Lenovo rumored to offer Chromebooks in May - should Microsoft be concerned?

Lenovo is one of the largest and most respected PC vendors in the world, and when a company this massive is about to release a new laptop without Microsoft’s OS, it’s big news.

That’s the new rumor started by TheStreet’s Anton Wahlman who is stating that Lenovo will be releasing a Chromebook and he is hedging on May 16th as the date that Lenovo will either announce or release the product.

Samsung and even Acer are already building Chromebooks, but this barely dents Microsoft's global sales, as it represents a small percentage of their OEM base already dabbling in the Google waters. But with Lenovo, a serious force in selling business machines now looking to Google as well, Microsoft may well start to feel a bit concerned as this company has the chops to help move these types of machines into the enterprise, and in far greater numbers. Of course, Google has a long way to go before it can make serious inroads into the corporate environment but anything that begins to shake Microsoft’s firm grasp on the enterprise is worth noting.

The report states that the Lenovo Chromebooks could start as low as $299 and could go as high as $499 and will have screen sizes including 11.6-, 12.5-, 13- and 14-inch. It’s important to note here that if all of these models are released, Lenovo would not only be testing the waters with their Chromebook efforts, but in fact making a significant investment with several models to appease many different types of users.

Only time will tell if this report is accurate but considering that Google has been gaining ground in the browser market, it only makes sense for the company to then go after the OS market as well. If Google can get Lenovo onboard with their OS, it could send a strong message to Microsoft that their OS dominance may be in jeopardy. 

Source: The Street

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Wahlman's piece in The Street is spot on, especially this:

A Chromebook doesn't require any money spending after the initial purchase. It doesn't get viruses, it doesn't need software installations. Upgrades are automatic. Everything is backed up automatically. Different users can work it, and nobody messes up another person's settings or work.

Over a 2-year period, I have spent less time total on Chrome OS maintenance than it takes to set up a single Windows PC or Macintosh. And, as Wahlman points out earlier in his piece, "A Windows PC is simply too complex for most regular users."

Since the latest Chromebooks were introduced in October, they have been sold out and back-ordered everywhere, and the Samsung ARM Chromebook has been in Amazon's top 100 sellers for 89 days

Selden said,
Wahlman's piece in The Street is spot on, especially this:

A Chromebook doesn't require any money spending after the initial purchase. It doesn't get viruses, it doesn't need software installations. Upgrades are automatic. Everything is backed up automatically. Different users can work it, and nobody messes up another person's settings or work.

Over a 2-year period, I have spent less time total on Chrome OS maintenance than it takes to set up a single Windows PC or Macintosh. And, as Wahlman points out earlier in his piece, "A Windows PC is simply too complex for most regular users."

Since the latest Chromebooks were introduced in October, they have been sold out and back-ordered everywhere, and the Samsung ARM Chromebook has been in Amazon's top 100 sellers for 89 days

that's awesome, enjoy Lenovo. You gonna buy it?

Selden said,
Since the latest Chromebooks were introduced in October, they have been sold out and back-ordered everywhere, and the Samsung ARM Chromebook has been in Amazon's top 100 sellers for 89 days

Tell me about it. I just retired my CR-48 for the Samsung Chromebook. Love it. I finally got it last weekend. Best Buy has been sold out since November.

What manufacturers need to do is have Chrome OS as the Instant Web feature on their machines. I like the instant web feature on my laptop but the OS for it is lacking. It would be the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, based on the comments of this story, I don't expect this community to understand. Everything is Black and White. Google Bad; Microsoft Good.

I wouldn't be too concerened about it. Chrome OS is nice, but it's looks like something you'd only use for going on the internet, whereas Windows tackles every job instead of just one.

dtourond said,
I wouldn't be too concerened about it. Chrome OS is nice, but it's looks like something you'd only use for going on the internet, whereas Windows tackles every job instead of just one.

Yeah they have different purposes. Chrome books aren't really trying to compete against windows. They are targeted towards novice users that only browse the net and read email (and I've seen many users in this category). They are very cheap and are basically the evolution of the "netbook".

ViperAFK said,

Yeah they have different purposes. Chrome books aren't really trying to compete against windows. They are targeted towards novice users that only browse the net and read email (and I've seen many users in this category). They are very cheap and are basically the evolution of the "netbook".

You are mistaken, they are targeting advanced users who want something simple and cheap to carry around for web surfing and note taking. I have one and I love it. But I'm no fool. It will never replace my Windows 7 Laptop and Desktop.

ViperAFK said
Yeah they have different purposes. Chrome books aren't really trying to compete against windows. They are targeted towards novice users that only browse the net and read email (and I've seen many users in this category). They are very cheap and are basically the evolution of the "netbook".
Exactly. I tried Chrome OS on my Acer Aspire One and my experience with it can summed up in one word, "meh".. I knew that they weren't competing against Windows but even if they were it'd be impossible to do.

DoomsDayMayan said
You are mistaken, they are targeting advanced users who want something simple and cheap to carry around for web surfing and note taking. I have one and I love it. But I'm no fool. It will never replace my Windows 7 Laptop and Desktop.
Well, you guys are both half right. They're targeting *anybody* in general who wants a laptop that's just meant for browsing the web, and nothing more.

dtourond said,
Well, you guys are both half right. They're targeting *anybody* in general who wants a laptop that's just meant for browsing the web, and nothing more.

Spreadsheets, Word Documents is not exactly "Nothing More". This covers a lot of people's basic needs.

DoomsDayMayan said
Spreadsheets, Word Documents is not exactly "Nothing More". This covers a lot of people's basic needs.
Yes, but a lot of people still rely on Microsoft Office to provide that, which requires Windows. Also, those needs are work-related. Basic needs in general would be to browse the internet, play some games (web or program), etc.

Don't get me wrong. Microsoft Office is indeed very powerful. But Google Docs works just as well for basic light tasks. I'm not doing a quarterly report on Google Docs, but I will make a simple chart on one if I am in class.

DoomsDayMayan said
Don't get me wrong. Microsoft Office is indeed very powerful. But Google Docs works just as well for basic light tasks. I'm not doing a quarterly report on Google Docs, but I will make a simple chart on one if I am in class.
Well once it gets popular where a lot more people are using it, then I can see a rise in use for Chrome books, but other than Office work and web browsing I can't see much use for it. At least, for me that is.

" If Google can get Lenovo onboard with their OS, it could send a strong message to Microsoft that their OS dominance may be in jeopardy. "

You can't seriously believe this.

I too would like to know how many people returned their Windows 8 computers or Windows Phones. Sadly we don't get that information.

As to "real" applications. Didn't naysayers say the same thing about apps for phones when the smartphone started taking off? They are just packaged web services. Forget about games (let's face it Angry Birds can't be compared to Halo). Let's look at your typical apps by your average users. Facebook, Twitter, Photoshop, Yelp. Would you call them real applications? Will they work if you are not connected? What makes them so different than Chrome Apps? Please explain?

Sadly you are mistaking what I am saying. You think I am saying Chrome OS is better than Windows. It isn't a blanket statement. It is better than Windows for Price and particular use. I use a Chromebook. I love it. But it will not replace my Windows 7 Laptop and Desktop. You know what I really hated that was cheap and small and easy to carry? My Netbook. Damn thing was sluggish. Microsoft never did make a good OS for low-end hardware. Damn thing collects dust.

DoomsDayMayan said
It is better than Windows for Price and particular use.
Well that depends on what you think is "particular use".

DoomsDayMayan said
Microsoft never did make a good OS for low-end hardware. Damn thing collects dust.
You're right. I run Lubuntu on my Acer Aspire One and I did try Chrome OS on the netbook, but it felt like the OS wasn't compatible with the hardware. Some of the buttons didn't work properly and the mouse was slow, etc. Normally If I run Ubuntu off a USB drive, it runs considerably good on 1GB of RAM, but Chrome OS had a bit of lag. Sometimes when I'd move a window around it would leave apart of the screen blank and the only way to get rid of the blank spot was to move the window over it, strange..?

dtourond said,
Well that depends on what you think is "particular use".

Web, basic note taking you know, the majority of what most people do.

dtourond said,
You're right. I run Lubuntu on my Acer Aspire One and I did try Chrome OS on the netbook, but it felt like the OS wasn't compatible with the hardware. Some of the buttons didn't work properly and the mouse was slow, etc. Normally If I run Ubuntu off a USB drive, it runs considerably good on 1GB of RAM, but Chrome OS had a bit of lag. Sometimes when I'd move a window around it would leave apart of the screen blank and the only way to get rid of the blank spot was to move the window over it, strange..?

I run Linux Mint on my useless netbook. It ran better but still sluggish. Ubuntu ran worse.

DoomsDayMayan said
Web, basic note taking you know, the majority of what most people do.
Everyone's got their own basic needs. It's never the same.

DoomsDayMayan said
I run Linux Mint on my useless netbook. It ran better but still sluggish. Ubuntu ran worse.
That's because Unity is meant for higher spec computers rather than netbooks. I use LXDE which is a lot better for lower-end PCs/laptops.

Basic needs =! Photoshop or any kind of content creation type programs. So what it boils down to is Web, Email, Facebook and typing a document in a word processor or a simple chart.

When I told people yes you can get a computer for $250 that is perfect for your needs, they went with the Chromebook. They love it. Even coworkers see me with it and bought one (one is still waiting for Best Buy to get them in).

As for the netbook, you see why I call it garbage?

"Photoshop or any kind of content creation type programs. So what it boils down to is Web, Email, Facebook and typing a document in a word processor or a simple chart." While that's nice, users need to understand that this is sort of like Windows RT. It only runs this app and web-based apps. I think being able to do both is better than being limited. For some, this'll suite them well, but I've seen other basic users who run other applications.

Also I've noticed that Chrome OS is not as resource efficient as it could be. Lubuntu (Ubuntu with LXDE) ran faster than Chrome OS on 1GB of RAM.

"When I told people yes you can get a computer for $250 that is perfect for your needs, they went with the Chromebook." Well you should of also clarified exactly what it can and cannot do.

Difference between Chrome OS and Surface is price. Surface is to expensive for what it is. It is no iPad killer so it really is an overpriced netbook.

Not only did I clarify, they played with it first. I explained everything it can do and can't do.

DoomsDayMayan said
Difference between Chrome OS and Surface is price. Surface is to expensive for what it is. It is no iPad killer so it really is an overpriced netbook.
Are you talking about the Surface Pro or the Surface RT.

That.

I'd be worried about the Asus Transformer, about Nexus 10, about iPad, but Chromebook? :\

For the things the Chromebook can do, pricewise, netbooks are still usable (and better, of course)

I'm not comparing this with netbooks or even ultrabooks. I'm comparing this with tablets since you can access the web and google products with tablets. So between the two, I would rather have a tablet if that is all what I am going to do - access the web and google products.

RommelS said,
I'm not comparing this with netbooks or even ultrabooks. I'm comparing this with tablets since you can access the web and google products with tablets.

The fact that you would write this suggests you have no direct experience with a Chromebook, and possibly not with tablets. A Chromebook and a tablet serve very different use cases; I have a Chromebook and a Nexus 7, and while they complement each other, neither is a substitute for the other, although between them, the Chromebook is far more useful. Neither device requires that you use Google services, other than needing to have a Google account.

I'll admit that I don't have a Chromebook, however, the issue still stands that Chromebook is more designed for webaccess and google products. And for you information, I have a have an iPad, a Surface, and Ultrabook hybrid; more, things that that you can do with a Chromebook. So yeah, my opinion on Chromebook is way less than yours.

Selden said,

The fact that you would write this suggests you have no direct experience with a Chromebook, and possibly not with tablets. A Chromebook and a tablet serve very different use cases; I have a Chromebook and a Nexus 7, and while they complement each other, neither is a substitute for the other, although between them, the Chromebook is far more useful. Neither device requires that you use Google services, other than needing to have a Google account.

Can you explain the usefulness of a Chrome OS? By my understanding the OS is useless if there is no net connectivity. Would that be correct?

Selden said
I have a Chromebook and a Nexus 7, and while they complement each other, neither is a substitute for the other, although between them, the Chromebook is far more useful.
How is an OS that only lets you browse the web and use web applications more useful than a device that lets you run complete different applications,

bdsams said,
You could have said the same thing about Android and the Chrome browser.

And monkeys could fly out of my butt. If you were to say Win8 tablets would dethrone the iPad, WP8 would push aside Android, or any other Microsoft device would overtake some other device, then there would be a group of people laughing at such a comment for the ridiculousness of the comment. But Chromebook, a device that saw sales in the tens of thousands, overtake Windows, and it is in the realm of possibility. We keep hearing WinRT confuses people because it does not run all the software that the desktop Win8 does. Linux netbooks were pulled from the market because they were returned in droves since it did not run the software that Windows did. But a web browser only device will provide all the software needed and overcome that same problem?

nohone said,

And monkeys could fly out of my butt. If you were to say Win8 tablets would dethrone the iPad, WP8 would push aside Android, or any other Microsoft device would overtake some other device, then there would be a group of people laughing at such a comment for the ridiculousness of the comment. But Chromebook, a device that saw sales in the tens of thousands, overtake Windows, and it is in the realm of possibility. We keep hearing WinRT confuses people because it does not run all the software that the desktop Win8 does. Linux netbooks were pulled from the market because they were returned in droves since it did not run the software that Windows did. But a web browser only device will provide all the software needed and overcome that same problem?

You forget it has the magic formula - its from google and Lenovo and not from Microsoft, the still-evil empire!

efjay said,

You forget it has the magic formula - its from google and Lenovo and not from Microsoft, the still-evil empire!

D'oh! (slaps head) I forgot that, this will sell in the billions!

efjay said,

You forget it has the magic formula - its from google and Lenovo and not from Microsoft, the still-evil empire!

You could easily replace Google for Microsoft there.

Sorry, but Linux has been free for a whole lot longer than Chrome OS, and it still never gained traction in the consumer market. Who is going to provide tech support for the OS? Considering how Google works, this is going to be a nightmare for the end user if there are any issues.

"its from google and Lenovo and not from Microsoft, the still-evil empire!"

Greetings from China - you know, the place where all the people live and has all your money and jobs.

Who is this Google people talk about? There used to be a Google (Good Dog) in China but they were wiped out by Baidu, spat the dummy and ran away. Surely not the same?

Worried? I dunno.. I never see chromebooks used anywhere.. What MS needs to do is get more aggressive with release cycles and get more software out.

Just open or install Chrome on your computer; there, you've used Chromebook.

Want to use the Chrome OS "app" launcher? Go to chrome://flags and enable "Show Chrome Apps Launcher".

spudtrooper said,
Worried? I dunno.. I never see chromebooks used anywhere.. What MS needs to do is get more aggressive with release cycles and get more software out.

I haven't seen any in the wild yet either, but I've heard that they've been selling extremely well on amazon.

Sas Center said,
or better.

Even Vista is better than Chrome OS. So if you take the worst MS product and see it is better than Chrome, you know that the Chrome OS fad is going to end soon.