We Just Don’t Know it Yet.
As I see all the debate back and fourth about Windows, Mac, Office, iWork, and everything else you can imagine it occurred to me that the key features between everything here is internet connectivity. The internet is the must have app, and without your product is reduced to a market of Niche users.
In comes the Chromebook. Everyone says both how great and how useless they are but I think Google is playing a long game here that we are yet to see. That is more bandwidth. As technology matures, the more bandwidth we get which makes having the internet more of a requirement than an option. When you think about the things you need your laptop to do…for the normal consumer it comes down to
- Productivity Software
- Web Browsing
In the latest debate around productivity software we have Google Docs, Office, and iWork. Each having great little things about them. On a Chromebook I can access all of the above through the cloud, with offline access in Google Docs. Now you might say it is not as good as the standalone, but for most consumers…isn’t that enough? Most people using these productivity suites will for the most part be using them when connected to the net.
Web Browsing…I think this point is self explanatory so moving on
Music. Music is more and more going cloud based with the likes of iTUnes Match, All Access, Soptify, Pandora, and all the others becoming the norm for how people consume their music. Again, all these services require a network connection and are limited where there is not one.
Video. People’s TV’s are becoming their notebooks, as more and more people are consuming their video mediathrough Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go and other internet streaming services. Again all requiring an internet connection. Yes there are still a ton of people who save movies directly to their device for offline access on flights and other things, but with WiFi and cellular service starting to become more of a thing on flights, I see this offline becoming the way of the past.
The key conclusion here is that we are moving to a always on society, where being offline is considered weird. Being able to seamlessly bounce from device to device is what we expect, and having our data available to us no matter what device we are using is what we want. I think Chromebooks offer a lot of this functionality out of the box at a cheap cost.
I think in the next 5 years it is not going to be a Mac vs Windows debate on the consumer front, but a Chrome OS vs Mac OS debate. I could be completely wrong but time will tell.