There issue here is intent. On one hand, Google is supposedly a culture of openness. Just read through corporate statements such as its Ten Things We Know To Be True: "Democracy on the Web works" or "The need for information crosses all borders." You get the idea. This open approach stands in strict opposition to the as-pioneered-by-Steve Jobs "my way or the highway" vibe at Apple. Apple devices tend to be about exclusivity: An iTunes account is strictly connected to a given iPod. iPads have unique plugs and connectors. Much of Apple's software runs poorly on non-Apple equipment, if it runs at all. Again, you get the idea.
That smacks investors right into some grim big-think. No question, Google is involved with a perfectly reasonable PC. The Chromebook is well-priced, feature-packed and certainly works for business use. But it represents such a fundamental departure for Google that investors would be crazy not to seriously recalibrate how they view this business. Is the giant, decentralized Google -- which clearly struggles to stay on message -- trying to be the world-conquering software giant that makes all data useful, such as with Google Earth? Or is it an elite hardware maker looking to move units such as the Google Chromebook? Corporate contradictions such as these are not what investors want to see. We are like parents. Beyond that cute dress-up phase, nothing disappoints or angers us more than watching somebody try to be somebody they are not.