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chromebooks-2014

What are Chromebooks? And why you don’t need Windows any more…

Reasons why Chromebooks are better than Windows PCs

So why would you choose a Chromebook over a Windows PC? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages? There are many advantages that Chromebooks have over Windows PCs. Here are some things that I think matter the most:

#1 Familiar Interface

Microsoft’s Windows features an extremely confused interface which has been heavily criticized by users. The market has rejected the new Windows and even hardcore Microsoft partners like HP and Lenovo are moving away from Windows and moving to Android and Chromebooks. On the contrary, Chromebooks feature the traditional time-tested UI optimized for keyboard and mouse devices which are meant for ‘creation’ or work and not just consumption. Chromebooks offer the same good old interface so compared to Windows 8 there is no learning curve in Chromebooks.

#2 Easy to use

Windows 8 needs a lot of learning and the messy UI makes it even harder to get work done. There are so many nuts and bolts in Windows to deal with. In Chromebooks, it’s just a browser. So what can go wrong there – just fire up the browser and start working.

#3 Cost

Chromebooks are extremely cheap, when compared with regular Windows laptops. You can get a great Chromebook for under $200. You will have to shell out over $500 to get a basic Windows laptop.

#4 Maintenance free, free future upgrades

One of the biggest advantages of Chromebooks over Windows PCs is zero maintenance. There is nothing in Chromebooks that can get wrong. It follows the Chrome browser update policy and your system gets updates on it own. All you need to do to update your system is reboot it. So unlike Windows, you won’t have to pay $200 every year to upgrade to the latest version of the operating system.

How Google does it? Google keeps two copies of operating system on Chromebook A and B. At any given point of time, the Chromebook runs either A or B. Let’s say you are running A on your Chromebook and and Google pushed an update or upgrade; what it does it upgrades B and when you reboot it boots into B operating system and run the latest version. Next time when an update comes this time A gets updated and reboots switches to A so you are always running the latest version of Chromebook without even knowing.

#5 No data loss

Every year the world losses data worth billions and billions of dollars due to Windows – either through corrupt software, viruses or other such issues. Since Chromebook keeps all your data in Cloud (on Google Drive) you will never lose your data as it automatically get backed up on Google servers. Even if you damage your Chromebook or lose it, you won’t lose data with it. You can buy Chromebook log into your account and ‘lo’ all of your data is there.

#6 Grandma and Kids proof

As I said above Chromebooks are maintenance free. There are no exposed nuts and bolts which your children or grand-parents can screw up. It’s just a browser, there is nothing that can be damaged. Just give it to your children or grandparents and you will never get a support request. It just works.

#7 No virus or malware

Chromebooks run on Linux which is extremely secure despite its popularity. Windows viruses just can’t infect these systems – even if you plug in a USB with Windows virus on it, nothing will happen to the Chromebooks. So you are fully protected against viruses, malware and other threats that create nightmares for an average Windows user.

#8 Has all the applications you need

Google has a Chrome Web Store which hosts thousands of apps which allows one to do things that can be done on a Windows PCs. The numbers or applications is increasing day by day. We will be publishing a separate article on ‘what all you can do on your Chromebooks’.

#9 Offline work

Microsoft tried to spread wrong info against Chromebooks that it becomes a brick if there is no Internet. That’s plain wrong. All of major Chrome Apps are available in offline more which means even if there is no Internet you can use your Chromebooks. So you can go on cruse ship with limited Internet and can still use your Chromebook.

Since I have a full-time Chromebook user at home (my wife) I have the first-hand experience with Chromebook and I see no reason to buy a Windows PC when Chromebooks offer so many advantages. If you are planning to update your laptop and your use-case is similar to that of my wife – Chromebook is the way to go. There is just no need to buy a Windows PC.

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It’s no more 1980s!

Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.