Nearly two months ago, Google launched its first internally built laptop, the Chromebook Pixel. Reviews have been polarized (and polarizing): what exactly is the target market? Who is willing to put down ~1,400 dollars for a laptop that can basically only run Google Chrome? The debate had me take a hard, long, critical look at Chrome OS – I have previously done little more than deride it in 15-second rants, tangentially mentioning Google TV and Android. This time, after careful pondering (but not without hesitation), I ended up buying the $249 ARM-based Chromebook. These are my thoughts after finally getting my mitts on Chrome OS.
Cloud storage is no longer the future; it is the present. No longer the realm of tech savvy users, nearly everyone today actively uses (not to say depends on) a cloud-based storage service of some sort.
Recently, in the search of a more productivity-oriented second device, I sort of “impulse bought” a Chromebook. While I wait for it to ship, I’ve been thinking about the way I use cloud storage, and whether I should make any fundamental changes to my working habits to make the most of the new purchase. You see, I currently use Dropbox, whereas the Chromebook has much better integration with (surprise, surprise) Google Drive. But productive usage of Google Drive, it seems, hinges on converting all your files to the Google Docs format, seeing as Microsoft Office documents can be read, but not edited. On closer examination, however, what I initially thought was a document format issue uncovered for me a deeper issue about how we use cloud storage and what this may tell us about the strategies of key providers in this space.