Android is crushing Apple and Microsoft in the mobile device market | ZDNetGiven Android's success in the mobile market, one has to wonder how long it will be until we see the operating system loaded onto PCs and go head to head against Windows and iOS. Given the way that buyers (consumers and enterprise alike) have embraced Android on smartphones and tablets — activations of new devices sit at 1.5 million daily, or 45 million every month — it seems logical to give consumers what they want, and put this operating system onto notebooks, convertibles, and hybrid systems.
When it comes to PCs, neither Windows nor OS X seem to be igniting the imaginations — and opening the wallets — of consumers. Cheap (possibly in the region of $200) PCs would be just what PC OEMs need to inject a new lease of life into the stagnating market.
The next PC game-changer: The Android-powered PC | ZDNetPCs aren't selling, and partly, this is down to price. PCs as we know them aren't cheap, and part of the reason for this is how much Microsoft charges for Windows licenses. OEMs tell me that even with the new Windows 8 price cuts, it's hard to compete with free operating systems.
Android is "free". iOS is "free". OS X is "free". (Technically, none are free, but the consumer price is $0.) Windows is not, and increasingly, price-conscious consumers are asking what Microsoft is giving them in exchange for their dollars.
Given the way that buyers (consumers and enterprise alike) have embraced Android on smartphones and tablets — activations of new devices sit at 1.5 million daily, or 45 million every month — it makes sense to give consumers what they want, and put this operating system onto notebooks, convertibles, and hybrid systems.
This is NOT a game changer -- for all sorts of reasons people don't want a PC to be connected to "The cloud" 100% of the time in order to do their work. There's a HUGE difference between Tablet / phone use and a conventional desktop PC.
The Chromebook might be suitable for people who don't tend to use a PC for "Traditional desktop" type tasks but it certainly isn't even on the starting blocks (hasn't even made it even to the changing rooms) as far as running any sort of specialized Engineering devices / Lab devices / Gas analysers/ metering equipment/ industrial stuff.
Most of those people who write the usual rubbish for these type of magazines just think of a load of people in a conventional office typing away on a computer --they should get out into the REAL world into Factories / research labs / hospitals , Oil Rigs, Volcano peaks,etc etc and actually SEE some of the equipment being used -- I don't think I'd like the Plasma magnetic field containing some anti-matter to suddenly stop working because someone's hacked into Google's cloud system somewhere.
The chromebook is fine for the limited purposes it's designed for -- it would be infinitely MORE useful if it could run some type of Virtual machine allowing Windows connectivity -- even if it only enabled the use of a Windows desktop via some sort of remote desktop connection (VNC in Linux provides that type of service) or full integration via a corporate / private providers VPN.
However once you start increasing the complexity of the device then people might start thinking -- well if I need Windows that much I'll stick with a Windows box.
Google though have the clout to press on so it will be interesting to see what happens in a few years time --especially if Ms Ostrich like fails to answer a lot of W8's critics.
It doesn't matter how good you are or how much clout you have if the end product isn't fit for purpose.
In a lot of the engineering examples I've quoted above the computer systems are still largely running XP and will probably continue to do so even when XP support officially ends. A lot of these are essentially Stand Alone systems that often aren't even connected to the internet at all -- and will continue to be used even if Ms were to disappear overnight.
Google can make inroads into the consumer area - but it will have to change its whole strategy if it is to capture other markets - and get away from basing 100% of its OS on Cloud services.
As to the fact that Android is free -- well it only seems like that -- people forget they are paying (indirectly) via their phone subscriptions or individual calls etc if they are on a pay as you go service. If you buy a tablet or PC the OS is essentially "Free" as well as it's included with the product. Very few people actually BUY a retail version of Windows (any version) compared with the number who have Windows pre-installed on their PC's. Some of us get the proper Windows versions to remove all the usual pre-installed trial / ad and cr@pware but we alas are in the minority.