I was just pausing to wonder if the cloud concept will cater of everything before I think of purchasing it. Perhaps we could get some insight from someone who use the Cr-48 on what the whole concept of 'being in the cloud' means?
Count the number of programs you use on a daily basis that are not web-based. You may come up with a list like this:
For many of the items on your list there will be a web-based equivalent:
MS Word> Google Docs or MS Office online
MS Outlook > Gmail
Photoshop > Pixlr, DevianrART muro, Sketchpad, Picnik or Sumo Paint.
Skype > imo.im (IM only), google talk (us only)
In each case, check out the web applications using Google chrome browser on your regular PC. Decide if it will meet your needs. If you're struggling to find a cloud alternative to an application you use, if you can't find anything with a search of the Chrome web store, post up on here and we'll try to help you . We're all doing the same thing, and the forum is a good place to exchange tips.
Next (and this one is a nice gotcha), check to see if you use any web applications that require Java. Things like: Minecraft, Screenr.com, gotomeeting. These won't work on a chromebook at all. You can spot them as they will prompt you to download/install/upgrade a Java program on your computer.
If there are a few things that you can't find a web equivalent for all is not lost - you can use a 'remote desktop' solution to access another computer from your Chromebook. There are a few solutions to this, my favourite of the moment is ThinVNC - it works just fine from the Chrome browser in Windows, and I'll soon report how it works on a Series 5 as soon as it arrives (should be Jul 1).
If you're concerned about leaving your home computer on all the time just in case you need it when on the road with your Chromebook, don't worry - you can probably setup 'wake on lan' which will allow you to turn it on remotely. I'm at early stages of playing with this too, but will report my findings when I get it running - although there are plenty of guides for this on the web.
That's a pretty great response from russcasey. Anyone can "try" Chrome OS apps and workflow by running Chrome (it's on Windows, OSX and Linux) and see what they can accomplish. You can even go full screen (shift/command/F in OSX) and try it out that way for the full effect.
Russ is right, a lot of great apps -AND- extensions in the web store. I use SourceKit for programming, Pixlr as my Photoshop alternative (seriously...it's amazing), and I subscribe to Rdio.com for all (well, most...) of my music needs, with an extension that lets me control the music from my toolbar.
I also made some of my own "apps" to bookmark other websites that I frequent. You can read about that on my blog.
Really great answer, Russ! I didn't know about the Photoshop-equivalent cloud apps, so that was really helpful. Too bad about Java not working on a Chromebook; I'll miss playing Minecraft whenever I get mine.
Brittney, I have a feeling that as HTML5 matures we will have a lot more options for things like that. You can already find some pretty amazing music apps (that you can literally make music with) on the Chrome Web Store. This really -IS- the future of computing, despite what others might believe.
If one can download and execute a full bound Java program, instead of running an Ap with local Java, that might work. I'm still waiting for "developments" before I buy a Chromebook. I'm having plenty of fun with the Chrome browser, right here on my desktop.