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The new, affordable Chromebook

Ajit Deshpande - - 0 Comments

The new, third-generation Chromebook from Google and Samsung is here, priced at an extremely affordable $249. Google has long been considered as trying to do everything for everyone – arguably no other player is involved with apps, devices, operating systems and infrastructure to this extent – and Chromebook seems to be the company’s latest attempt to build on its cloud-focused strategy. This is the first Chromebook to move away from Intel processors, instead being powered by Samsung’s new ARM-based Exynos 5 Dual SoC. Initial reviews have been generally positivefor performance, aesthetics and especially the device’s offline usability.

While none of Google’s initiatives have been immediate successes, a strong balance sheet driven by search and advertising revenues has allowed the company to nurture these initiatives to success over time. In that context, the latest Chromebook is also an evolutionary step in Google’s ChromeOS strategy that is based on the premise that the web browser is the gateway for most of the important user applications. Whether this evolutionary step converts into a winning product depends on a number of aspects working in its favor, including consumerization of the enterprise speeding up as a trend, offline usability features helping ChromeOs become more prevalent, the $249 price point being low enough to attract users, and the semi-plastic construction not undermining the product’s robustness. That’s a lot of if’s, but the company’s most recent results notwithstanding, Google still does have ~$45 billion in cash and a strong interest in pushing ChromeOS, so whether or not the Chromebook becomes a winning product, we will for sure continue to see this device, along with its cousin the Nexus 7, as key pieces of Google’s enterprise strategy.

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