Been there, done that. I'll be turning 60 this fall. I remember timeshare computing. The whole idea behind the PC (Personal Computer) was to get away from the dumb-terminal-hooked-up-to-a-mainframe paradigm. Anyone else remember Microsoft's first attempt at pusing "DOT-NET"? It was essentially the same as "the cloud". It failed to get off the ground.
Comparing cloud computing today to cloud computing of even a decade ago isn't fair. The world has changed since then. High-speed internet, wifi hotspots, and 3G connections have completely changed the game.
Online gaming wasn't successful by any measure on the Dreamcast. How many tablets failed before the iPad? How long were we hearing about how eBooks were going to change the world before the Kindle finally caught on? I'm not saying the chromebooks will be the product that changes everything, but counting it out because a similar idea failed 15 years ago is foolish, particularly in this industry.
Thanks for destroying your own argument. Going from a regular notebook/netbook to a chromebook is the computing equivalant of going from a smartphone to a dumbphone.
I consider it more like shedding the dead weight. I've been running nightly builds of Chromium OS (the open source version of Chrome OS) on my netbook for months now. Prior to that I ran Windows XP, 7, and Ubuntu 10. I have no interest in going back to any of them. Chromium OS is faster, slicker, and smoother. It boots in 20 seconds on my first gen Atom netbook. There are no background processes slowing things down mysteriously, no antivirus software, no myriad of system menus. I get about 20% more battery life than I did on Ubuntu.
I had to make a few adjustments. All of my documents had to be moved to Google Docs, but that was a really simple adjustment. I never keep music on my netbook anyway; it stays on my home PC and on my phone. That was about it, I can't think of a single other thing I miss from Windows or Linux on my netbook.
On my home PC I'd still want Windows, but on my netbook Chrome OS is perfect.