The Chromest Netcast #15 – Video – “Chrome vs. Windows 10 S”

Chromebooks sales are up 38% and Windows PC sales are down, Microsoft’s Chrome OS ‘Killer’ probably isn’t, six useful tips for your Chromebook, the difference between Chrome OS and Windows 10 S, my mea culpa from the last netcast!

The Chromest Netcast #15 on YouTube

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The Chromest Netcast #15 – Audio – “Chrome vs. Windows 10 S”

Chromebooks sales are up 38% and Windows PC sales are down, Microsoft’s Chrome OS ‘Killer’ probably isn’t, six useful tips for your Chromebook, the difference between Chrome OS and Windows 10 S, my mea culpa from the last netcast!

The Chromest Netcast #15 on YouTube

Chromest Netcast RSS Video Feed

Chromest Netcast RSS Audio Feed

The Difference Between Google Chrome and the New Windows S Operating System

Here’s why Google isn’t worried!

Windows 10 S vs Chrome OS: What’s the Difference?

Guiding Tech – By: Ajinkya Bhamburkar – “Last week, Microsoft released a new Surface laptop and a new edition of Windows 10, the S. While not the upgrade to the Surface Pro 4 that everyone was hoping for, the new laptop is sleek & beautiful. But more than that, it’s a statement made by Microsoft to showcase the new OS, much like what Google did with it’s mighty(and now discontinued) Pixel.

With Windows 10 S, Microsoft is hoping to take on Chrome OS, which has been a darling of school & college goers with it’s cheap hardware and equally light OS. So what makes Windows 10 S different from it. Quite a few things, which we are going to see today. Below are the top 5 ways in which both the OS’s differ.

1. Windows 10 S is not light
With Chrome being the competitor, many might think that Windows 10 S is as lightweight as the Chrome OS. But that’s not the case. Apart from few under the hood changes in areas of battery life & performance, the S is essentially comparable to Windows 10 Pro edition, albeit with few features cut down.

Disk space wise, the installer for 64-bit version of Chromium OS is 116 MB in size & it takes around 7 GB when installed. As for Windows 10 S, we can’t test that as we don’t have the new Surface book and you can’t download Windows 10 S from anywhere. But I am sure it would be definitely greater than what Chromium OS demands.

2. Windows 10 S is not Cloud Based
The whole point of Chrome OS was to get you faster online. So they shifted the OS part to the cloud, making you online as soon as you boot up the PC.

This also made the OS much lighter as majority of the files were pulled from the cloud instead being stored on your PC. In contrast Windows 10 S is not cloud and will take up disk space just like regular Windows.

3. Windows 10 S can be Upgraded
If you don’t like being forced to use Edge, Bing & only Windows Store apps, you can upgrade to full fledged Windows 10 Pro and remove all these restrictions for a fee of $49.

While this is a little frustrating as you just spent $999 on the laptop, at least you get an option. In Chrome OS world, any kind of upgrading means switching to a different OS altogether.

4. Choice of Hardware

Chrome OS being an older and popular operating system has many hardware options from laptops starting from as low as $299, mini PCs and your own PC. As Chromium OS(there’s a difference between Google Chrome OS and Chromium OS) is open source you can download it and install it on your own PC or laptop.

On the other hand, Windows 10 S comes bundled only with the Surface laptop(and other models from OEMs). Moreover currently there is no other option than the (pricey) Surface laptop which offers Windows 10 S.

Also, as a plus point, Windows 10 S offers the same hardware compatibility as main Windows, so no driver hunting is needed and most of the peripherals will work out of the box.

5. App Eco-System

Choosing between the two is much like choosing between iOS & Android. With Chrome OS you will have to live within the Google Eco system of Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Maps etc. For other apps there is the Chrome OS app store or one can even run Android apps.

Windows 10 S is similarly bound to the Windows Store UWP apps. While not quite in numbers as Android apps, the upgrade fee allows you install the almost uncountable Win32 apps.

The Chrome OS is mostly limited to lightweight browser based games while Windows Store app has titles like Gears of War and Forza.

So What’s Your Choice?
With the Back to School season coming in few months, Microsoft has rightly timed the release. But will you switch? With many schools & colleges already heavily invested in the Chrome eco-system, it remains to be seen whether the features & appeal of Windows 10 S is enough to make them switch. Do share your views on the new Windows 10 S in the comments.”

Six Useful Tips For Your Chromebook

Here’s some hints and tips.

Six Useful Chromebook Tricks You Might Not Know About

Know Your Mobile – By: Michael Grothaus – “Use these tricks and tips to get more out of your Chromebook

For years laptops have been rapidly eating into the desktop marketplace, becoming the preferred version of the PC most people want to own. And why not? After all, it’s great to be able to take your entire computer with you instead of being chained to your desk with it. And when it comes to laptops there’s no denying that some of the hottest and most genre-defining have been Chromebooks–laptops which are known as a ‘thin client’ notebooks.

But what is a Chromebook exactly? Many manufactures make Chromebooks (ASUS, HP, Lenovo) but the concept of a Chromebook itself was invented by Google, which makes it own Chromebook–the Pixel. Chromebooks are referred to as a ‘thin client’ notebook because for the most part it relies on a constant internet connection–or technically a connection to the millions of servers that make up ‘the internet’–to get anything done.

And you have TONS of choice when it comes to Chromebooks.

Even Samsung has joined the party now with a selection of very impressive Chromebooks.

Chromebooks run the Chrome OS, which is essentially Google’s Chrome web browser in OS form. On a Chromebook most of your files live online via Google’s services like Drive, Photos, Documents, and more and you just access them using the Chrome OS on the Chromebook device. Without an internet connection the Chromebook can’t access a lot of data, making it pretty limited in its uses.

But with an internet connection a Chromebook is probably all 95% of the population needs. And whether you use a Chromebook or are thinking about getting one, you’ll be able to take your Chromebook experience to the mx with these tips and tricks.

1) Talk to your Chromebook
This is probably my favorite Chromebook tip–because it really reflects where the future of human-computer interaction is going. You’ll already probably familiar with Google’s ‘Google Now’ voice assistant on smartphones, but did you know Google Now is backed into your Chromebook? You just need to enable it. To do so go the Settings dialog and under the Search heading check the box marked Enable ‘OK Google’ to start a voice search.

2) Learn your Chromebook keyboard shortcuts
If you look at a Chromebook keyboard you’ll notice it’s got a few differences from the keyboard of a normal laptop. Most notably, it has a Search key instead of a caps lock button. Because of its different keyboard, the Chromebook posts some different keyboard shortcuts than you’re used to. To find all the keyboard shortcuts specific to your Chromebook press Ctrl+Alt+? and a keyboard shortcut key map will appear on your screen. Alternately, hold down Alt, Ctrl, Shift or Search to see the shortcuts associated with each key.

3) Save files right to Google Drive
All Chromebooks have limited storage to save files locally on your device, but the real advantage of Chromebooks come when using them with cloud services to store files. By default a Chromebook will save files locally, but you can set up your Chromebook to always save files to Google Drive in the cloud by going to your settings and clicking ‘Show advanced settings’.

Under the Downloads header, click Change, and then select your Google Drive and click on the Open button. Finally, back on the Settings screen, uncheck the box marked ‘Ask where to save each file before downloading’ and next time you save a file it will automatically be saved to Drive.

4) Use Google Drive offline
Most people think you need to have an internet connection to create, edit, and save Google Documents on a Chromebook. However, you can actually work with all your Google Drive documents when your Chromebook is offline–you just need to enable this feature. Do so by going to the My Drive view in Google Drive, and then click on the gear icon and click Settings. Next check the box labelled ‘Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer’ next to the Offline header. Now any changes made to your documents while your Chromebook is offline are automatically synced back when you next have an internet connection.

5) Use your smartphone to unlock Chrome OS
One of my favorite tricks is using a smartphone to authenticate yourself and log into your Chromebook automatically instead of having to enter a password each time. To set this up go to the Settings page then click ‘Show advanced settings’. In the Smart Lock option, click Set up. Next you’ll pair your Chromebook to phone via Bluetooth. Once this is done the next time your phone is in range of your Chromebook, you’ll only need to click on your Chromebook user avatar to log in.

6) Mirror your Chromebook’s display with a Chromecast
As their name implies, Chromebooks only come in the laptop form factor. But what if you want a bigger display? Not to worry, if you also have a Chromecast plugged into a local TV you can mirror your Chromebook’s display right on your television. To do so simply click the status bar in the lower right-hand corner of your Chromebook’s screen. Select the Chromecast option and then choose your Chromecast from the list. Now your display will be mirrored to the TV connected to the Chromecast you chose.”

Microsoft’s Chrome OS “Killer” Probably Isn’t!

The newly announced Windows 10 S doesn’t appear to be much of a threat to Google Chrome OS.

Google isn’t afraid of Microsoft’s Chromebook clone, for obvious reasons

BRG – By: Mike Wehner – “Google’s Chrome OS and Chromebook computers are a bit hit among students from high school through college, thanks in no small part to their extreme affordability, ease of use, and overall simplicity. Yesterday, Microsoft announced Windows 10 S, a stripped-down version of its ubiquitous operating system designed with students in mind, along with the sleek, lightweight Surface Laptop. With Microsoft making such an obvious attempt to impose on the Chromebook market, you might expect Google to be on the defensive. Well, they’re not, and in an interview with Business Insider, one Google executive even boasted that Microsoft’s announcements were ‘validation.’

Google’s Prabhakar Raghavan, vice-president and head of G Suite apps, told the website that Windows 10 S and Microsoft’s overall strategy is just proof that Google is already doing the right thing when it comes to computers. ‘I’m happy to see validation of the approach we’ve taken,’ Raghavan said. ‘What educational institutions have demanded is simplicity. It’s a real test tube for all of us, whether it’s Microsoft or any of us, right.’

Judging by what we saw on stage from Microsoft, Google is probably fairly safe in assuming that its Chromebook business is safe, at least for the time being. Microsoft has chosen to go with a remarkably locked-down approach with Windows 10 S, including the inability for the user to change their default web browser (Microsoft Edge is the default) or even their preferred search engine. On top of that, the Surface Laptop, at $999, is twice (and in some cases three or four times) as expensive as some perfectly capable Chromebooks.”

Chromebook Sales Cut Into Windows 10 PC Sales!

I told you this day would come!

Chromebook shipments surge by 38 percent, cutting into Windows 10 PCs

i>PC World – By: Agam Shah – “In a slowing PC market, Chromebooks siphoned market share away from Windows PCs in 2016 as their popularity grew outside the education market.

Chromebook shipments grew by a stunning 38 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. Gartner estimated 9.4 million Chromebooks shipped, compared to 6.8 million units in 2015.

The number is just a fraction of overall PC shipments, but growth came in an otherwise down PC market. Overall PC shipments in 2016 were about 270 million units, a decline of about 6.2 percent, according to Gartner.

[ Further reading: Our best Windows 10 tricks, tips and tweaks ]
Looking forward, 2016 may go down as the best year ever for Chromebook shipment growth. Gartner is estimating shipments to continue growing in the coming years but at a slower pace.

In 2017, Gartner is projecting Chromebook shipments to be about 10.9 million units, a growth of about 16.3 percent compared to 2016. In 2018, the shipments will total about 11.9 million units, a growth of 8.6 percent.

Analyst firm IDC has also predicted Chromebook shipments will grow by double-digit percentages in coming years. Most of the Chromebooks are shipping to classrooms in the U.S., Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand.

There is also growing interest in Chromebooks from businesses in the finance and retail sectors. Companies are using Chromebooks as no-frills mobile thin clients, considering they are cheap to deploy and easy to manage, said Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Gartner.

Traditional client-server virtual desktops can be expensive to deploy and hard to manage. Conventional thin clients from companies like Dell, HP, and Ncomputing aren’t portable but remain popular as a way to centralize data on servers.

Chromebooks run on Google’s Chrome OS and are targeted at users who do most of their computing on the web. They are popular in classrooms because they are rugged, low-cost and fit into the limited budgets of schools. Schools are switching to Chromebooks from the expensive and fragile iPad.

The iPad had limited use for educators, many of whom need a keyboard, Kitagawa said.

While popular in the U.S., Chromebooks still haven’t broken through in international markets, especially in Asia, Kitagawa said.

Some basic problems, like a lack of cellular modems, are holding back the adoption of Chromebooks. Chromebooks today are reliant on Wi-Fi, which has a strong presence in the U.S. but not developing countries, Kitagawa said.

Google, however, is taking steps to grow in international markets. Android is popular worldwide, and many new Chromebooks support apps downloaded from the Google Play store. Newer Chromebooks have touchscreens to run Android apps.

Microsoft this week announced Windows 10 S OS to counter the growing popularity of Chromebooks. Windows 10 S will run applications downloadable from the Windows App store, similar to Chromebooks.

Also, like Chromebooks, teachers will be able to easily set up Windows 10 S laptops. Laptops with Windows 10 S will be priced starting at around US$189 will begin shipping in the coming months.”