It all comes down to simplicity. Over the years, a Windows and Mac PC have proven too complicated for most regular consumers. There are so many things you have to think about, from viruses to updates and configurations. Too many things to manage. Who has time to do it properly, even if one knew how?
It starts when you unpack a Windows or Mac PC from the box. Just getting it set up can take 30 minutes or more, depending on your individual situation. Over the last 25 years, every time I got a new laptop I probably spent the better part of a weekend getting it set up to my liking.
I know some aspects of Windows 8 and the latest Macs have gotten better about the initial setup time, but it still pales in comparison with a Google Chromebook. Why? Because on a Google Chromebook you are fully set up in barely 30 seconds. After that initial set-up, you boot up from cold in approximately 10 seconds.
That's for one user. What if you want lend your laptop to someone else, say a child or a friend or a co-worker? Getting set up for that takes some effort on a Windows or Mac PC.
On a Chromebook? No effort at all. You can have anyone use your PC on a moment's notice, without co-mingling any data or other files. That's a key reason Chromebooks are taking over the education market: Several kids can share one laptop without risk or bureaucracy.
The key point is this: A Chromebook is the right kind of device for a child or elderly person -- or just someone who isn't a full-time computer geek or expert -- because it makes the whole experience around basic maintenance into a big zero. It's like having a car that never needs maintenance and doesn't break down -- other than if it's beaten-up physically, of course.
You can give a Chromebook to grandma or your 3-year-old and you won't have to be on tech support standby. Give them the computer and you never hear from them again. No needing to spend Thanksgiving troubleshooting Cousin Griswold's laptop anymore.
Life on a Chrome OS PC is pretty simple: On a Chromebook, you optimize your activities using Google's services, with a simple sign-in:
- Type your emails in Gmail.
- Write your stuff in Google Docs.
- Create your spreadsheets in Google Docs.
- Surf the web, Facebook, Twitter, book your airline tickets in Chrome.
All without the headache of maintaining an old-fashioned PC.