$1300 Chrome Browser

Google is a crazy, amazing, awesome company. I love them. Partly because I love Android, and partly because Chrome browser on my Windows PC is one thing I prefer over most of the other things. That is, when it comes to consumption.

chromebook pixel

I’ve rarely had any annoyances with the browser, and I have shed some of my privacy concerns, even if forcibly so. Firefox is unusable, and I can’t stand the UI. Microsoft has worked hard and improved Internet Explorer, with the v10, but by that time, I was already a Chrome fan, and had my bookmarks and extensions synchronized with my Google account. That, and Chrome for Android sync, meant that I won’t be looking back and switching to any other browser. Not any time soon.

Moving on. Google has this idea of an OS based off of Chrome browser. That is to say, you’re connected to the internet at all times, and you live and work in the Chrome browser. And that most your data is stored in the cloud. Basically, you live and work in the cloud. That’s what is the thinking behind the entire concept of a Chromebook.

Google, however, announced the Chromebook Pixel yesterday. It comes with a price tag of $1300. There’s a retina-class touchscreen, an Intel i5 dual core processor, 4 gigs of RAM and… 32 GB of internal storage. To make up for it, the company is bundling 1 TB of Google Drive storage for 3 years.

So, why this insanity? I have a few theories –

  1. Move to cloud. Encourage cloud storage usage. However, this makes as much sense as nothing. Local storage is important, necessary even in countries like the USA where there is very good internet connectivity with high speeds. And whatever are you going to do with all that 1 TB of space when you can only have about 20 GB usable (assuming you have to transfer your data from local media to the cloud)? It’s going to be very painful to make use of all that space.
  2. Make data-mining more easier. By having only the Chrome browser as a means to do any work, or consume any media, Google is effectively getting access to everything you will do on a Chromebook. It wipes out middle-men and alternatives.
  3. Bring attention to the concept of a Chromebook and Chrome OS. The Chromebook Pixel might bomb, but I don’t think Google is even thinking about it. It seems to have priced it so insanely, people will take notice. Some might dismiss it right away, but some people will start talking about Chromebooks. Even if they don’t buy the Chrome-running laptops. Start the chatter, some of them will buy the cheaper, $250-350 versions.
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