Commentary

All I Want For Christmas Is A Cr-48 In Every Room

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Some people want a television in every room. I want a computer in every room. An Internet-connected device I can turn on quickly and get started checking the day's news first thing in the morning. I'm not really a television person, but spend oodles of hours surfing the Web daily. Shamelessly, I admit to spending way too much time on the Web during the weekend, too, either on my PC or mobile phone. In me and others like me, advertisers and marketers find nirvana. Think of it.

In the early 2000, I had an opportunity to visit Microsoft's home of the future at their Redmond, Wash, campus. At the time the home featured multiple computers, living room entertainment center and bedroom mirror that would keep track of the inventory in your closet. It all fed into a central server where those living in the home could store a collection of movies, music, documents and more.

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The electronics industry also used to talk about the refrigerator of the future. An ice box that connected to the Internet and automatically sent a signal to a grocery store once weekly to replenish items. Sort of like a part auto-replenishment supply chain platform for a car manufacturer.

While the idea of a server that connects all electronics in the home sounds cool, it's probably not the most cost effective network. Software as a service (SaaS) providers like Salesforce.com discovered that out years ago. It may make more sense to support home electronics through a cloud computing notebook. Embed the screen in the kitchen countertop and put the keyboard in a pull out draw. Embed the Internet device in the mirror in the bathroom or build a cabinet in the wall. And keep one in the car, so when you're out and about you cannot only connect with electronics in the home, but also log on to the Internet.

So, all I want for Christmas 2011 is the ability to install an Internet-connected device in every room of my home. Think of the increased time consumers would spend on the Web. The more time spent on the Web, the more chances advertisers and marketers have to reach existing and potential customers.

The Google Cr-48 notebook running the new Chrome operating system (OS) could make that wish come true. It's fast, taking less than 15 seconds to power up from a cold machine. I'm test driving one of the devices, but Google has no plans to make this hardware available to the general public. They simply want the feedback on the operating system. Many companies claim their device provides an out-of-the-box experience, but I can truly say that this gadget meets the definition in every sense of the words.

Google's Internet-connected Cr-48 notebook turns on and off nearly instantaneously, offers a special key on the keyboard to quickly access the search function on Google Chrome, makes video or voice calls possible, and lets users install cloud-computing apps from the Chrome Web Store.

The nicest thing about the new Chrome OS notebook is that it comes with Wi-Fi, as well as 3G support from Verizon. There's a pay as you go service. And each month you get 100MB of connectivity for free for two years. After that it's $9.99 monthly.

Google insists Chrome OS allows you to browse the Web securely, but one feature I don't like about cloud computing is storing important documents on a server I have little control over. Maybe some security experts can provide insight in the comments section or send me an email.

I highly recommend ad and marketing agencies apply to get a Google Internet-connected device. It won't cost a dime, but will give you a chance to test drive the future of computing in the cloud to better understand how to design and build future marketing and advertising campaigns.

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