Are your tired of the viruses, finding virus protection, the constant updating, and just the overall hassle of having to deal with Microsoft’s Windows OS?
If so you may want to think about making the jump to ChromeOS. No need for virus protection due to the way +Google Chrome handles tab and browser functionality, updating takes place in the background with a simple reboot when ready, and it’s not going to hurt your wallet upon entry. However, you will need to do some prep work first.
The first thing you want to do is set up your ability to function in the cloud. This means getting ready for the transition from local storage and applications running from your hard drive to going cloud storage and applications that run from the cloud. You’ll first need to identify any software you use locally and look for a cloud option. For most people this comes down to Microsoft’s Office suite which can be replaced by +Google Drive or any other free utilities out there. Once you get used to applications like Drive then Office starts feeling really bloated by comparison. Going full on Google with their applications is a big help too.
Google Drive can also be your cloud storage or you can use Microsoft’s own Skydrive if you have a Hotmail/Outlook account. There are many free storage vendors out there and these are just a few other choices: Dropbox and Amazon. Check the amount of storage you think you need and in most cases you can always pay for more on a very small monthly fee.
If you have accounting software or business software you will want to research the cloud versions that are out there. In most cases you will be able to find a suitable alternative. For design people, you may want to sit out the full conversion and just use ChromeOS as a secondary machine. Right now the design applications are not quite there yet to where you can go full cloud but it’s coming.
Once you have every thing set up you then want to live in the cloud for the next month from your current Windows machine. That means only using cloud features when on your machine. Try not to save to your local machine or run programs located on your local machine. You want to be strict with yourself too and not cut corners. Before going full cloud it is important the pieces are all in place and you are comfortable in this new dynamic.
After that month, if you feel you have been successful then it’s time to make a ChromeOS device purchase. I would recommend the Samsung Chromebook that retails through Amazon at $249. It’s a solid machine and delivers more bang for the buck than the other Chromebooks on the market. If you can afford to go premium and money is of no issue then head on over to the +Google Play store and buy the Chromebook Pixel for that extreme premium experience. Just to be clear though, the price for the Pixel is very high and the actual OS experience will not change by much since the touchscreen features in the Pixel are not even anywhere near in wide use as of yet. If you want to stick with desktops then you can buy a Chromebox and hook up your monitor, mouse, and keyboard to that. Whatever you get I would recommend sticking with the SSD (Solid State Drive) and not being tempted on an even cheaper price for a Chromebook that has a standard HDD (Hard Disk Drive) which will effect boot time and also contains moving parts that can (and will) break like every PC and Notebook out there. The less moving parts the better.
Setting up your Chromebook is as easy as turning it on and entering your Google Gmail account. If you have an Android phone you can easily cross sync applications and move seamlessly between ChromeOS and Android. Let’s say you buy another ChromeOS device later, all of your applications will sync over as if you had been using it forever. The ease of use is off the chart once you’ve made the jump and are comfortable with using the cloud.
1) Don’t you have to be connected to the internet at all times?
For the most part the answer is YES although there are several apps (including Drive) that have an Offline mode. As far as being connected to the internet, most people today use a notebook or device only when connected to the internet anyway. On top of that, it’s not often that I find that I’m not around somewhere that has a connection to ride on.
2) But it’s just a browser right? Why pay for that when I have a browser on my Windows machine?
Ah, but you are missing the point. Everything you need is within that browser and in the cloud now. With the exception to the premium price on the Pixel you are saving money on a Chromebook purchase versus a regular Windows PC in many ways. Whether it be paying for virus protection/cleaning viruses from you PC (really there are free ones out there that are better than pay ones for you Windows people), buying a license for Office over using the FREE Google Drive, or factoring in the time spent sitting through Microsoft updates that take forever, a ChromeOS device free’s you up from all of this. Ending the Windows hassle alone is worth so much. Not to mention the added bonus of automatically storing everything in the cloud saves you time when logging in from elsewhere and always being able to have access to your stuff.
3) What if I find I can’t be full cloud after the fact?
No worries, you still will have a device that can handle the majority of your needs in addition to having whatever backup Windows device you came from. ChromeOS won’t be a full option for everyone but I would say the majority of people would have no issue making the jump.
If you have any questions regarding ChromeOS then please feel free to ask them in the comments and I’ll get back to you with a reply.