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Life With Google Chromebook: Mac/Windows Killer

And by "there" I mean on all your Google Chrome PC devices. There is no longer any need to lug that laptop from home to the office and back. Everything is instantly replicated across all machines, so you can have a Chromebook on every table, office, and home -- and you can just pick up where you left off.

Yes, I know Microsoft and Apple are now trying to narrow this gap with Office 365 and iCloud. But they're still not on par with Google in terms of how elegantly and seamlessly this works. Maybe some day, that will change -- but now Google remains way ahead in the way its cloud infrastructure interfaces with its Chrome and Android devices.

In the meantime, Google Chrome laptops are $200 to $450 and falling. Microsoft Windows 8 touchscreen PCs start at $500 and MacBooks start at $1,000. You can buy a few extra Chromebooks for the same price.

Google is sitting on a gold mine here. They need to expand the Chrome OS device portfolio with even better hardware: Better battery life, bigger and better screens, and so forth -- even tablets and smartphones. Take a look at the best Windows Ultrabooks and the MacBook Air, and offer consumers premium Chromebooks.

For example, people are now buying a few $200 to $250 Chromebooks, giving them to their children and elderly family members, ensuring that they don't have to spend any time on tech support, ever. Going forward, they'll be willing to spend more than $250 to $450 on premium Chrome OS hardware. Perhaps they'd pay $500 to $600 for truly awesome 13-to-14 inch Chromebooks with 10-plus hours of battery life. Larry Page says battery life sucks now, so they had better take a hint from the boss.

Back to the central point, where I began this article: Having the best PC tech support is the second best thing on Earth. The only thing that's better is not needing any tech support to begin with. And that's Chrome OS in a nutshell.

Google is sitting in the catbird seat for this great new paradigm in computing: Trouble-free PCs. Will it be able to exploit this opening in the competitive landscape?

At the time of publication, the author was long GOOG and AAPL and short MSFT.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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