Two Americas in Technology

The tech press is a little bit taken aback by the fact that 5-10% of the units sold by Acer, a PC maker, were Chromebooks. Acer makes the Chromebook C7, a laptop that runs Google’s ChromeOS, an operating system that is more-or-less a browser that can save things to cloud storage. If you read the tech site reviews, this thing is hard to distinguish from excrement: the screen isn’t so great, the keyboard and trackpad aren’t elegant, it’s a little slow, and it’s make from cheap and kind of ugly plastic.

Yet Acer sold a bunch of them, in my view mainly because the thing costs $199. If you want to get your kid, or your grandparents, a laptop that that won’t get polluted with viruses, updates automatically, and won’t lose any data if you drop it in the toilet (since it’s all stored in Google’s cloud), the Acer C7 is a solid choice. You kid can update Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterest and write papers for school. Your grandparents can update Facebook and send and receive email with pictures of the grandkids. Everyone’s happy, even if the device they’re using isn’t carved out of a single piece of solid aluminum, and the display isn’t retina quality.

A few years ago, the PC industry sold a bunch of netbooks, which were cheap little computers that ran a stripped-down version of Windows (or, in some cases, Linux). If you read the tech press, these were also too slow, and they all had crummy screens and crappy keyboards. Yet millions were sold because they were cheap and useful. Supposedly netbooks died out because the market switched to buying iPads or other tablets, but there’s still a market for a cheap computing device with a built-in full-size keyboard, and Chromebooks are filling the niche. They’re for the other America of computing: those who want something useful and affordable, no matter what the tech press thinks about it.

Also, too: the reason .04% of Daring Fireball’s traffic is from Chromebooks is because the kids and grandparents don’t give a shit about the resolution of the next iPad or whether Tim Cook can fill Steve Job’s shoes.

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111 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I loved my netbook. It didn’t have much power, but it was great for working while on the go. Admittedly, however, with tablet tech these days, I’m not sure I would get another netbook if I were in the market for a device right now.

  2. 2
    Emma says:

    I ditched my full-sized laptop for an Acer netbook the moment I saw it. Did everything I needed to do and weighed a hell of a lot less AND could be packed in my small camera backpack, so I could travel on business and take the cameras too.

    Later on I passed it to my sister and got an MSI Wind. That thing lasted until November of last year. I cried when I realized I couldn’t replace it, but the Kindle Fire does a very decent job of covering all the bases.

    I stopped reading the tech press when I realized that their recommendations for “inexpensive” good hardware started at the top of my budget.

  3. 3
    kdaug says:

    Thinking about a Chromebook for the kitchen, so we can read recipes without having to touch a screen with food on our hands

  4. 4
    geg6 says:

    I am not a millionaire, so I buy whatever can do the best job of the things I need to do. Our old laptop is fine right now, but when it dies, I will be buying the best and least expensive replacement I can. Whether that’s a Kindle or an iPad or whatever off-brand is out there, I really don’t give a damn. The tech press is the worst place in the world to try to find out what to buy when you’re looking for new tech to replace your old. Probably only about 10% of the population gives a shit about the stuff the tech press thinks is essential.

  5. 5
    Zifnab25 says:

    I’ve got an old Lenova that’s served my needs for a good five or six years by being rugged enough to survive a backpack. Honestly, I don’t quite see the appeal of “performance” in a laptop computer. Yes, you don’t want your applications to bomb out on you or your hard drive to blow up. But is there any real desire to make a 4 lb carry-on compete with the desktop rig in your office?

    Any techie worth his salt should inform the laptop-using public that they are just one VPN connection away from not giving two shits about their portable computer’s performance speed. Laptops are about portability, durability, and energy efficiency. If the Chromebook meets those standards – and for $199? What a steal! – then it sounds like its working fine to me.

    My only concern beyond all of that is what you do when you can’t get a decent wifi connection, which happens all to often outside my home and office.

  6. 6
    different-church-lady says:

    If you want to get your kid, or your grandparents, a laptop that that won’t get polluted with viruses, updates automatically, and won’t lose any data if you drop it in the toilet (since it’s all stored in Google’s cloud), the Acer C7 is a solid choice.

    If, on the other hand, you want to do something with a portable computer at times when you don’t have internet access… well, not so much, since it’s all stored in Google’s cloud, right?

  7. 7
    Robert says:

    I still have my original Netbook. That thing is a lifesaver when I need to do a lot of typing at a convention. Weight is everything when you’re living out of a backpack for 12+ hours a day. A netbook means more room for granola bars, dried fruit, and bottled water to avoid high price con food.

    They’re all equipped with SD slots so I can dump photos I’ve been taking over and over again so I don’t run out of memory without having to carry a ton of extra cards just for that. The camera is also really good on mine so I can record short videos to pop up on Twitter or Facebook reacting to the convention.

    Chromebooks I’m not as interested in, but I do love all of Google’s apps. Their word processor is solid and being able to invite other people to work online on a project is a very good thing.

  8. 8
    different-church-lady says:

    @Zifnab25:

    Honestly, I don’t quite see the appeal of “performance” in a laptop computer.

    For some people, the laptop is the only computer.

  9. 9
    different-church-lady says:

    Probably only about 10% of the population gives a shit about the stuff the tech press thinks is essential.

    In other words, they’re no different from the political press.

  10. 10
    PaulB says:

    It’s the same reason that the Kindle Fire has been so wildly successful.

  11. 11
    Schlemizel says:

    I view tablets the same way. I’d love to get a tablet for surfing the web and emailing but the damn things are at least as expensive as a cheap laptop.

    I don’t use my laptop (which is now 8 years old so, please, tell me about slow and crumby) for much but surfing & emailing but if I have to spend as much to get a decent tablet I’ll replace it with a laptop for the same amount & have a more capable machine if I ever decide I have to use it for real work.

  12. 12
    Mark S. says:

    but there’s still a market for a cheap computing device with a built-in full-size keyboard

    God yes. I sometimes need to write something longer than “OMG LOL!” and fuck doing that with a touch screen.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @different-church-lady: Well, Audi offers an option that lets one turn one’s car into an wifi hotspot. Of course, this isn’t particularly helpful for most people.

  14. 14
    Zifnab25 says:

    @different-church-lady: But these people probably don’t care about performance (at least, at the bleeding-edge techie level) to begin with.

  15. 15
    jibeaux says:

    That actually sounds like exactly what my grandmother needs. My mom pondered getting her a tablet, but she needs a keyboard.
    The tech press sounds a little bit like the fashion press. Even in magazines that cater to middle class people, they’ll pitch $295 blouses to you. The “bargain shopping” usually shows you an outfit where each piece costs $100 or less. As in, your top, skirt, shoes, necklace, and earrings each cost less than $100, so….about $450 for the bargain outfit.

  16. 16
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Zifnab25:

    I’ve got an old Lenova that’s served my needs for a good five or six years by being rugged enough to survive a backpack. Honestly, I don’t quite see the appeal of “performance” in a laptop computer. Yes, you don’t want your applications to bomb out on you or your hard drive to blow up. But is there any real desire to make a 4 lb carry-on compete with the desktop rig in your office?

    My laptop (a MacBook Pro) is my main computer, and in fact it does compete with our Linux boxes for single jobs (we run lots of numerical simulations). I use the laptop for code development, writing, surfing the internet, etc. Once we need to run lots of simulations, I transfer jobs to the Linux boxes. For some reason, I seem to get more work done at home on the laptop than I do when I am “at work” in the office.

  17. 17
    aimai says:

    @kdaug:

    Interesting point. I actually use my laptop for watching TV in the kitchen while cooking–its terrible for that (!) not enough sound and of coure its hideously bad for the machine to be near my stove while I’m spitting grease on everything. I’m marginally more sophisticated than a grandparent generation w/r/t handling the cloud and other storage issues. Which is to say I should revisit my strategy.

  18. 18
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    I love my netbook. It was reasonably priced, it’s fast enough for me to run my work programs. Surfs the internet like a little bunny. I travel a lot, and I don’t want to lug my 17-inch laptop around with me.

    Practical, affordable, quick and light. What’s not to love?

    EDIT: Forgot to mention when I’m at home, I hook it to my TV and watch internet videos with it (in excellent quality).

  19. 19
    liberal says:

    Speaking of laptops…

    Anyone know of a decent 87-key keyboard? I took my new Lenovo while getting an oil change, and the standard 104-key one barely fit into my new laptop backpack. (Yes, I hate typing on laptop keyboards.)

  20. 20
    shortstop says:

    @Mark S.: it doesn’t keep costs down, but Logitech’s keyboard cover for iPads is really good. I present this option for those who’ve already bought an iPad.

  21. 21
    maurinsky says:

    I have had a cheap Dell laptop for 5 years now, which is ancient in technology years, and it works like a charm (I probably shouldn’t have written that down, but I’m not using my laptop right now, so hopefully it won’t find out I said that and die on me). I don’t have too much to do with my computer except look at the internet and write papers for school.

  22. 22
    dmsilev says:

    @Zifnab25:

    But is there any real desire to make a 4 lb carry-on compete with the desktop rig in your office?

    Yes. Because a reasonably performant laptop means that I don’t need a desktop rig in my office.

    And a Chromebook wouldn’t work for me. Not unless someone can point me to web-apps that do data analysis and presentation-quality plotting, 3D CAD design (preferably including FEM capabilities), and the occasional game at the level of say Civ V.

  23. 23
    mistermix says:

    @different-church-lady:

    If, on the other hand, you want to do something with a portable computer at times when you don’t have internet access… well, not so much, since it’s all stored in Google’s cloud, right?

    Chromebooks have some local storage, and you can tell Google which things you want kept locally, so you can use some Google apps (like their word processing, spreadsheet and presentation apps) offline. But are you going to upload 500 pictures from your camera and photoshop them offline? No.

  24. 24
    stormhit says:

    5-10% of Acer’s sales is not filling a niche.

  25. 25
    JohnK says:

    I’ve purchased a fire and two iPads in the last three years. My two desk tops and three laptops rarely get used except for the one that publishes the weather station. I need the cnet app like need another laptop.

  26. 26
    JohnK says:

    I’ve purchased a fire and two iPads in the last three years. My two desk tops and three laptops rarely get used except for the one that publishes the weather station. I need the cnet app like need another laptop.

  27. 27
    gex says:

    OT: Once again, Catholic Charities is threatening to stop helping the needy using tax payer funds because Colorado is considering civil unions.

    Last fall, when Matt Birk spoke out about how mean it is to call the anti-SSM people bigots, I started contacting him via Facebook. Just to point out that they talk in terms of protecting marriage and children and of not hating gays and supporting rights, but their actions indicate something different.

    Wanted to ask him how the Church refusing to help orphans because Colorado wants civil unions fits in with his view on the issue. Big tough guy had to block me. Fucking coward.

  28. 28
    Keith G says:

    As a side issue, after polling some folks here, I had to choose between a Fire HD and a Nexus 7 32 gb. I chose the Nexus 7 and haven’t looked back. It’s been very useful and a real kick to operate.

  29. 29
    Phylllis says:

    Safe bet that a lot of these sales are coming from school districts. We have about 200 netbooks at our high school; teachers and kids love them. Many districts are doing the Google Chrome books precisely because of the cost.

  30. 30
    El Cid says:

    If you’re doing some finely honed comparison, often it can seem like there are wide gaps between the quality and performance of two devices.

    However, a whole lot of the time the ‘worst’ performing of those choices are pretty damn good.

    These days a ‘much better looking display’ could look impressively better on one laptop than another, but all of them look pretty darn good.

    Some computer which is ‘slow’ in some test or particular activities probably does what most people need far more quickly and reliably than what they expected or what they actually owned 2 or 5 years ago.

  31. 31
    aimai says:

    @gex:

    Still, its worth doing even if you get banned. And worth having this conversation with the ordinary person because the role of extortion and threat in the fake “debate” about equal rights is little understood. When you unpack it for people–as we here in MA had to do around the time that Catholic Charities began threatening the children and families they were being paid government funds to service–they are horrified. People are quite uncritical of the issues and unaware of them too and quickly pigeonhole them in sealed boxes marked “free expression” or “religious rights.” When you begin asking them pointed questions about their own theology, what service and sacrifice mean to their own religion, what Jesus would have done etc..etc…etc… and when you point out the fact that Catholic Charities is, in fact, acting as an arm of the state and affecting non catholic families people start coming around pretty fast. You can’t change the mind of a top propagandist but you can change the mind of people in the pews and the streets.

  32. 32
    Walker says:

    @Zifnab25:

    There is no real market these days for desktops outside of super high-end gaming (though honestly, gaming laptops are very good these days) or video editing. As we hit “Moore’s Wall”, desktops are going to continue to disappear.

  33. 33
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    Usually Gruber is pretty insightful but that he concluded these things might not be getting into the wild because of his traffic stats is pretty obtuse. DF serves a niche itself and he should know that.

  34. 34
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    A few years ago, the PC industry sold a bunch of netbooks, which were cheap little computers that ran a stripped-down version of Windows (or, in some cases, Linux). If you read the tech press, these were also too slow, and they all had crummy screens and crappy keyboards.

    Maybe the tech press ought to talk to some tech guys. I’ve got three netbooks, the original eee-PC (classic #1) which I’ll grant you was mostly a fun toy and a travel computer at best, the Dell Mini-9 (classic #2) which I used pretty much non-stop as my main diagnostic machine until about four months ago, when the battery had just had enough, and an Acer, one of the last “netbooks” they made before they went to full-on Chromebook production, although given that it has an i3 in it, it’s more like a MacBook Air. A MacBook Air that cost $400, instead of $2000.

    The tech press says the same shit about non-Apple tablets too. They’re wrong about a lot of things, the so-called “tech press”. Maybe they ought to try working an actual tech job for a while. Straightens your priorities out.

  35. 35

    I don’t think netbooks typically have full-size (laptop) keyboards. At least the ones I’ve seen haven’t. But they do have a keyboard and it works. If that’s what you need, then get it.

    I prefer my iPad, but it is possible that different people would want different things. So good luck to Acer and Chrome OS.

  36. 36
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    As a side issue, after polling some folks here, I had to choose between a Fire HD and a Nexus 7 32 gb. I chose the Nexus 7 and haven’t looked back. It’s been very useful and a real kick to operate.

    @Keith G: Mobile or Wi-Fi? I got the mobile version but haven’t activated it yet. What a machine!

  37. 37
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    My dad bought my mom a Galaxy Tab. The first thing she bought was a case with a built in keyboard.

  38. 38
    kindness says:

    ‘The Cloud’ is a nice thing to have out there but I prefer to have all my stuff stored on my own hard drives. I must be a Luddite.

  39. 39
    ThresherK says:

    Just a tangent after another typical weekend at NYT’s Autos section:

    “If you read the motoring press, these were also too slow, and they all had wimpy exhaust notes and wouldn’t get you laid. Yet millions were sold because they were cheap and useful.”

    PS Is anyone else looking at that new Microsoft Keyboard and thinking “Hey, this sucked when it was attached to the IBM PC Jr”?

  40. 40
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @different-church-lady: Or because, eventually, that app that was assumed to be a desktop only app, such as Photoshop, needs to be carried from one customer to another.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Walker: I don’t like laptop keyboards. I like having a large monitor. I prefer using a mouse, I can hook all of these up to a laptop, of course.

  42. 42
    Joey Maloney says:

    @Zifnab25: But is there any real desire to make a 4 lb carry-on compete with the desktop rig in your office?

    I bought my most recent desktop computer in 2010. I bought a new laptop late last year. For about the same price I got a machine that significantly exceeds the desktop in pretty much every specification except for the speed of the HD. Science marches on.

  43. 43
    cleek says:

    i tried using a netbook as a dedicated iTunes player (pulling songs off a NAS, playing them through the A/V receiver in the living room). but, iTunes was just too much for it: took too much memory, required too much CPU, etc.. and when i tried using it to send video to the TV… no way. i finally broke down and bought a proper laptop, which works much much much better.

    bottom line: iTunes is a pig.

  44. 44
    Brian R. says:

    OT, but godfuckingdammit:

    Father of Newton victim heckled at hearing.

    These people are fucking psychopaths. Fuck them and fuck their efforts to compensate for being thumb-dicked shitheads.

  45. 45
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @kindness: Obligatory XKCD cartoon about the Cloud.

    http://xkcd.com/908/

    I lost a bunch of backup data when the online file service Megaupload was legislated out of existence. Notice I said “backup”; the data (personal photos etc.) was also stored on two other file storage services and I’ve since replicated the files to another two new services making four in total. That, of course, doesn’t include my local and offsite backups.

  46. 46
    kdaug says:

    @aimai: The other thing is since we both have droids, we can pull up the ingredient list at the store for what we’re making

  47. 47
    gsim says:

    We picked one up for my MIL for Xmas and it works great – side note: they were sold out everywhere we looked and so we had to order online and get it on the 27th or 28th, so somebody was buying them from the retail locations in our area for sure. It syncs with her droid phone and now she doesn’t gank our MacBook (which we use for heavy photo and music editing) to watch Netflix at te same time we need it.

    I think the people saying that the target market is kids, grandparents, and people who just need a net terminal in other rooms of their house are right. Good times all around.

  48. 48
    Jamey says:

    The Samsung C5 Chromebook is an amazing piece of gear, esp. for $249. I bought one for my 9th-grader and he loves it. He uses GoogleDocs to do his coursework, and has a suite of Chrome apps that he uses for entertainment, gaming, creativity, etc. Battery life is nuts, expandability (via peripherals) is, too. Next Samsung Chromebook will incorporate a touch-screen and 180-degree display hinge. Think this will eat into the tablet market?

    My son’s main complaint about Chrome OS is that the app ecosystem is pretty slim pickings–so far. His frame-of-reference isn’t an OS with everything built into it, but an operating experience that gives him access to the things he needs to do the stuff he wants )(iOS on his iPod Touch–brilliant of Apple to “invent” the idea of apps as a marketplace to bridge developers and consumers.) But AFAICT, the ChromeBook is the future of computing. Its integration with Cloud-based services is what Apple WISHES iCloud could be; its browser-as-OS simplicity is what MS wanted when it attempted to make Explorer the defacto operating environment for Windows OS. I can see a time when Google gets these into schools, and hastens the demise of the software OS as we know it.

    All IMO, of course. But the Chromebook is the real deal. Kids want them now in the same way they wanted iPads two years ago. So, obviously, the novelty may wear off, but somehow I doubt it, because, unlike the iPad, which had some wondering what it was for, people do not need to have a cheap, fast, attractive, and expandable laptop explained to them…

  49. 49
    Jamey says:

    @different-church-lady You can use Chrome OS computers offline. The C7 has, I think, 340 gb harddrive storage; the C5 has 20 gb flash storage and expandability for USB hard-drives. The OS reads files online and from storage, so you can work with Google docs either way. My kid does this. Obviously, he’s stupid and doesn’t know how to use a real computer…

  50. 50
    ET says:

    I bought a Acer netbook about 3 years ago and have been quite happy with it. I am not someone who needs a lot of computing power (I would hazard a guess that most don’t) why whould I pay 3X what I paid for that for a full size laptop? That would have been silly. And it is small and light so I can carry it much more easily if I need to. I likely won’t be in the market for a replacement for at least 2 years unless something drastic happens. But when I do I want a option that doesn’t make me pay for a bunch of shit I don’t need or want.

  51. 51
    MattF says:

    I’m enough of an old fogy that ‘all your data is in the cloud’ doesn’t thrill me– there’s financial data and tax stuff, there’s years of email, there’s images, music and video. More broadly, I don’t want to be in a position where some data overlord can decide overnight to deny me access to stuff that is mine– or can peek at my data and decide that I should be seeing advertisements for chainsaws while I browse.

  52. 52
    gelfling545 says:

    We bought a Chrome Book for the 14 year old granddaughter for Christmas as her netbook died a miserable death. She finds adequate for everything she needs to do including school work and likes that the keyboard is larger than the netbook. Since her activities usually include video, music, chat & messaging she really doesn’t need anything more powerful. The cloud storage is a plus for her since she is able to access her stuff wherever she happens to be as long as a computer is available.

  53. 53
    Keith G says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Wifi. Which is an issue. Wish I could plug in my usb air card that I have for my Asus X401A (a fine small size notebook).

    But even at that, the Nexus is a joy to use.

  54. 54
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Agree on all those points.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m surprised Werebear isn’t here to sing the praises of her Chromebook — she must be busy. IIRC, she does most of her writing on it.

    My next laptop is probably going to be a MacBook Air, because I’ve decided I don’t really need a desktop computer anymore, so the MacBook will be my primary computer. If I did decide I wanted a desktop, I would probably seriously consider a Chromebook since I already know I can use Google apps with Mac applications.

  56. 56
    different-church-lady says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: In today’s world I would it would not at all be surprising to find people who simultaneously can afford an Audi, but feel $500 is too much to pay for a computer.

    @Zifnab25: Au contraire: they need the laptop to be powerful enough to do decent pixel pushing, because they don’t have another computer to fall back on. They can’t go for ultimate performance, but they still need more than email, web browsing, and spreadsheets. So they end up with a notebook that’s fully powered, but not a jet engine.

    Tablets might help the situation: I don’t need to do Photoshop in a cafe, it’s just nice to be able to do it. A $300 tablet removes the need for the pixel-pusher to be mobile.

    @mistermix: Ah, makes more sense that way.

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Right — power and mobility are the right combo for some content creators. There’s a lot of power in being able to make changes to the video right in the client’s office. Or bring your edit over to my mixing suite and change it in response to the sound effects I’m creating.

    I think the desktop/laptop division is at least 10 years out of date. Today it’s more about mobility vs. high end workstation (where you’ve too many physical things dangling off the computer to make true portability an option).

    Right now the laptop is my “only” computer except for my dedicated audio workstation, and the most powerful one. But when I think about it, about 85% of the time I spend on it could be accomplished on a tablet, so maybe 3 years from now I have tablet as my mobile device, and my current laptop as my “desktop”.

  57. 57
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    I was fortunate enough that even though I just graduated and got my first decent job, I was able to afford a friend’s old iPad and MacBook Air. The tech press ( and a lot of tech people) don’t realize that most non tech people dont have a minimum of a thousand dollars to spend on a computer. Sure they are great quality, but that’d break the budgets of a lot of people. I also had a late model Acer netbook ( early 2011) that ran decently with another GB of ram and a mix of Win 7 Pro and Linux distros.

  58. 58
    jibeaux says:

    @Brian R.: I posted it below, but I think the best revenge is to call your rep and Senator and let them know how you feel. You know they’re getting calls from scumbuckets. If you will show up to heckle a victim’s parent, in person, you will most definitely get on the phone to your rep. We have to do the same.

  59. 59
    Tom says:

    Not a single mention of Raspberry Pi here.

  60. 60
    jibeaux says:

    @MattF:

    or can peek at my data and decide that I should be seeing advertisements for chainsaws

    Well, that’s telling. I’m not sure what it’s telling, but it’s telling something.

  61. 61

    I’ve worked in IT for over 15 years now and their (our) view of how technology is REALLY used by the average person is so myopic and snobby. I am the only real tech savvy person in my pretty large family and I can tell you that surfing and emailing are their primary activities. Maybe they are on Facebook but forget about Twitter, Pinterest, etc. The extent of my online life is completely foreign to them and most of them have no real understanding of what I do on even a most basic level. So yeah, you’re spot on.

  62. 62
    burnspbesq says:

    @Zifnab25:

    My only concern beyond all of that is what you do when you can’t get a decent wifi connection, which happens all to often outside my home and office

    I use my phone as a portable hot-spot. It works just fine with my iPad Mini.

  63. 63
    different-church-lady says:

    My ganged reply to many folks awaits moderation.

  64. 64
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    The tech press says the same shit about non-Apple tablets too. They’re wrong about a lot of things, the so-called “tech press”. Maybe they ought to try working an actual tech job for a while. Straightens your priorities out.

    I built a full tower for 3D modeling and gaming. It has seven fans, two NVIDIA GPUs,etc., etc., so it doubles as a space heater. Yes, it’s great for its intended purposes. The rest of the time it’s like using siege gun to kill a gnat. I’m buying a Kindle Fire HD for “the rest of the time.”

  65. 65
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    The machinery recommended by the tech press is the pink Himalayan salt of consumer electronics.

  66. 66
    Interrobang says:

    @Zifnab25: I work for a tech company that has had a policy of issuing laptops to its employees as their main computers for years. We just got bought by a huge tech company (think networking), and their employees’ issue laptops are almost identical to ours, although they’re moving heavily toward a “BYODevice” policy.

    Then again, most of the heavy lifting stuff we do is either on servers, or on industry-specific specialised equipment, so overall performance isn’t as big a deal. That said, the laptops are pretty punchy.

  67. 67
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:

    I agree to a large degree-my day job is an engineer designing horribly ugly, unintuitive and hard to use enterprise programs (seriously fuck the enterprise). The average user needs to be insulated from a lot. At the same time, i sorta agree with Doctorow, et al that kids in the future will find it harder to b e hobbyists growing up. There’s something unnerving about treating end users as slobbering Neanderthals.

  68. 68
    Origuy says:

    I bought an HP Touchpad tablet when they went on clearance at the employee store. I ran WebOS on it for about a year. Finally decided the Android port was stable enough and installed it this month. I might leave my laptop home when I go to Russia next month; the tablet does enough for traveling.

    I haven’t used a desktop in years; the corporate standard is laptops for everyone. For much of what I do at home and work, though, I need a Windows system.

  69. 69

    The Samsung Chromebook is of considerably higher quality for only $249. It is lighter, faster (superior processor), thinner, has a better screen and considerably longer battery life due to its SSD (Solid State Drive) vs. a traditional hard drive in the Acer. It is well worth the extra $50.

    I recently bought one for my wife who kills a traditional laptop about every three years. During that time, I get to struggle with OS updates and replacement batteries/AC adapters and wires draped all over the seating areas.

    She loves to type and hates tablets because of it. Let me tell you that she loves this Samsung Chromebook. It is highly portable and goes several days without plugging it in.

  70. 70
    Maude says:

    @Keith G:
    Good for you on Nexus 7. If Steep loved it, it’s a winner.

  71. 71
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    “At the same time, i sorta agree with Doctorow, et al that kids in the future will find it harder to b e hobbyists growing up.”

    I think that e-hobbies for kids are becoming divided into different areas of interest. The days when a young e-hobbyist learned to write programs in BASIC have been replaced with a variety of options. The twelve year olds are now learning JAVA (For Minecraft) or Lua (For various games) as well as Python. Some of them are bound to go on to become engineers.

  72. 72
    Maude says:

    @Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    people want to be able to use a computer. They don’t care about anything else.
    I used to set up refurbished computers with the end user sitting beside me. I asked questions on what they wanted and made sue the machine suited them. I did this for free.
    The End User is all that matters. I also used to be put down by macho and macha techs. Little snots.

  73. 73
    Maude says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    I run Blender on my laptop. I am so lousy with Blender that it doesn’t matter. I can make armatures dance. I am proud.

  74. 74
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    My wife is addicted to an Acer Inspire netbook running an Ubuntu Linux tailored for netbook. Its very responsive and perfect for lots of little jobs, email, etc. I’m anticipating the arrival of my Peng Pod, a 10″ tablet with keyboard that runs Android and Linux.

  75. 75
    Jamey says:

    @Origuy: In Russia, tablet ports YOU!

  76. 76
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Maude:

    Blender, oh yeah! I’ve been working in it for so many years that I’m only slightly lame at it now.

    I’m using Cycles for rendering stills until the recently announced port of Octane is released for Blender.

  77. 77
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I think opportunities for hobbiests are increasing with the advent of Beagle Boards, Raspberry Pi, and the like.

  78. 78

    @Zifnab25:

    Honestly, I don’t quite see the appeal of “performance” in a laptop computer.

    Musicians/DJs: Apps like Ableton Live, Logic Pro, etc get awful cycle-hungry, especially once you start playing around with effects chains. And you can’t really lug around a desktop.

    Tablets (well, the iPad… Android isn’t getting the music apps for whatever reason) are making some inroads, but the performance isn’t quite there yet.

    Next generation, maybe.

  79. 79
    iLarynx says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil:

    Usually Gruber is pretty insightful but that he concluded these things might not be getting into the wild because of his traffic stats is pretty obtuse. DF serves a niche itself and he should know that.

    Actually, the thrust of Gruber’s post was heading in the opposite direction of what was implied of it:

    Sounds like Chrome OS is starting to get some traction… Gone are the days when PC OEMs feared Microsoft’s wrath.

  80. 80
    Maude says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    Blender can take your mind off your problems. I get busy getting all fouled up. I have the newest version and had trouble at first doing anything.

  81. 81
    Woodrowfan says:

    I went to get a Netbook and was told they no longer make them. Got an Acer instead. Not the C7 but a nice small and light laptop I can do basic stuff with on a trip or in a library doing research.

  82. 82
    NotMax says:

    Strictly FYI:

    Google is set to announce its second-generation Nexus 7 tablet in May with the cooperation of Asustek Computer.…

    [snip]

    Based on the recently released engineering samples of Google’s second-generation Nexus 7, the sources pointed out that the prices of the new 7-inch device will be the same as the first-generation model at between US$199-249, but several specifications will be upgraded. Among the changes, the device will feature a display with Full HD resolution and an industrial design with a thinner display boarder.  Source

  83. 83
    Brachiator says:

    @Zifnab25:

    But these people probably don’t care about performance (at least, at the bleeding-edge techie level) to begin with.

    People care about value and good performance per dollar spent. Some tech specs are pseudo-specs. They presume that everyone is going to be playing the most graphics and resource intensive video game, or editing the nine hour version of War and Peace.

    Too many tech reviewers have no notion of what reasonable performance might be. It would be like comparing a budget car solely in reference to a Formula 1 racer; or lumping a broken down junkyard car with the a small sedan and proclaiming that both were suitable for the “low end” market.

    @mistermix:

    Yet Acer sold a bunch of them, in my view mainly because the thing costs $199.

    Some people bought up HP’s shortlived tablet because it was cheap. Some people rooted them and played around with them, but few are still in use. Similarly, most notebooks were abandoned because they could not run many programs well, and were not very useful if you wanted to do something other than check your email.

    Acer’s product and the current Chromebooks are more robust. But my niece and nephew get more usable laptops (more local storage than initial Chromebooks) given to them by their schools. And they use the crap out of their iPod Touches. Here, screen display matters.

    Similarly, my mother has bad eyes, and loves her Kindle Fire and an iPad she sometimes borrows from a friend because of the great screen display. She also uses Skype for video chat with me and her other kids.

    Bottom line, the trick is to develop devices with a reasonable mix or features for a reasonable price. The idea that cheap must necessarily mean accomodating nothing more than email and Facebook is not really true. Nor is it true that retina display, and its variants, is just sizzle or unnecessary fringe.

    People like a bright display as they use GPS and similar features on smartphones and tablets.

    And one of the biggest reason that people like tablets and ebooks and Kindles is battery life.

  84. 84
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: I do ADORE my Chromebook, I do!

    In almost a year of use, there’s only one program I wish it would run (Scrivener, best writing app out there, Mac only, suckas) and only a few times I couldn’t get online. But that turns out not to matter very much; I have plenty of offline ways to write, and there’s always my Kindle Cloud Reader.

    SIX hours of battery life, light and very portable because it’s a flash drive, virus proof (for free!) great keyboard and Google does free updates so easy your grandmother could do it.

    I have the 1st Gen Acer and haven’t even activated the free Verizon wireless account (100 units of something a month for 2 years) because it’s not worth the hassle.

    Yes, if I had infinite money, I’d have a Mac Air, but for a quarter of that I have 90% of what I’d want it for.

    If you’ve ever dreaded that phone call from the elderly relative with computer problems… if your kid loses a glove every winter… if all your friend does is email and Facebook… you’ll see the tremendous advantages of buying them a cheap portal to the internet and they don’t lose anything that’s in the cloud.

    And, know what? That describes most people.

  85. 85
    Brachiator says:

    @burnspbesq:

    RE: I use my phone as a portable hot-spot. It works just fine with my iPad Mini.

    Did you also have a regular size iPad? Do you find the iPad mini equally acceptable for whatever you use it for?

  86. 86
    NotMax says:

    @wrebear

    There is no such thing as virus proof.

    Virus protected, yes. Immunity to classes of viruses, yes. Increasing difficulty of access and minimizing entry ports, yes.

    While executable files aren’t loaded on to a Chromebook, there are still means of exploit including hacking in to get ID info which would provide access to cloud files. (see here)

  87. 87
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Apologies for the typo, WereBear.

    Shorter version: Chromebooks are (currently) less vulnerable, but not entirely immune.

  88. 88
    Anoniminous says:

    @Tom:

    I ventured on in to do just that.

    I’m NDA’ed up the wahzoo so I can’t discuss “stuff” but this gives an indication of where we are going hardware-wise and software is (finally) starting to move away from bloat, e.g., Damn Small Linux. With some other computer architecture fiddle-dee-dee we’re looking at ‘Good Enough’ preforming machines coming in at $100-$200.

    ETA: Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:

    Exactly. Most of the TechPress is agog over “features” that don’t pass the Who Cares? test.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    So it’s official. I am an old fart.
    I just bought an iMac after my last pc desktop crapped out, again. I am tired of microcrap screwing with my computer experience. I don’t travel much at all and have a eee pc netbook for when I do. I wanted to have a bigger screen than my last computer and this is much bigger than any laptop, I wanted to never have a microcrap product again, so apple. And this is only about $200 more than a comparable pc and works much better. I have had pcs since dos with 5 1/4 floppies and 64k. And followed that up with every operating system and configuration till xp because I had programs that only ran on pc.
    Always The key has always been to know your needs and find something that meets them. If I needed to be portable I’d have a macbook of some sort and a large screen to plug in at home. But that would have been about $1000 more at the apple store.

  90. 90
    Brachiator says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    i sorta agree with Doctorow, et al that kids in the future will find it harder to b e hobbyists growing up. There’s something unnerving about treating end users as slobbering Neanderthals.

    Hobbyists are always, and perhaps always should be a niche market.

    I know people who still spend their entire weekends in their garages tinkering with their automobiles. But most people just want to get in their car and go somewhere, and don’t measure their personhood by their ability to swap out a carburetor.

    The tech press ( and a lot of tech people) don’t realize that most non tech people dont have a minimum of a thousand dollars to spend on a computer.

    I agree with you big time here. I also find it odd that the conventional wisdom of some techies is that it is perfectly acceptable for the first iteration of a device or software to be considered “beta.” If it barely works, then first users are either suckers or people who should be willing to work around the problems.

    I recall watching a tech podcast where some wise geek suggested that if Apple had only said that its Maps app was beta, then users would “understand” and accept it.

    I think that Apple may have also unintentionally encouraged some people to buy the Nexus 7 and other tablets by not supporting iOS 6 on first generation iPads. Again, the idea that someone would simply buy a new iPad every 2 years is not a reasonable assumption about the behavior of regular people.

    And, of course, it’s not just Apple. I hear tech people explain why Windows 8 is good for Microsoft. They never explain why it is good or necessary for a potential customer.

  91. 91
    Ruckus says:

    @WereBear:
    That Scrivener program looks grand. I have been using freemind as a free form organizing program for writing but this looks much better. I’ll have to give it a try.

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ruckus:

    I use Scrivener at work for a few really long documents and it’s lovely. We had one document that was constantly crashing and getting corrupted in Word, so I moved it to Scrivener, did all of my edits there, and re-exported it to Word for my boss to work on. Now it behaves itself.

  93. 93
    Fleem says:

    @WereBear @Ruckus:

    There’s Scrivener for Windows. I have it, but I don’t use it much because I do so much writing on my tablet. What there isn’t, and needs to be, is Scrivener for Android. I use Evernote and Gdocs instead, so I can get my stuff wherever it is.

  94. 94
    Brachiator says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I think the desktop/laptop division is at least 10 years out of date. Today it’s more about mobility vs. high end workstation (where you’ve too many physical things dangling off the computer to make true portability an option).

    BINGO. Especially if you also add a smartphone to the mix.

    I had my iPad with me during a seminar. Some people with laptops were sitting near an electrical outlet. People with tablets and smartphones didn’t care as much. During a break, I used the browser to pull up a pdf file of updated information relevant to the seminar, walked up and showed it to the lecturer. Much easier to do this with a tablet (or phone) than a laptop (and a desktop would be impossible). At a recent event for my company, all the vendors had laptops, and folks could come to their areas and see demos, etc. One of our sales guys had an Android tablet, and while walking around could enter orders and update information for customers. They didn’t have to come to a sit-down booth or location to get to him.

    Mobiliity and useful devices. And long battery life.

  95. 95
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Last job I had I published 5 books every year. I was responsible for all editing, graphics and layout as well as getting them printed. I used Quark so the books were print ready when finished. But now with e-publishing I don’t need to worry about near as much formatting stuff. But I find creative fiction writing to be much harder, so anything that organizes and handles the not so mundane chores is absolutely necessary.

  96. 96
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:
    If you have aged out of the new working life(where mobility is everything) then a desktop is not so much of a problem. Also if you have aged out of the working world the size of a display can be a real issue. Or in the case of a disabled friend who can only see OK in one eye, a laptop just does not have enough screen acreage no matter the resolution.

  97. 97
    Dana in Philly says:

    A few years ago, the PC industry sold a bunch of netbooks, which were cheap little computers that ran a stripped-down version of Windows (or, in some cases, Linux).

    Didn’t the netbook segment start with Linux (the use of which was part of the OEMs’ formula for keeping ’em cheap)? And then, part of what harmed the segment was MicroSoft started pushing the OEMs to put Windows on ’em, which bumped up the cost. That was my understanding.

    I still have an HP Mini 2140 netbook (their business version) which is useful and a great little traveler. It has Ubuntu 12.04 on it. I need a keyboard, so have no interest — zip, nada, zilch — in a tablet.

  98. 98
    murakami says:

    Cloud stuff is kinda exciting so long as you use it for primarily backup and keeping various devices synced. Dropbox is a thing of beauty, most of the time, and Google Music keeps me from wanting to carry around gigs of music, but if either of those two services vanished tomorrow or my account gets hijacked, I still have the original files.

    I bought the keyboard cover for the ipad and tried briefly to use it as a laptop replacement, but the thing is too limiting. Not enough keyboard shortcuts, touch is imprecise compared to the mouse or even a trackpad, so when real work has to be done, a small Lenovo laptop gets tossed into the bag too. An extra 3 pounds isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things.

  99. 99
    Brachiator says:

    @Ruckus:

    If you have aged out of the new working life(where mobility is everything) then a desktop is not so much of a problem.

    I am not sure what you mean here. I know retired people who prefer laptops to desktops for a number of reasons.

    And mobility is just an option. As with some other devices, sometimes people want to move the laptop to another room, or the porch or kitchen, depending on how things are set up (wireless vs cords, etc).

    Also if you have aged out of the working world the size of a display can be a real issue. Or in the case of a disabled friend who can only see OK in one eye, a laptop just does not have enough screen acreage no matter the resolution.

    The other day I noticed a person with some vision issues work the heck out of her smartphone, using various accessibility features.

    So again, it’s not just laptop vs desktop, or screen acreage. It’s what you need to do with a device and where.

    I see people in mobile wheelchairs with smartphones, laptops and tablets. Mobile devices for mobile people. Yeah!

    BTW: one of the cutest things I ever saw was a grandmother in a powered wheelchair. Her granddaughter was standing at the rear of the chair and they were rolling down the sidewalk cool as anything.

  100. 100
    WereBear says:

    @Fleem: I heard he outsourced the “Scrivener for Windows,” so that is what I based my comment upon.

    @NotMax: I understand they are not immune; once again, brevity is the soul of not getting it quite right. As I understand, they do come with more blocking moves and less underlying operating system to hijack.

    @Ruckus: It is grand! I adore it.

    Currently, I pull a bunch of blog stuff together and order it in Scrivener. Then I put chunks of it into Google Docs for smoothing out and making it into a “real book” instead of a collection of blog posts. This works well (though Google Docs starts acting like it has a bad carb when I get much over 15k words…) but the portability is so worth it to me. I sit at a desk all day at work, to sit at a desktop for more hours when I get home would wreak a bit of havoc on me.

  101. 101
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:
    Not saying every case but many of us would rather have a bigger screen than a laptop. I’ve owned and traveled with a laptop, a netbook and had smartphones. I have spent more time on the road per year than at home. But a desktop with a wireless keyboard and mouse or tablet works better than a laptop for me and for others that I know. And I know plenty of people who use all the latest tech.
    I just don’t like to see everyone lumped into – you have to have a laptop or the latest tablet. We all work/play differently and have different needs. Just because something can be made to work doesn’t mean it is the best answer. Or will remain the right or wrong answer in the future.

  102. 102
    Tja says:

    This is the entire story of the old PC-vs-Mac war. Cheap ‘n cheerful ‘n scabby or a 20-ft platinum pole up your arse that has nice roundy edges.

  103. 103
    Brachiator says:

    @Ruckus:

    I just don’t like to see everyone lumped into – you have to have a laptop or the latest tablet.

    Agreed. And it should not be about lumping everyone into anything. But it is perfectly reasonable to look at trends and to look at how people are actually using computers.

    Along those lines, I disagree with the view by some that a cheap or poorly featured device is OK if you are “just” emailing.

    It’s also interesting to see how collateral issues can be important. I noticed a while back that the nurses and receptionists in a couple of doctors’ offices were especually happy with their monitors not because they were bigger, but because they were thin LCD devices that let them reclaim the desk space that older CRT models had taken over.

    On the other hand, I notice more doctors with carpal tunnel because they spend more time directly keyboarding info that others would do later. You win some, you lose some.

  104. 104
    JustAnotherBob says:

    I use a netbook for almost all my computer stuff. Right now I’m posted from a Asus netbook hooked to a 20″ monitor, full sized keyboard and wireless trackball.

    I bought a nbook for travel. But I found that it does what I need to do (including editing photos) and it uses far less electricity than my laptop, so my laptop rarely gets turned on any longer.

    I bought a travel keyboard – full sized keys but a more compact layout and no number pad – for a few bucks from Amazon. I didn’t bother using it after a few days. With a little practice one can type on the nbook keyboard fairly easy. Easy enough typing to not carry a separate keyboard on the road. (I don’t write papers while on the road.)

    I take a couple of long trips a year, something in the one month range. I carry a very small hard drive on which I backup my photos in case something happens to my nbook which I leave in my room. I carry the HD with me when I’m out and about. The nbook and HD are never both in my bag. I can replace hardware, can’t replace photos.

    The cloud I find wonderful. I can get to everything from anywhere. I just never put stuff like Social Security numbers or passwords on it. I store copies of past year income tax forms without the SS numbers.

    If I need to write something or create a spreadsheet while I don’t have web access I just use Open Office and copy the work over to Google Documents later.

    I’ve rarely needed something off the cloud and found it unavailable (Yea Google!). I have spent lots of times in the old days looking for something on another computer/external hard drive.

    I’m watching the Chromebooks. Weight, not size is most critical for me when I travel. A larger screen would be nice and if I can get that for a cheap price I’ll switch.

    And if the software I most use becomes available for Chrome. Right now my favorite ‘quick and easy’ photo editing software isn’t. (FastStone is pretty danged good. I rarely use GIMP any longer.)

  105. 105
    JustAnotherBob says:

    I used to get a sore shoulder from long sessions at the keyboard.

    I’ve found that if I put the keyboard and trackball in my lap I have no problems. It lets me keep my arms in a more natural position.

  106. 106
    👽 Martin says:

    Top:

    The tech press is a little bit taken aback by the fact that 5-10% of the units sold by Acer, a PC maker, were Chromebooks.

    Linked article:

    Chrome-based models accounted for 5 percent to 10 percent of Acer’s U.S. shipments since being released there in November

    Tech companies pull this shit all the time. Shipped isn’t sold. Acer will make deals with retailers like Best Buy, offering them a better deal on their Windows laptops if they also order Chromebooks, because Acer is having trouble with market penetration of a new device that everyone is skeptical of. It’s a perfectly viable and reasonable strategy, but it doesn’t mean that Best Buy has actually sold any of those devices. They may be planning on returning 90% of them next month.

    We’ve seen this with the HP tablets, with Nokia and RIM phones and tablets, with all kinds of new devices that hit the market.

    The truth is that the tech market doesn’t work much differently from the auto dealership model from years ago. Samsung spends over 10x as much as Apple on marketing, mostly in the form of bundling incentives, rebates, kickbacks to salesmen, and so on. And in that setup, they can hide all kinds of performance problems by reporting shipped rather than sold, or average selling price for the device, but treating the $100 kickback not as a reduction in the price of the device, but as ‘marketing’. You have to be VERY careful with how you parse all of this stuff.

    So yeah, Acer shipped a bazillion Chromebooks, but given that they are entirely online web-based devices, either Acer needs to tell us how many they actually sold, and whether they made any money on this to know if it’s a viable product, and/or we get real web statistics on them. 5%-10% of Acers sales would be half a million units, which is respectable, but we should be able to see more evidence of these units if that number is true. I’ve never seen one in person and one has never appeared in the server logs for any of my sites as of two weeks ago when I last did a general review. Maybe they’re all being sold in Mongolia, but they aren’t making any actual impression that I can measure.

  107. 107
    👽 Martin says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    At the same time, i sorta agree with Doctorow, et al that kids in the future will find it harder to b e hobbyists growing up.

    Meh. Someone is on Cory’s lawn and needs to get off.

    My son is 15. He asked for a Raspberry Pi for xmas, which he got. He’s got a nice little linux based computer that’s cheap enough to do stupid things with. He’s learning linux and python programming. He wants to add a prototyping board so we can play around with I2C interfaces. He’d like to build a controller for the house sprinkler system (which sucks, and I’m on the 3rd one – they all suck), and a sous vide/crockpot controller. Those are all very approachable, inexpensive, and will teach him basic control systems, programming, hardware interfacing, and so on.

    Shit, when Cory and I were kids, yeah we had more hammers and chemistry sets, but there’s no fucking way we could have built a programmable sprinkler controller with a reasonable UI on it. The hardware was too limited and costly, the learning curve to the programming was huge, and the frameworks for making it usable didn’t exist. We’re going to screw a $35 computer with $40 of add-on hardware onto the garage wall running a web server that I can go in and reprogram from a web page. We can do such things as have it tie into the NWS and get the rainfall totals to determine if it should run or not, or the high temp of the day to see if it should run longer. If we want it to run 15 minutes before dawn to reduce evaporation, that’s trivial. We picked up a 3.5″ display that runs off of 5V USB for $18, so it can even display in the garage.

    The hobbyist space hasn’t stopped – it’s just changed. If not Raspberry Pi, you’ve got a ton of Arduino and other microcontrollers to play with for $10 or whatever. Programming low-cost iPhones/Android devices/iPod touches is very approachable and popular. There’s a ton of hobbyist working going on – it’s just different than it used to be.

  108. 108
    J R in W Va says:

    @gex:

    So Catholic Charities will stop being active in the US once equal marriage rights for everyone is accomplished nationwide?

    Well screw them! Pederast protecting weasels I think!

  109. 109
    Brachiator says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Shipped isn’t sold.

    Great point. And to be fair, the better tech shows and journalists correctly make this distinctiion all the time.

    Samsung spends over 10x as much as Apple on marketing, mostly in the form of bundling incentives, rebates, kickbacks to salesmen, and so on.

    John Gruber complained about this in a recent Talk Show podcast, and his criticism was just as unfair as yours. This is just salesmanship, whatever a company has to do to get the product into a customer’s hands.

    And it doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is hiding performance problems.

    For example, again and again, tech writers and tech evangelists are praising Samsung and sadly declaring Apple to be, for now, no longer the tech leader or the geek’s fair haired child. And they are reporting how happy they are to be using Samsung’s products and how they now find that the Android market of apps is nearly the equal to Apple.

    And of course, it’s not just about Apple vs Samsung, or PC vs Mac, or Open Source vs closed gardens or whatever. It’s about useful technology.

  110. 110
    Adam Lang says:

    I guess they also don’t give a shit about dogs, because less than 0.1% of my roughly 20,000 monthly unique visitors (which is to say, about 12 people) use ChromeOS.

    I’m not honestly sure why; the vast majority of my traffic comes from search referrals from Google. You wouldn’t think that Google would point Windows and Mac (and iOS and Android and Linux) users to my site, but not Chrome users.

  111. 111
    Bruce Partington says:

    @Adam Lang: They also don’t seem to care about politics, or at least Talking Points Memo, where ChromeOS’ share is so small it doesn’t register.

    I’m sure the Chinese slaves who assemble all our electronics see the irony.

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