Reply To: Chromebook questions

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I think Chromebooks are great as long as you know what you’re getting. The Chromebook is part of a new generation of devices tied to an “ecosystem” along with phones and tablets. These are locked down devices which only allow you to install software through a vendor controlled app store. One really big advantage is that it’s much harder to get malware onto these devices. All programs in the app store have been vetted by the vendor to be safe.

The downside is lack of interoperability and standardization that you get with a PC. Windows, Mac, and Linux computers can talk to each other on a network and transfer files via a disk. There are long established standards and protocols for everything. With these new generation of devices, things are different. As long as you stay within the vendor ecosystem (the app store), everything “just works”. If you try to go outside of that, you’ll run into problems. For example my grandfather bought a Chromebook and asked me to install Skype. I knew it was a popular application so I expected it to be easy. Well it turns out that since Google and Microsoft aren’t friends, you won’t find Skype in the Chromebook app store any time soon. Google has an equivalent called Hangouts. That’s what I mean, If you buy a Chromebook you’ll need to learn to do things Google’s way.