Google until quite recently a mammoth only in search has made some significant strides and progress in terms of diversifying their offerings. With the launch of the Android Operating System and a slew of Smartphones over the past couple of years, they have a definite footprint in the telecommunications market and are also making progress in challenging Apples dominance in the Tablet PC world too.
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Now, Google is set to transform the face of personal computing in a similar fashion with the imminent launch of the new Google Chromebook announced earlier in the week. It is expected that these simple, cost-effective and fast units will be extremely popular not only with the regular consumer, but with Google’s innovative pricing strategy, the corporate world also.
The Google Chromebook is the first true “web computer”, where all of the applications are accessed online. With a significant number of applications already available for use through the Google store, developers are continuing to build new ones that are able to take advantage of the features of Chrome OS. In addition, with the ability to store files online using sites like Box.net and Dropbox worries about running out of storage space are a thing of the past.
However, where the Chromebook stands to make its largest impact is in the corporate world. Businesses around the world have deployed and use Windows-based machines on a daily basis – the IT teams that are needed to maintain these systems and the infrastructure required to keep them up to date and current, generally accounts for a fairly large piece of the overall Operations budget pie. In addition to the staff and infrastructure costs, businesses generally also need to account for ongoing software updates (and associated downtime), virus intrusions and general wear and tear on the computers themselves. Google’s offering in contrast is a marked departure from this standard method and with a flat fee of $28 per month per user, they commit to removing all of those legacy issues inherent in the standard way of doing things.
With several fairly large and high-profile companies already offering “cloud” based services like SAP and SalesForce there is a clear migration plan for companies that depend upon these services. However while more and more business will continue to migrate their services to the web and offer services in the cloud, there will always be some applications and services that cannot be migrated. Here is where virtualization comes into play and Google has made a very smart partnership with Citrix and VMware so that users with those legacy applications can still be served and looked after.
Overall the Chromebook is the way of the future – not just for the regular consumer but also for business and corporate enterprises.