm being generous here, because you can actually find one for $250.

Re:ChromOS is worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36349060)

Why would you install it on anything more powerful? It's not like it can run any real apps anyway. It's nothing but a gimpier version of any mobile OS.

Re:ChromOS is worthless (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349148)

Boots up faster than Windows, and presumably even faster than most Linux distros.

This was actually the reason I started using OSX over Windows at first, simply because it would boot into a useful mode (browsing/media playing) faster. I then switched to Ubuntu which had a similar or slightly faster boot time.

For Windows you could use hibernate, but hibernate has never worked nicely for me on Windows. Windows is also just.. meh.

Re:ChromOS is worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348274)

The whole point is it's neither closed nor a walled "garden". Besides those two points, it sucks.

Chrome or Chromium? (3, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 2 years ago | (#36347870)

If Kogan is shipping Chrome, and Samsung and Acer are shipping Chromium, these are different things. Not terribly different, but different enough that it'd be interesting either way.

See, Chromium is an open-source project. Chrome is Google's proprietary fork of Chromium -- essentially, Google tracks Chromium, but (I think?) adds some stuff to it. While they've removed h.264, that was a good example -- Google can pay for a license and include any amount of proprietary h.264 code they want in Chrome, but the Chromium project can't do the same.

Please correct me if this has changed. It'd be cool if there were no remaining proprietary bits in Chrome (or in Chrome OS), but I doubt it. The Wikipedia page on Chromium OS doesn't list any significant differences vs Chrome OS, but if the browsers themselves are significantly different [wikipedia.org] , surely the OSes have to be?

Re:Chrome or Chromium? (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348072)

Even more confusing is Chrome OS Linux www.getchrome.eu which is a susestudio built me-too distro that boots into chrome full screen. You'll find it if your hurting for a Chrome[ium] build to download and won't realise it's not the legit thing until you see the small grey on white text at the bottom of page saying it's nothing to do with Google.

Google also makes a Chrome browser build for Linux, which is often confused with Chromium browser available in most distro's repositories.

Re:Chrome or Chromium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348096)

What is the real difference between Chrome and Chromium? I suspect not much given Chrome is supposedly open source. I imagine Chromium does not include Adobe Flash built-in. Maybe (although I thought Google licensed them for everybody who developed a Chrome based browser or Chromium) some video codecs. The thing is don't we already have these video codecs supported in most distributions? I am very Ubuntu centric so maybe it doesn't work as seamlessly in other distributions. In Ubuntu it pops up saying you are missing codecs usually and alerts you to install them if you so desire to.

Re:Chrome or Chromium? (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348160)

That's exactly the situation! Good guess...

Chromium is the (Google-run) open source project. Google then take this, build in flash, and deliver it as Chrome

Re:Chrome or Chromium? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349008)

Chrome also supports secure boot - I don't believe chromium does (and in any case this requires hardware/firmware-level support as well).

I'm also not sure if chromium OS supports auto-updates.

As far as codecs go - I'm not sure what chromium does/doesn't support. However, many linux distros tend to skirt patents around things like h.264. Often they will not include these codecs, but will make them easy to install from sources where the patent does not apply. Google might be reluctant to do the same since they have deep pockets.

Re:Chrome or Chromium? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349796)

And this is why, when I started this thread, I linked to a list of differences [wikipedia.org] . It's more than just Flash, though it's also a small enough list that you might easily write it off -- and it really does seem that these are mostly things they can't release because of licensing issues. Still, it's enough that it's fair to say that Chrome itself is proprietary, and Chromium is open source.

The thing is don't we already have these video codecs supported in most distributions?... In Ubuntu it pops up saying you are missing codecs usually and alerts you to install them if you so desire to.

Does it do that in Chrome, and for the Video Tag? I know it doesn't for Firefox. This was one of my bigger annoyances with the current implementations of HTML5 -- while IE and Safari actually connect to the OS' codec support, thus making it easy to install a new codec, it seems like Firefox and Chrome are determined to include the codecs inside the browser. Firefox itself is especially obnoxious -- the discussions I have with supporters of this usually lead to an argument about the security implications (really?), while the actual motivation is to deliberately make it as hard as possible for H.264 to win, thus making it as hard as possible for HTML5 Video to win.

chromium os not chrome os (2)

dns_server (696283) | more than 2 years ago | (#36347872)

This appears to be running the open source chromium os and not the proprietary google chrome os.
Chromium os is what you get if you go and download the source code and compile but i would expect that you need to have some sort of partnership with google in order to get some parts of chrome.
It should not make much of a difference as chromium is the upstream but there could be bits that are not included.

Chrome OS will fail. (5, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#36347922)

I say this as someone who was on the CR-48 pilot. The reason is not Chrome OS itself: the problem is that cloud-only is impossible for anything serious. One hits a wall in which no web-app suffices to do what needs be done.

For me, the Google eco-system's permanent beta cripples it and ensures the longevity of its competitors. The issues for me? After all these years, there is no bibliography / citation management system for Google Docs that works in the cloud (at least nothing that could work with a Chromebook.) And, you can't define styles in Google docs. The absence of offline mode - the deprecation of Gears without implementing a replacement - was another disaster.

Google's strategy has been to create disruptive technologies, but that's no longer enough. A good anecdote to describe Google's failure to fully deliver is what happened to the founders of Foursquare: after having designed Dodgeball and getting acquired by Google, the were left high-and-dry, their technology more or lest left on a shelf. They got fed up and left, and created what should have been a strong Google product. Google tried to play catch up with Latitude, but it flopped, like all the other half-assed, unfinished products that wind up in its portfolio.

There is a lot Google does right, but it simply can't deliver a full working environment. Fundamental problems in its product management culture will have to be resolved before anything on the scale of a Chrome OS will work.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (4, Interesting)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348086)

"There is a lot Google does right, but it simply can't deliver a full working environment. Fundamental problems in its product management culture will have to be resolved before anything on the scale of a Chrome OS will work."

Not only that but the whole "cloud" concept for private people doesn't make any sense at all. Storage and CPU power is so cheap, but compared to that the connection to the internet is very expensive and very unreliable. Even in high-tech countries like the US, or Germany, the latency is very height, like 60ms up to 100ms (compare that with the computer latency with is around 1ms), and it's expensive compared to 0$ for the local hard disk. If we are compare G3/G4/UMTS then it's much more expensive, slow, and unreliable.

The whole concept of cloud had made sense back in the days when storage and CPU power was so expensive that only the universities could afford it. So you had at home a relative cheap box to connect to the university computer to run your heavy computations.

For private consumers it just a big disadvantage. For firms it would make some more sense to outsource your I.T. But you should know if it makes sense to make your whole business depended on some second firm in the cloud.

For Google of course it makes perfect sense to push for the cloud. They make their money of advertising and the people's data. So of course they want you to be connected 24/7 to their services and store your data on their servers. But it's just stupid for anyone who do real work with their computer. But for facebook/hulu/youtube people , maybe it's ok if the laptop is so much cheaper. But then Google don't need to invest in the cloud-software stuff like Google Docs.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

wulfhere (94308) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348520)

You never have mod points when you need them... I couldn't agree more with you.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348534)

You can drastically reduce the call-centre costs by using thin clients and having all the software in the cloud. This is one of the reasons why cloud computing is successful in the corp. world: reduces IT costs.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348824)

The cloud works now for servers, not clients. It makes sense to put your corporate web server in the cloud, but it would be be wildly irresponsible to offload your office apps onto the cloud. Thin clients are fine when the servers are local and connectivity is reliable and fast, but not on the cloud where you app have been shoehorned into a web browser.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348654)

I mostly agree with you, but there's one usage case you've skipped over: a home user who has multiple devices. They can't be bothered manually synching them, or setting up a home server. But they want all their personal stuff to be accessible from the little laptop they carry around with them, their big gaming rig at home, and (possibly) their computer at work. Storing their stuff remotely, and accessing it from each platform only as needed, actually kinda makes sense. It'd make more sense if it weren't for network latency.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349124)

I think you're missing one of the key benefits of Chrome OS - professional-quality device management. That isn't cheap. The difficulty is in convincing the average home user that this is something they need. It probably won't be a hard sell in the corporate world.

Storage certainly is cheap. Backups aren't. Now, the average user addresses this by not making backups.

A computer that can run software is cheap. Keeping malware out isn't. Now, the average user addresses this by simply tolerating malware until the computer becomes inoperable, and then begging for help or taking it to the Geek Squad or whatever, or just getting a new one.

I've heard numerous stories from family members about their headaches when a hard drive crashed. I've had several crash and they haven't had big impacts on me - because I run RAID (yes, I know that isn't a backup in itself). Granted, my hardware isn't enterprise-grade, so often I still need to fiddle a little to get the device to boot again (usually just pulling out the affected drive), but I'm up and running in an hour or so typically without any loss at all. Another hour of fiddling after ordering a replacement and I'm back to full redundancy.

This is what the cloud and Chrome OS is designed to protect users from. A Chrome OS device is always up-to-date (well, we'll see about that in a few years), local data is always encrypted, and remote data is protected by whatever services you use (which inevitably means more protection than the average home user provides). The nature of the device eliminates the need for virus protection, and it runs great on cheap hardware. Cheap also means low-power-use so you get 8+ hours out of a charge. The device is designed to sync, so when it breaks you can be back up and running with a spare in minutes.

I do agree that they need better support for running remote applications. Indeed, if they start providing this I wouldn't be surprised to see more Citrix-based solutions on the web/etc. A Chrome notebook would be the ideal solution for a small business with 10 employees (10 laptops plus a spare in the closet = zero IT overhead). However, that small business with 10 employees probably needs to run at least a few applications that aren't web-based. I know that a bunch of local businesses have moved to Google Apps to simplify their IT overhead. The average slashdotter probably works in some company that is full of programmers/etc or is so large that they have major support organizations. However, the plumber or HVAC contractor who works on your house probably has 3 guys in the office and having to pay somebody to come out every time a computer needs fixing or whatever is a big expense.

Imagine if for an extra $500 you could have bought plumbing for your house that would never need maintenance, or whose maintenance would be a low fixed cost every few years? Unless you are a professional plumber chances are that would be a good deal. It is the same with Chrome OS - the target is people who don't want to fiddle with their computers, but actually need to create documents/etc (as opposed to the consumption-oriented tablet).

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349296)

Talking about bad examples:

"Imagine if for an extra $500 you could have bought plumbing for your house that would never need maintenance, or whose maintenance would be a low fixed cost every few years? Unless you are a professional plumber chances are that would be a good deal. It is the same with Chrome OS - the target is people who don't want to fiddle with their computers, but actually need to create documents/etc (as opposed to the consumption-oriented tablet)."

Yes it would be great if the plumbing is still in the house and not in the cloud. Like people who working with their computer need their computer to be operable all the time and have access to their data all the time, I need my plumbing all the time.

Why this push for take it all or nothing for cloud services? Why not lets have your application local, your data local and have synced the data to the cloud? That why you could have the best of the two worlds.

"and remote data is protected by whatever services you use (which inevitably means more protection than the average home user provides)"

No your data in the cloud is not protected at all. My data at home is at least protected because it's local in my home. In my home I have a whole bunch of protection, from thieves and from the police. In the cloud you have no rights at all, nothing, none. All you have is a promise by the cloud company that your data is "save". But neither you can sue the company if it's not save nor you have any special rights of privacy.

"and it runs great on cheap hardware. Cheap also means low-power-use so you get 8+ hours out of a charge."

Yeah right. JavaScript and Flash is so cheap to run. That is why this new laptop with runs only a browser have "... estimated at 3.5 hours" of battery.

"The device is designed to sync, so when it breaks you can be back up and running with a spare in minutes."

if you have a T1 connection to Google maybe. But with normal DSL with 60kbytes/sec up and 300kbytes/sec down it takes longer then the time I need to copy from my external hard disk.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36349990)

Talking about bad examples:

"Imagine if for an extra $500 you could have bought plumbing for your house that would never need maintenance, or whose maintenance would be a low fixed cost every few years? Unless you are a professional plumber chances are that would be a good deal. It is the same with Chrome OS - the target is people who don't want to fiddle with their computers, but actually need to create documents/etc (as opposed to the consumption-oriented tablet)."

Yes it would be great if the plumbing is still in the house and not in the cloud. Like people who working with their computer need their computer to be operable all the time and have access to their data all the time, I need my plumbing all the time.

You both missed the obvious example and usage: why does everything think it's all or nothing? Imagine if for an extra $500 you could have bought plumbing for your house that would give you an extra sink and toilet. Are you going to turn it down because there is no shower/bath? Are you going to turn it down because sometimes you need to do something more elaborate (and I don't want to know what)? No. It might even get the most use because even those of us with the most fiber in our diets still go number one more.

Alright, back to reality -- I submit that a ChromeOS machine has some strong performance, price and maintenance advantages that will be very convenient for almost everyone a large percentage of the time. Use it as your browser machine, your "half bath", your most convenient way to post to slashdot, IN ADDITION TO the "full bath" upstairs somewhere. Is there really anyone here who would stop at one gadget?

Google Gears / HTML5 + Persistent Storage. (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 2 years ago | (#36350900)

Yes it would be great if the plumbing is still in the house and not in the cloud. Like people who working with their computer need their computer to be operable all the time and have access to their data all the time, I need my plumbing all the time.

hy this push for take it all or nothing for cloud services? Why not lets have your application local, your data local and have synced the data to the cloud? That why you could have the best of the two worlds.

And that's indeed the long term plan. That was the idea behind Google Gears back then (being able to run a web app, offline locally). And that's what is being pushed with HTML5 and the local storage extension (or even the file api).
It will just take some time untile everything is ported to the technologies and runs smoothly. But that's where development is heading :
- You open your ChromeBook, browse to Google Dos, log into it, wait until all the javascript ended up download.
- Now you can disconnect and keep working in offline mode. The HTML5+Javascript is executed locally, the data is stored on the local persistent storage.
- You come within reach of a known WiFi netowrk, or plugin a 3G/4G key - you're back online and your locally running Google Docs syncs with the server.

I think the main current obstacles are :
- Google needs finishing porting their applications to the new API.
- End users need more widespread adoption of browsers supporting these APIs. Firefox and Chrome are OK since several version. As usual Internet Explorer sucks.

and remote data is protected by whatever services you use (which inevitably means more protection than the average home user provides)

No your data in the cloud is not protected at all. My data at home is at least protected because it's local in my home. In my home I have a whole bunch of protection, from thieves and from the police.

I think the parent poster was referring to "protection against damage". As in "no joe sixpack is ever doing backups". Or "you know, that panicked call you hate receiving from your relatives when their computer gets hosed/their harddrive crashes/their USB key dies and they have that über-important document only there".

Absence of backup is currently a much more frequent and widespread problem (as in, there are probably only a couple of non-geek user ever doing it), than data theft or government surveillance (as in, it happens, its reported on /. but isn't something you relative call you about once per week).

In the cloud you have no rights at all, nothing, none. All you have is a promise by the cloud company that your data is "save". But neither you can sue the company if it's not save nor you have any special rights of privacy.

Safety: still, the situation is much better than what's the current situation with 99% of non-geek users.
Privacy: Indeed the case with google docs, as (due to their revenue system) Google needs to be able to "see" the content in order to deliver relevant ads. It's not a major problem with College students looking for cheap net books to write papers/reports and go to facebook. It *will* be a major problem with the corporate world.

But other services exists where the data is encrypted locally and never exist in clear form on the cloud : SpiderOak is regularly mentioned on /. whenever the privacy problems of DropBox are brought up.

and it runs great on cheap hardware. Cheap also means low-power-use so you get 8+ hours out of a charge.

Yeah right. JavaScript and Flash is so cheap to run. That is why this new laptop with runs only a browser have "... estimated at 3.5 hours" of battery.

The 3.5 estimated battery life of current generation of netbooks is due to the fact that they *don't use* cheap hardware yet. Most of them share the internals (CPU, GPU, etc.) as light laptops.
But unlike laptops (which have to run Windows to satisfy 99% of Joe users), this hardware compatibility isn't required. Chom[ium] OS could very easily be recompiled to run on much lower-power hardware. Like ARM SoCs (TI's OMAP's nVidia's Tegra, etc.). Couple this with a low power display (Pixel Qi comes to mind) and you can dramatically extend the battery life. In fact, Dell was able to do exactly this on some of its Latitude ON enabled laptops : some of them did feature a separate ARM SoC which was used instead of the main Intel CPU when the fast-boot linux is booted.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36355530)

Why this push for take it all or nothing for cloud services? Why not lets have your application local, your data local and have synced the data to the cloud? That why you could have the best of the two worlds.

Well, nothing prevents this with html5 - just not many apps are set up that way. However, it is best to have the always-available version be the authoritative one. By always-available I mean available from any computer on the planet and not just available in your living room when your 56k phone line is down (you seem to consider broadband a non-starter).

No your data in the cloud is not protected at all. My data at home is at least protected because it's local in my home. In my home I have a whole bunch of protection, from thieves and from the police. In the cloud you have no rights at all, nothing, none. All you have is a promise by the cloud company that your data is "save". But neither you can sue the company if it's not save nor you have any special rights of privacy.

Ok, when you talk data security, you need to talk about threat models. It seems like your main threat model is Uncle Sam trying to bust your stash or something. Sure, data in the cloud is much easier to seize with a warrant or subpoena. There is no reason that cloud services couldn't be designed to make identifying the owner of data harder, or making it unreadable by the provider. However, I agree that this isn't likely to happen in many cases.

So, if you're dealing with material that the US Government is likely to detect and want to seize then I'll agree that the cloud is a dumb place to put it. I'll go a step further and say that if you're selling drugs Ebay is probably a dumb place to do it. I don't see that killing Ebay's business model.

The threat model I'm more concerned with is hardware failure, or fire. Hardware failure is simply inevitable unless you replace your hardware often. If you do replace hardware often, then it is just fairly likely to happen. Hard drives die. If you don't back them up, you lose everything on them when they die unless you're willing to pay a pretty penny to restore them. If money is no object, you're still down until the recovery outfit restores the data - and if you're concerned with Google Docs downtime (what, hours per year at most?), then having to FedEx drives and wait a few days must be a really big problem for you. Your handy portable hard drive backup is useless if your house burns down. That happens a lot less often, but I imagine that it has a much bigger impact on data than cloud service outages.

Another threat model is theft - unless you encrypt every hard drive you own you're very vulnerable to this. Chrome OS does encrypt the local hard drive automatically - so even novice users benefit.

Sure, in the end you have to trust your cloud provider. As I suggested you can always back up your remote data to mitigate this. In general, however, I'm a lot more confident that my mother is likely to lose her data stored on a local hard drive with a backup drive than Google is.

"and it runs great on cheap hardware. Cheap also means low-power-use so you get 8+ hours out of a charge."

Yeah right. JavaScript and Flash is so cheap to run. That is why this new laptop with runs only a browser have "... estimated at 3.5 hours" of battery.

Uh, my CR-48 gets around 8 hours on a charge. My understanding is that most chrome notebooks are designed to have similar lifetimes. Plus, the really lite footprint of the OS means you just need a modest SSD which is neither expensive nor power-draining. 16GB of storage on a laptop would be limiting, but it is no big deal on a chrome device.

"The device is designed to sync, so when it breaks you can be back up and running with a spare in minutes."

if you have a T1 connection to Google maybe. But with normal DSL with 60kbytes/sec up and 300kbytes/sec down it takes longer then the time I need to copy from my external hard disk.

Uh, the syncing I was talking about was everything that matters - your settings and bookmarks/etc. Those sync in just a few seconds (probably a few hundred k at most). Why would I download every file I own just to have a local copy? And, if I did, why would I wait until that was done to start using the device productively? Most decent offline caching designs give you instant-on performance even when the cache is empty.

The whole concept of Chrome OS is that you can walk up to a new device, log in, and in a few seconds you get the exact same view that you'd have if you instead booted the device you last used. If you drop your laptop you go to the supply cabinet and get a new one - the old one can then be returned/repaired/etc without much concern for data security since the drive is encrypted.

Will Chrome OS replace the CAD workstation? Certainly not in the near future. Will it be able to power most of the average small business? Decent chance of that...

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348162)

Having had a play with Chromium OS I have to say a few things.

The Chrome web app store is a success and growing. I see Chrome OS having a chance as a result. But there are problems with that - most of the "Apps" don't amount to much more than a bookmark to a website, such as the Facebook app. Things are going to have to change for chrome to get any success.

The challenge is convincing consumers that the Chromebook on the shelf next to the cheaper netbook is a better buy than something that can run a full copy of windows, and Chrome anyway.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349280)

most of the "Apps" don't amount to much more than a bookmark to a website

What's a good example of something in the store that is more than a bookmark? I really have a hard time seeing the web app store as anything more than something like what Yahoo was in the early days - a directory.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 2 years ago | (#36350056)

src:kit requires Chrome, and installs a custom chrome extension when you install it from the web store. I'm not saying it couldn't be done without pure html/javascript, but the actual implementation does include an "install". This is probably to get around javascript sandbox issues with accessing dropbox.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#36350482)

BTW, thanks for posting to this. I installed it and I think it's the first Chrome web app that has really impressed me.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348192)

Yes. The problem is that google is used to try everything a little and if it works for making money for them right now, they cherry-pick it. If you usea google product still in beta, you can be sure that *if* it is canned they won be interested in making a product where people would pay some money for (e.g. i would have imagined that paid google wave hosting for companies could have worked), but they decide to confine the ecosystem to what they know works already.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348312)

Don't conflate the platform with the applications. When Windows was first becoming popular (I'm thinking circa 3.1), it wasn't because of Word, but because of Lotus 1-2-3, Wordperfect, CorelDraw, and hundreds of other non-Microsoft applications that bolstered its use.

Chrome's applications are HTML5/CSS websites, and I think that platform has a lot of potential. ChromeOS may live or die on the success of iCloud or Microsoft's cloud solution, or perhaps on a suite of web apps created by someone we haven't heard of yet. This could actually backfire for Google, who expects everyone to use their services (and therefore generate ad revenue) via ChromeOS. I expect a lot of smaller, more agile startups to be using the web as a platform in the future, and this is where ChromeOS will shine.

ChromeOS's killer apps won't be from Google - they'll look more like the apps found at: http://webification.com/50-best-web-apps-of-2010 [webification.com] from smaller companies with innovative ideas and design sense.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348410)

Lotus 1-2-3 and wordperfect completely FAILED to get on the windows 3.1 bandwagon, they expected windows to be a passing fad and paid for it, so they can hardly be credited for its success as they weren't even on it till late. CorelDraw certainly did well on windows, though if anything windows was actually what made it such a success with true type fonts.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348772)

I think you're wrong.

Android thrives on the fact for OEMs, it's free as in beer. Not only is it free as it beer, so is it's support.

While that alone isn't enough to ensure success, the fact that it is slick ss hell.

Also, most people won't even bother breaking out their net books unless they've got internet access.

As long as Google can convince OEMs that Chrome OS is worth it, it will survive. It won't be number one by a long shot, but I think it'll make a really nice dent.

What i am concerned with is if Chrome OS is going to cannibalize Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich tablets

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#36353898)

Android is Google's best bet: I see more of a future for Android netbooks, and a lot more for the tablets, than for ChromeOS. I am not a betting type by nature, but I would bet good money that 2012 will be the last year that a netbook ships with ChromeOS. They'll take what works and stick it into Android's built-in browser.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348840)

I think Chromebook & ChromeOS can work, but only for a specific subset of people. A web-only netbook is interesting to me, and while I didn't make it into the Cr-48 pilot, I looked into how to build one on my own [blogspot.com] based on what I saw in Chromebook & ChromeOS. Having actually built such a thing (Note: it's easier with Firefox and Openbox, than with Chrome) I can talk a little about a web-only netbook.

If all you need to do is access email, browse the web, maybe write some short docs and manage a few household spreadsheets, a "Chromebook" is perfect. My wife is one of those people. She's been using Linux since about 1999, and she honestly doesn't care what's loaded on Linux. She uses her laptop to check news sites, YouTube, Facebook, and Gmail. My wife's laptop lives on the web - when she boots, she's immediately online, does her stuff. She has a few "Word" docs, but they are simple documents that could easily be managed in Google Docs. She doesn't even manage photos from her camera - she may dump a copy to her laptop, but then they're posted up on Flickr or into Facebook.

I see the rest of her family, and most of my family, to be the same class of user. Lots of web browsing, Facebook, Gmail - and a few photos, and simple documents (Christmas letters, lists of what's in the attic, etc.) I don't see a lot of people around me using Thunderbird or MacMail anymore; most have moved to Gmail. So these people are already the target audience for Chromebook.

For myself, I do a lot more than what a web-only netbook can do. Yes, I use Facebook and Gmail. But I also manage a small music collection that I take with me (Rhythmbox) so I have something to listen to in the office. I write code in my off-hours. I manage & retouch photos (Shotwell & Gimp) and post only a few. So I'm not the target audience of Chromebook.

But I also recognize that I'm in the minority. Most of slashdot is in the minority. Most people do not need that much from a laptop. That's why netbooks sold so well. That's why people really like the iPad.

My biggest concern for Google is that the netbook is no longer a "cool" item. It's all tablet computing now. When's the last time you heard a friend or someone in the office say "I want a netbook?" When's the last time you saw a netbook? A guy in our office has one, that he brings to meetings sometimes. And how many people say "I want an iPad" or who already have an iPad? I see lots of them at my office, and about half my friends have one. Will people actually buy a Chromebook today?

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349220)

For me, the Google eco-system's permanent beta cripples it and ensures the longevity of its competitors. The issues for me? After all these years, there is no bibliography / citation management system for Google Docs that works in the cloud (at least nothing that could work with a Chromebook.) And, you can't define styles in Google docs.

These are unfortunate characteristics but not deal-breakers for the average user.

The absence of offline mode - the deprecation of Gears without implementing a replacement - was another disaster.

A problem which will will allegedly be fixed soon if it isn't already in this latest release.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 2 years ago | (#36353658)

Ultimately, this should have been a bid for a category of "high-end cloud-user." The average user has moved on from netbooks to tablets, or simply smartphones. Like I said, they solved a problem that meant more 4 years ago than it does now.

I think, too, your presumption about the "average user" is a little incorrect (it is clear that Google does little research into user profiles or markets) - generally, most users have one or two activities which actually require rich apps, even if that is only 10% of their computing activity. Whether it is writing, or sound editing, or photo editing, or numerical analysis, or what have you, there needs to be a middle-to-high end solution in the cloud for at least one thing per user-type. For image processing, we are doing alright by the middle. For the rest, not so much.

As for the last point, the problem is as much the attitude, which won't be fixed (soon), as the immediate issue. That attitude (hey, it's free - don't complain, we're going to break it a lot - but trust us anyway) has created recurrent problems for consumers in the Google eco-system. I hate fandoms in general, but I am closer to being a Google "fan" than any other kind of fan (I admire Google's corporate culture of research, Apple's respect for the discourse of design, and Microsoft's understanding of use case and its practices of testing, as well as the direction it is taking with Kinect research) - yet I think Microsoft's Live Office gets this right.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349328)

chrome os is de-disruptive. it's meant to keep the ad's flowing. and to keep the data in their cloud, I guess sidekick users will be pleased

also, there's a lot of other products too, orkut, jaiku etc. to the list. so it's no wonder they have to cut some stuff when they use money like that.

Re:Chrome OS will fail. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349362)

all these years, all those 'genius' people at google and what - they can't really do all that much in the real world, can they? quite a lot of google was a flop. for such 'smart guys' there, I'm not all that impressed with their ability to DELIVER a good product.

I've said this before, google is WAY OFF in their hiring. they need more down to earth programmers. a company full of geniuses is never going to do more than make a few 'wow' concepts but that's about it.

I recently bought an android tablet (my first) and after so many years of google being involved, THIS is all it can do? seriously?

chrome is not interesting to many of us (seems even more of a google lock-in concept). regular linux and regular non-google apps don't have the 'google is watching you' feeling. I prefer that, to be honest. I just don't trust google anymore.

Disappointing specs (2)

CTU (1844100) | more than 2 years ago | (#36347972)

a 1.3ghz processor and 1 GB ram? Not really good, more so with the horrid battery life of only 3.5 hours :(

I have a better notebook already, so I can't find a reason to want this.

Re:Disappointing specs (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36355926)

Not only this, but they want $440 for that thing.

I've no idea what the market is supposed to be for it. For $500, you can get [amazon.com] a dual-core Atom with 2Gb RAM and Nvidia ION (which means very decent graphics/video perf) running Win7 - in which you can run Chrome, so it's just as full-featured. And get twice as long battery life.

Or you can get a cheapo bottom of the barrel netbook for $250, which will likely still be powerful enough for anything you could do on a Chromebook...

Re:Disappointing specs (1)

CTU (1844100) | more than 2 years ago | (#36357906)

I did not notice the price till after I posted, but yes it is a overly expensive for what it comes with.

Can I install Linux on that? (2, Interesting)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#36347976)

The real question is if I can install some real Linux on it, or is it locked down?

""even if you lose your computer, you can just log in to another Kogan Agora Chromium Laptop and get right back to work."

Yeah right, as if you always have a top DSL connection everywhere. And if you loose your connection are you loosing any data, too?

With Linux it's just so easy to backup your data. Because in Linux everything is just a file, you can use the simple tools like rsync or dd. Or just open a file manager and copy your whole system to some hard disk. Trust me it works. Take a laptop, with the same system, and just copy /home to some external hard disk. Then copy it back to the new laptop and you have all settings and all data on your new laptop. No magic "cloud" is needed. You can even just copy your whole system to the new computer and you don't need to install anything on the new laptop.

I still think the whole "cloud for private people" is just a scam for your money so that you need always either expensive DSL connection at home or G3 or UMTS for your laptop. The idea is, even if you use your laptop, with they have now plenty of data capacity for very cheap (like 500GB for 50$) you still need a constant internet connection either with wireless or G3/UMTS.

Re:Can I install Linux on that? (3, Interesting)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348240)

The real question is if I can install some real Linux on it, or is it locked down?

""even if you lose your computer, you can just log in to another Kogan Agora Chromium Laptop and get right back to work."

Yeah right, as if you always have a top DSL connection everywhere. And if you loose your connection are you loosing any data, too?

No because the data is all the the cloud. At most you lose (not loose) a few seconds of work typing in a Google Doc for instance. See the many youtube videos of this in action if you like.

With Linux it's just so easy to backup your data. Because in Linux everything is just a file, you can use the simple tools like rsync or dd. Or just open a file manager and copy your whole system to some hard disk. Trust me it works.

Yes because the majority of computer users know how what rsync or dd are let alone how to use them? I'd guess that 1% or less of computer users these days have ever touched a *nix command line.

Take a laptop, with the same system, and just copy /home to some external hard disk. Then copy it back to the new laptop and you have all settings and all data on your new laptop. No magic "cloud" is needed.

Yes but how many stories do we know of people who didn't back up their laptop, or hadn't done it for months, or people who've lost the laptop and their backups. Why not have the OS do the heavy lifting to protect the users data? This is where the "magic" cloud works. You don't need to find someone tech savvy to spend 4 hours copying all your data back and reinstalling your applications. You kind of just log in and you have it all back.

Because if you are an IT guy, chances are you've done that for your friends and family. I can see how a Chromebook would see my aging parents calling on me less.

You can even just copy your whole system to the new computer and you don't need to install anything on the new laptop.

I still think the whole "cloud for private people" is just a scam for your money so that you need always either expensive DSL connection at home or G3 or UMTS for your laptop. The idea is, even if you use your laptop, with they have now plenty of data capacity for very cheap (like 500GB for 50$) you still need a constant internet connection either with wireless or G3/UMTS.

No the scam is around getting you hooked to online services so advertisers can target you better. When your offline doing something on your computer, you're not so reachable. Get your conspiracy theories straight! Geez. ;)

Re:Can I install Linux on that? (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348544)

"Yes because the majority of computer users know how what rsync or dd are let alone how to use them? I'd guess that 1% or less of computer users these days have ever touched a *nix command line."

Did you missed my part about open a file manager? Open file manager and drag&drop the files to an external hard disk. They are cost like 50$ for 500GB. There are also a lot of backup/synchronization GUI applications.

"This is where the "magic" cloud works."

Except if it doesn't. Like if your internet connection is broken, or slow, or the servers are down for what ever reason. The chances that my laptop will broke down are very very slim, and that my data is lost is very slim, too. The chances that the servers are down, I don't have any internet connection or that the internet connection will lag are so much higher. Plus, you have the inconvenience to be online every time and that despite that I have such a powerful computer device with almost unlimited data storage.

Re:Can I install Linux on that? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349792)

I'd argue that the chances of Google Docs being down are much lower than the chances that Aunt Edna forgot to drag-and-drop her files to the remote hard drive and then put it in a safe deposit box within the last six months (if it isn't offsite it isn't secure). Plus, if Google Docs is down chances are the fix is to wait for 20 minutes. If Aunt Edna forgot to back up the last year's worth of files she's SOL.

And, if you don't trust Google you can always download your docs periodically - I do that. They're backed up even if I forget to do this, but then I'm trusting Google. The difference is that I'm just providing an extra layer of redundancy, and not the only layer - and it is all offsite automatically since the primary site is in the cloud somewhere.

Oh, and if you're out and about chances are you still have your smartphone, which means your docs on the cloud are still accessible.

Don't get me wrong, the cloud is not perfect. I'd argue that it is not nearly as secure as a well-run enterprise datacenter. The problem is that few enterprises even have a well-run enterprise datacenter, and almost no consumers do. You and I don't really count.

Sure, I can script sarab and gpg and s3cmd to do nice automatic daily rotating remote backups for relatively little cost. I'd never suggest that my family do the same. Most of the stuff that I do store locally these days is only stored that way because the cloud isn't practical yet (can't run mythtv off the cloud without spending a fortune in bandwidth charges, and so on).

Re:Can I install Linux on that? (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 2 years ago | (#36351712)

Aunt Edna? What happened to Aunt Tilly?? Is she a full-fledged Linux user by now?

Re:Can I install Linux on that? (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348752)

No because the data is all the the cloud. At most you lose (not loose) a few seconds of work typing in a Google Doc for instance. See the many youtube videos of this in action if you like.

You do, however, lose access to your documents.

Yes because the majority of computer users know how what rsync or dd are let alone how to use them? I'd guess that 1% or less of computer users these days have ever touched a *nix command line.

Using Linux as an example of easy backup was probably a bad idea. OS X and WIndows, however, do make it dead simple these days. Time Machine, for example, works with no configuration. You just plug in an external drive and it asks you if you want to use it for backup. Done.

I can see how a Chromebook would see my aging parents calling on me less.

Sure, but it is kind of selfish, don't you think? You're saving yourself a headache by crippling their user experience.

Re:Can I install Linux on that? (1)

daboochmeister (914039) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348420)

Fyi, at the Google I/O keynote on ChromeOS, the product manager made an explicit point to say (paraphrasing), "Our OEMs may not like this, but you will absolutely have the right to root any ChromeBook - and you'll be able to simply boot back into ChromeOS, with no loss of data". Now to see if they follow through, making it a part of the terms and conditions.

Re:Can I install Linux on that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348436)

"And if you loose your connection are you loosing any data, too"

Loose means not night tight, as in the following sentence. "My Shoe laces are loose". Lose means to lose something, lose is present tense for lost. 'Loosing' is better said loosening as in loosening up shoe laces. 'Loosing up shoe laces is not correct English'. "Losing" means to lose something in the the present tense. We have to take English and communication courses as well as LAN, Cisco and TCP/IP in order to get our IT Degree.

Re:Can I install Linux on that? (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348712)

The real question is if I can install some real Linux on it, or is it locked down?

As I understand it, Chrome OS isn't really Linux under the hood. It has a modified Linux kernel, but that's about it. And it doesn't run X11, so no, you can't really run Linux apps. It is locked down. That's what makes the thing such a freakin' joke. Buy a Netbook with a real Linux distribution installed if you want more than a browser.

Yeah right, as if you always have a top DSL connection everywhere. And if you loose your connection are you loosing any data, too?

Yes, that's exactly what it means.

Re:Can I install Linux on that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348766)

On Kogan's website, they offer a netbook with the same specs apart from the hard drive which is a 250 Gb SATA.
They describe it as Windows compatible, it comes with "Version 11.04 of popular Linux based operating system", and there's a link to ubuntu.com. I'm not sure why they are so coy about naming Ubuntu, however if the model runs Ubuntu, I'm pretty sure the brother would as well.

Re:Can I install Linux on that? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349246)

""even if you lose your computer, you can just log in to another Kogan Agora Chromium Laptop and get right back to work."

Yeah right, as if you always have a top DSL connection everywhere. And if you loose your connection are you loosing any data, too?

No. What differentiates Chrome OS from Linux plus Chrome, assuming they have actually got to this stage, is an offline mode enabled by some sort of local file access available to applications. Probably it requires a valid electronic signature to use it, although we all know how secure that ultimately can be. Ask Sony. The point is that you don't lose access to your documents, or at least, one day you won't. If Google can be believed, which I think they mostly can. That is different from trusted :)

Feature Complete? (1)

RJEM (2094308) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348026)

For me, the biggest issue to adopting any kind of cloud-based computing solution is dependent on the ubiquity of high quality applications and (more importantly) fast access to my data. Currently I have severe doubts about both of these here in the UK.

Case in point: 3G coverage. I live in a 3G available O2 area (according to their map of said coverage) and indeed in my car park my phone connects without difficulty. Walk inside and it's a different story altogether. I have Wi-Fi access, but in a huge number of locations this isn't available and I would still like to be able to access my documents IF a mobile computing solution was necessary in my life.

The second point is actually carrying out the tasks I might want to do (on- or offline). Preparing a high quality presentation is not something I would enjoy trying on any netbook - let alone without using a desktop package - when it involves mid-sized video files or animations. More technical requirements like citation management have been mentioned above and certainly also hold true. Things just aren't as convenient in the current web ecosystem, so I'll steer clear for a while yet.

Right now, tablets and netbooks wouldn't serve any purpose for me, and certainly don't offer an 'improvement' so I'm playing a waiting game - these 'first' releases from Kogan, Samsung and Acer don't appear to be sufficiently different enough or useful enough to try out. I can't see that changing in the near future either.

Re:Feature Complete? (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348782)

Any potential Chromebook buyer should be aware that it is for casual use and not serious work. I mean, Google Spreadsheets is neat for sharing simple documents, but pretty much a joke to anyone who seriously uses Excel. At least a Netbook running Linux or Windows can run a real Office suite. Google apps are just not up to the task.

Australian manufacturer? (3, Informative)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348116)

'fraid not. Kogan is an Australian brand name, sure enough, but all of the manufacturing happens through third parties in China. Kogan manufactures about as much in Australia as Apple does in the United States.

Re:Australian manufacturer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348244)

The truly amusing thing is Australia has some of the worst wireless/3G and even wired internet connectivity of anywhere and hence these garbage laptops are just expensive boat anchors here.

Re:Australian manufacturer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348558)

You've clearly never used NextG. Some of the worst (Vodafone), and some of the best (Telstra).

Re:Australian manufacturer? (1)

lazybeam (162300) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348930)

I didn't think it was too bad; indeed our normal 3G seems to run at the USA's "4G" speed: I often download Ubuntu updates to my netbook at over 700KB/s sustained when sitting on the train (Optus 3G), for example. When the NBN comes online this can all only go up: more fibre backhaul for LTE and other new technologies. Not to mention the possibility of gigabit fibre in your own premises!

Re:Australian manufacturer? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349904)

I didn't think it was too bad; indeed our normal 3G seems to run at the USA's "4G" speed: I often download Ubuntu updates to my netbook at over 700KB/s sustained

In Jacksonville, FL, I just tested my Motorola Droid and got a 111ms ping, and 972KBps which is just short of a Megabyte. 4G speeds, i.e., LTE, are much faster. [blogcdn.com]

Deliver what they promise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348164)

Beware ordering with Kogan. Their last release, the "Agora" 7" Android tab specs ended up being significantly different from what was promised at pre-order time. They said the tablet was going to have a 1024x768 screen, it came with 800x480, the SoC manufacturer was completely different amongst a host of other issues. They did offer refunds, but it seems like they operate by the "over promise and under deliver" model to send blogs into a frenzy.

Most of their stuff is generic Chinese white label / whitebox gear found on plenty of Hong Kong sites cheaper with a different name. It comes from any amount of suppliers and thus the inconsistencies in what is promised and what is delivered.

Kogan have no exclusive here and haven't done anything but throw some dollars at the cheapest factory they can find.

Tiny Battery Life (1)

Teknikal69 (1769274) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348202)

I might be spoiled in the fact my netbook has around 13 hour life but when I start to get within roughly the 3 hour mark I usually think about charging it. With this having mere 3.5 hours battery life I just can't take it seriously and I certainly wouldn't leave home with it.

With the windows key and the terrible battery I'm thinking someone just wanted to jump on the chromebook buzz as of late and shift some poor performing computers.

On a totally unrelated note I don't like the idea of chromebooks at all personally just much to limited I'd rather have a real OS.

Re:Tiny Battery Life (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348332)

3.5 hours is just plain aweful. My Asus gets a comfortable 5 hours, significantly more if all I do is browse the web. Even my work laptop that I use for dev that sucks enough power to make it hot enough to cook an egg on gets 3 hours.

So what they have here is a netbook with low specs, low storage, extremely poor battery life and requires you to have constant internet access to be usable, hmmmmm yeah I can see those simply flying of the shelves.

Re:Tiny Battery Life (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36355970)

I might be spoiled in the fact my netbook has around 13 hour life

Out of curiosity, what's the netbook in question?

publicity stunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348392)

just remember that kogan was also the crew who were going to release the first android phone.. and then pulled back... i reckon this is another publicity stunt..

No, they didn't. (1)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348464)

As a CR-48 owner, I received an e-mail from Google last week with the option to purchase a Samsung ChromeBook last Wednesday that was due to start shipping today.

Until Google comes up with a better solution for printing than what they're offering now [google.com] , and actually releases the Citrix connector and offline versions of Docs, Calendar and Mail, I'll pass.

Okay, at home I can live with the Google Cloud Print bit because I almost never print. But considering it for an office solution is a freaking joke.

Re:No, they didn't. (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349816)

Agreed, unless they start offering cheap printer servers that just plug into your LAN or whatever, or get printer manufacturers to include cloud print clients. Their solution isn't actually a bad one per-se, but they haven't really executed on it.

Crippleware for crippled hardware (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348498)

Am I the only person who thinks Chrome OS, iOS and others are simply balkanizing the consumer market and making it twice as difficult for people to pick up different OS environments?

Never mind the OS, what about the applications? Can I run OpenOffice/LibreOffice/MS Office? Can I run Mathematica/Maple/Mathcad/Sage?

Why are we constantly pandering for crappy hardware like Atom processors and limited RAM?

Re:Crippleware for crippled hardware (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348652)

iOS really has a place though. I mean, the devices that iOS targets are necessarily limited and could not effectively run a full fledged desktop OS and apps. To effectively target a phone, you have to design apps to utilize it. There's no balkanization since you wouldn't be able to run apps like OpenOffice on the devices effectively anyway. Chome OS, on the other hand, is just stupid. You can already get netbooks with limited hardware to run Linux and Chrome. To run Chrome OS unnecessarily limits you to using only a browser. There's really no excuse to make a laptop that can ONLY run a browser. It is like when they tried to sell computers with typewriter built that could only be a word processor. Nobody bought them because it made more sense to just buy a PC with a printer attached.

Re:Crippleware for crippled hardware (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36350710)

Well, it isn't so much that it doesn't run applications so much as it doesn't run anything but Chrome applications - with a much more limited API. In some sense complaining that it doesn't run Openoffice is like complaining that Ubuntu doesn't run Internet Explorer. That said, if you need to run Internet Explorer for whatever reason neither Ubuntu nor Chrome OS is going to be suitable, and that argument hits Chrome even harder.

Google is basically trying to rethink the entire desktop paradigm. Limiting the ability to run arbitrary X11 apps greatly cuts down on the number of possible exploits possible. Plus, they don't want to make it easy to work with locally-stored files, since the whole point of the device is to not do that except when transferring files to/from a cloud-based service. If you have a bazillion files on the local drive then if you drop the thing you lose them. Indeed, if somebody just walks up to it and flips the developer switch while you're not looking you automatically lose them as well (switching to dev mode does a full profile wipe so that others can't use the now-rooted device to gain access to any locally stored files).

I'm not sure I'd spend $500 on one personally. However, if I had an office of 10 people that needed to do typical office work I'd probably buy them in a heartbeat (assuming they could live with cloud-based apps only). I imagine the typical office with 10 people has no need for full-time IT, and probably pays quite a bit for desktop provisioning, backups, and general maintenance. If they don't, then they're in for a world of hurt if they have a fire or something, or anytime somebody drops a laptop. The concept of Chrome is that you buy IT like you buy phone service or whatever, and if a phone breaks you just go to Walmart to buy a new one.

Re:Crippleware for crippled hardware (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36351136)

Well, it isn't so much that it doesn't run applications so much as it doesn't run anything but Chrome applications - with a much more limited API. In some sense complaining that it doesn't run Openoffice is like complaining that Ubuntu doesn't run Internet Explorer. That said, if you need to run Internet Explorer for whatever reason neither Ubuntu nor Chrome OS is going to be suitable, and that argument hits Chrome even harder.

But you can run Internet Explorer on Linux. Either through Wine (I have no idea if this is actually possible currently) or under virtualization. I do it all the time on the Mac. You just can't run it naively.

Google is basically trying to rethink the entire desktop paradigm.

Either that or they can't see past the browser. Maybe they're just short sighted and don't really get how people use computers. Though I suppose there's always going to be SOMEONE who can get by using only a web browser. It is just that I don't see why anyone would voluntarily limit themselves like that when powerful hardware is so cheap these days. If you only use a browser, install a regular OS and only use the web browser. At least then you have the possibility of running a standalone app if the need arises.

Limiting the ability to run arbitrary X11 apps greatly cuts down on the number of possible exploits possible.

In theory, maybe, but in practice it doesn't matter. Especially with the kind of strict package management using signatures that Linux uses.

Plus, they don't want to make it easy to work with locally-stored files, since the whole point of the device is to not do that except when transferring files to/from a cloud-based service. If you have a bazillion files on the local drive then if you drop the thing you lose them.

Or you setup some sync/backup of important files. You can even sync you files to the "cloud" automatically. This is a problem that is largely solved. I know Apple makes backup dead simple. Also, if you really do have a bazillion files, you probably have them between many different applications. Which means they're spread out amongst many different services on the "cloud." That makes it difficult to search, track, and transfer files between apps/services. Say I have my pictures on one service, but I want to try a different one to edit them... kind of a pain to download them locally and then import into something else. Better to have a central store for files.

I'm not sure I'd spend $500 on one personally. However, if I had an office of 10 people that needed to do typical office work I'd probably buy them in a heartbeat (assuming they could live with cloud-based apps only). I imagine the typical office with 10 people has no need for full-time IT, and probably pays quite a bit for desktop provisioning, backups, and general maintenance

Except that nearly all web based apps pale in comparison to desktop equivilents particular when it comes to business use. Have you actually tried using Google Spreadsheats for anyting but the most trivial of spreadsheets? I love Google Docs for sharing, but to do actual work? Oh god. Except for the sharing capabilities, Google Docs are about where Office suites were in 1992 in terms of functionality. Maybe 9 of 10 of Office users dont' need any modern spreadsheet features, but there's always that 1. ANd basically that one power user is going to define what the whole office needs. That's how MS Office got where it is now. Most people don't use a quarter of the poential of MS Office, but somebody does.

The concept of Chrome is that you buy IT like you buy phone service or whatever, and if a phone breaks you just go to Walmart to buy a new one.

So... use a regular computer and only use the browser. Give people a Google Docs account and instruct them to use it. That way if they DO need to run some standalone app (and all it takes is one), they can. Google is marketing to the lowest common denominator and that's not how you succeed in IT. Either you make a product that does a few things very well or you make a product that does everything sufficiently to meet 95% of use cases. Chrome OS is neither of these. Chrome OS doesn't browse the web any better than than Chrome on Windows and it certainly doesn't do more than Windows. So how can it succeed?

Re:Crippleware for crippled hardware (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#36355754)

Either that or they can't see past the browser. Maybe they're just short sighted and don't really get how people use computers.

Well, to me it seems more that they are trying to change how people use their computers.

Limiting the ability to run arbitrary X11 apps greatly cuts down on the number of possible exploits possible.

In theory, maybe, but in practice it doesn't matter. Especially with the kind of strict package management using signatures that Linux uses.

I'm not aware of any common desktop distro that:
1. Detects any rootkit install and refuses to boot.
2. Keeps all executables on a read-only partition making that rootkit almost impossible to install anyway.

Sure, some of this is possible with some combination of trusted Grub and SELinux. However, again no distro I'm aware of does this and most linux software would need heavy patching/repackaging to work in a heavily managed environment (say where it can't read/write arbitrary files in $HOME or whatever). Package manager signatures only ensure that known-good copies of software gets installed by the package manager. They don't keep users from inadvertently installing/running arbitrary code. They usually don't detect modifications to files after installation either.

Or you setup some sync/backup of important files. You can even sync you files to the "cloud" automatically. This is a problem that is largely solved. I know Apple makes backup dead simple. Also, if you really do have a bazillion files, you probably have them between many different applications. Which means they're spread out amongst many different services on the "cloud." That makes it difficult to search, track, and transfer files between apps/services. Say I have my pictures on one service, but I want to try a different one to edit them... kind of a pain to download them locally and then import into something else. Better to have a central store for files.

I'll agree with your points here to an extent. The average user does not backup their PC at all, and when they do they almost never use offsite backups. Sure, there are services like Carbonite and all that. If you use them then you're very unlikely to ever lose data (though you still need to deal with antivirus/malware/etc). I do agree that cloud solutions have a tendency to partition your data - I have mixed feelings about that.

Except that nearly all web based apps pale in comparison to desktop equivilents particular when it comes to business use....Maybe 9 of 10 of Office users dont' need any modern spreadsheet features, but there's always that 1. ANd basically that one power user is going to define what the whole office needs. That's how MS Office got where it is now. Most people don't use a quarter of the poential of MS Office, but somebody does.

I'll agree that cloud solutions right now are weak compared to professional-level desktop solutions. I suspect that we'll see that improve if the concept takes off. I think that the issue here is that Google is dabbling with the concept but hasn't gone all-in.

The issue you bring up about the power user dictating the requirements is a cultural one. A solution is to simply use Google Docs for the 95% of things it works for, and just upload .xls files and edit them in Excel for the other 5% or whatever. Obviously a key driver here is whether we're talking 5% or 25%, and so on. A typical corporation may own tractor trailers, but I doubt they issue them to their sales force as company cars. At some point you need to avoid tailoring solutions to the 1%. I think that the atmosphere in a lot of companies is a lot more conducive to that.

Chrome OS doesn't browse the web any better than than Chrome on Windows and it certainly doesn't do more than Windows. So how can it succeed?

Chrome on Windows doesn't work out-of-the-box - you need to install it first, and install antivirus, configure your printers and periodically deal with issues that crop up. Much of the driver behind Chrome is ditching the overhead of general purpose computing. With Chrome you can buy a laptop and then login to it and be running. If you break it you can buy a new one and login and be right where you left off with the other one. Windows requires a lot more effort to set up. Now, I'll admit that the configure your printers bit is a double-edge sword on Chrome - you don't have to do that as part of provisioning a new device with Chrome, but instead you have to somehow Cloudprint-enable your printers, which isn't trivially done these days unless you leave a PC on all the time running Chrome on Windows. Like I said - they clearly haven't gone all-in on it.

Re:Crippleware for crippled hardware (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36359724)

Well, to me it seems more that they are trying to change how people use their computers.

Clearly, but to nobody's benefit but their own.

Sure, some of this is possible with some combination of trusted Grub and SELinux. However, again no distro I'm aware of does this and most linux software would need heavy patching/repackaging to work in a heavily managed environment (say where it can't read/write arbitrary files in $HOME or whatever). Package manager signatures only ensure that known-good copies of software gets installed by the package manager. They don't keep users from inadvertently installing/running arbitrary code. They usually don't detect modifications to files after installation either.

But none of that has proven to be a real problem in Linux. It is certainly not worth scrapping the whole idea of a desktop OS and crippling people's user experience by forcing them to do everything inside a browser. Nobody is going to buy that argument, at least. Try telling the average user that they can't use their favorite desktop app because there some remote chance that installing it they might get malware on their system

I'll agree that cloud solutions right now are weak compared to professional-level desktop solutions. I suspect that we'll see that improve if the concept takes off. I think that the issue here is that Google is dabbling with the concept but hasn't gone all-in.

Not just professional level desktop solutions. I would say that we apps are not even up to consumer level standards. What it comes down to is that the web is just not designed to support that kind of applications that people are trying to build. HTML5 will help, but I think it will still be quite limited. For one thing, the browser is a big sandbox for security reasons. You cannot utilize local hardware and applications can't talk to each other like they can on desktops.

The issue you bring up about the power user dictating the requirements is a cultural one. A solution is to simply use Google Docs for the 95% of things it works for, and just upload .xls files and edit them in Excel for the other 5% or whatever. Obviously a key driver here is whether we're talking 5% or 25%, and so on. A typical corporation may own tractor trailers, but I doubt they issue them to their sales force as company cars.

The difference between Office suites and tractors is that there's not a whole lot of extra expense in just getting site license fo MS Office. It becomes a question of why NOT just get everyone using MS Office and then nobody has to worry about having certain features when they need it. MS Office might seem like overkill in many cases, but it isn't like there's any harm in not using those extra features.It is still going to run well enough on modern systems. It isn't like a tractor which would be incredibly awkward for the sales force to drive around in.

At some point you need to avoid tailoring solutions to the 1%.

Oh, so now it is down to 1%? I think you'd be surprised how many office users require more than what Google Docs can offer. Even if they dont' actually have to compose the complex documents, just viewing them often requires more advanced desktop software.

Chrome on Windows doesn't work out-of-the-box - you need to install it first,

WEll.. duh. WTF does that matter?

and install antivirus, configure your printers

And how are you printing from Chrome OS? From what I understand that's actually a pretty significant problem.

and periodically deal with issues that crop up.

So?

Much of the driver behind Chrome is ditching the overhead of general purpose computing.

You ever hear of the term "throwing out the baby with the bath water?" That pretty much describes Chrome OS. The only "drive" behind Chrome is to get people using Google apps and to build the Google brand. That's it.

With Chrome you can buy a laptop and then login to it and be running. If you break it you can buy a new one and login and be right where you left off with the other one.

At the expense of not being able to do much with the computer.

Now, I'll admit that the configure your printers bit is a double-edge sword on Chrome - you don't have to do that as part of provisioning a new device with Chrome, but instead you have to somehow Cloudprint-enable your printers, which isn't trivially done these days unless you leave a PC on all the time running Chrome on Windows. Like I said - they clearly haven't gone all-in on it.

What you call "not going all-in" I call a fundamental limitation of the technology. There are just many many you can't easily do within the confines of a web browser. Google is already pushing hard on the limits of the modern web browser. The technology just isn't designed to do what they want it to do.

The only Google service I could ever really recommend most companies go to is Gmail. Managing mail servers is a headache and there's not a whole lot to be gained by running your own.

VGA ports. (1)

sidragon.net (1238654) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348582)

Please stop using them.

Re:VGA ports. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349018)

Yes because we cant protect our precious content because it lacks DRM.
  VGA is fine And can do 1080p, it's the whiny bitches that dont like it.

In fact I cant find one person that can tell the difference between a clean VGA source and the same video on a HDMI source.

Krogans make netbooks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36348850)

Did anyone else read that as "Krogan Beats Samsung and Acer With World's First Chrome OS Laptop" and wonder what the hell this had to do with Mass Effect 3?

Dont want any of those... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#36348998)

I want the exact hardware that is the current beta testing Chrome laptops.

I have played with one and it's far superior in design than the junk that Samsung and Acer are coming out with. Why cant they release that exact one?

Noy ARM (1)

reiisi (1211052) | more than 2 years ago | (#36349452)

I'm not nearly as excited about an x86 implementation as I would be about an ARM implementation.

Agora... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36349738)

Is it "agora" like in Portuguese (== now) or Greek (== open market)?

huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36350228)

At first I read the headline as "Krogan Beats Samsung and Acer With World's First Chrome OS Laptop".

Specs... (1)

obesga (2237840) | more than 2 years ago | (#36352658)

" There's also 30GB SSD storage, 3 USB ports, 1 HDMI port, a memory card reader and a 1.3 megapixel webcam " How is supposed ChromiumOs to use USB / sd reader / HDMI ? For what I've seen, ChromiumOs can't handle this - the underlying linux can. I think this is only a bad commercial advice for a well web-oriented netbook; which would run fine under PeppermintOS or Xubuntu or a web-oriented linux distro. But it isn't designed for ChromeOS
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