According to the Google Chromebook website those of us in the UK have to wait just 5 days more before we can get our hands on a Chromebook officially. The choice is a Samsung or an Acer from Amazon or PC World. Currently no prices are being published. I do hope that the deal is similar to the US where the purchase price includes an amount of 3G connectivity for two years.
The Chomebook is Google next step in being the Internet. The concept is simple enough, instead of having lots of storage and computing power in a desktop or laptop, have cheaper hardware and run more from the cloud. It should probably be called cloudbook instead.
The selling features includes booting up in 8 seconds, that is pretty close the 1 second it takes to switch on a mobile phone from standby. Chrome offers some great web apps some of which offer really wonderful user experience. The notion of mobile apps is moving into the web space. If you have Google Chrome Browser installed on your PC or Mac today you can get a feel for it by opening up a new tab and clicking on the webstore link. Already Angry Birds is available, so my 8 year old is a fan immediately of Google Chrome.
Buts the user experience is not limited to 2D graphics, check out whats going on at http://www.chromeexperiments.com/webgl where there are great webGL (web graphics language) examples. My favourite is the model of a forumula one car - it really shows off the power of webGL, take a look http://www.chromeexperiments.com/detail/helloracer-webgl/?f=webgl. It shows off HD resolution 60 fps animation of a complex 3d F1 car. These examples using Chrome and WebGL show off what is a potential gaming platform, using hardware acceleration all running inside a browser - now that is really cool.
WebGL mixed with Chrome stands a good chance of changing how we compute and bringing the cloud to reality. It is not just Google that are "demoting" the PC, Apple's keynote at the recent WWDC spoke about treating the desktop and laptop in a similar way to a mobile device - although not a radical yet!
Is this the way of the future, our desktop in the cloud available anywhere depending on what hardware we login on?
I am really looking forwards to Chromebooks and I really hope it get the attention and acquisition it deserves. Although I am disappointed that these is little mainstream hype in the UK, there is the odd TV advert, but people don't seem to understand what it is advertising. It is pretty interesting that the "App" paradigm from the mobile has finally made it on to the laptop, I have been looking forward to rich internet applications since I first saw the the beta of MS Silverlight back in 2005 and the developments of Adobe Air.
Good luck Google.