Strategic Tech Slideshow: Google Chromebook: 10 Reasons It's Not Catching on At WorkBy Don Reisinger | Posted 05-16-2012
Ignorance Isn't Bliss
Oddly, Google has decided to all but ignore Chromebooks over the last several months. While the company is still selling them, it hasn't mentioned plans to improve the product line or a strategy to increase sales.
Ultrabooks Are Here
They're thin, lightweight, powerful and -- over the next several months -- will be more attractively priced than ever. They compete against Chromebooks. And for the most part, Ultrabooks deliver far better specs than their Chrome OS-based counterparts.
With the exception of search, Apple is there to compete with Google in just about every other market. That's especially true with Chromebooks, where the devices are forced to compete against the popular MacBook Air.
Chrome OS Isnt Ready
Although Google tries to say that Chrome OS can compete against sophisticated operating systems like Mac OS X and Windows, that's really not the case. The operating system lacks key functionality, offline support is nonexistent, and application support is sub-par. Until Chrome OS improves, Chromebooks will be left out in the cold.
The Enterprise Doesnt Care
For Google, the challenge is getting the enterprise to actually care about the features found in Chrome OS. So far, the company hasn't been able to do so. Will that change? Google better hope so.
The more programs available for a platform, the more likely it is to succeed. Both Microsoft and Apple understand that. And although Google does, as well, it's having a much harder time than its more established competitors attracting developers.
Take a look at the design of Chromebooks. Notice anything special? No? Design matters in today's computing market. There isn't a single Chromebook on store shelves that can come close to competing on a design level with the MacBook Air or Ultrabook.
The Tablet Factor
In addition to other notebook contenders, Chromebooks are trying to compete against tablets, especially Apple's formidable iPad. Google must reposition Chromebooks as Ultrabook contenders and not tablet competitors.
Today's consumers and workers aren't necessarily educated on the features that might make Chrome OS special. In fact, if you were to poll the vast majority of today's workers, they probably wouldn't even know what a Chromebook is.
Vendor support is an integral component in the success or failure of Chromebooks. The greater number of companies that want to build the devices, the more will get placed on store shelves. It's time for Google to play nice with a big stable of vendors.