I’m sure you’ve seen the ads by this point. Microsoft’s newest spokesman, Jim Parsons (Sheldon from Big Bang Theory) sidled up to Michael Phelps, urging him to upgrade his slowing PC so that he can do things like play 4K video.
The commercials are witty and entertaining, but only highlight one very, very big difference in owning a Windows laptop and a Chromebook.
Repeated in these ads is the idea that older Window’s machines simply aren’t fast. Granted, the advertisement is meant to highlight how fast current machines actually are.
And, they are correct in that assertion. Fresh, new, top-of-the-line Windows devices are fast and fluid. Just go to Best Buy and mess around on a Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book. They are fast and beautiful machines, even if they do cost as much as 4-6 strong Chromebooks.
We’re not here to talk about price differences, though. That’s a never-ending discussion of price and value, and it is best left for another time.
What these ad spots do highlight, however, is a very big distinction in Chromebook and Windows life.
Speed Over Time
Likely, you’ve owned a Windows PC or two and have lived with the eventual slowing and death of that device. It happens and we know it will continue. Windows is a large, capable, and mammoth OS. I don’t hate Windows and actually enjoy Windows 10 on the right hardware.
The problem is, as we all know, that regardless of how much I dump into a Surface or other piece of hardware, in a few years that PC will begin to slow.
Microsoft is saying just that in these new spots!
And, to be fair, it is something we’ve come to simply live with. MacOS does this as well. Windows is not alone in this flaw. Pick up a 4-year-old Mac and see how quickly it operates now. I’m surrounded by Macbooks at the office I work in, and anyone outside that 2-3 year window has performance gaps as the OS continues to grow and update.
Again, being even and fair here, most tech is this way. Software drives forward and hardware is always being pushed to keep up. It is the nature of the beast.
And Then There Was Chrome OS
Yet, in the midst of this thinking, we have Chrome OS sitting to the side and quietly proclaiming, “Um, not me.”
Take this example for instance. When I originally unboxed and tested the Acer Chromebook 15 with the base Celeron processor, I saw a score of 12,875 (you can see it in the review video). When I run that same test right now, I get a score of 14,877.
That is a 2,000 point jump on THE SAME HARDWARE.
Think on that for a second. A device that is used daily around our home has actually become markedly faster over the course of a year. It would be a departure to simply say that this Chromebook is just as fast as the day I bought it.
Instead, I can say in a measurable way that it is actually faster and better than the day I bought it.
Nothing in tech works that way. Everything slows down. Phones, tablets, and laptops always do this.
And yet, here I sit with demonstrable evidence of the contrary.
Chromebooks get better with time. Simply put.
I don’t think I have to explain any further why that is an amazing and encouraging thing.
Now, I know there will be folks that get all upset and say that Chrome OS is “nothing more than a browser.” Let me stop you there and say that this isn’t that discussion. I’m not saying Chrome OS is better than Mac OS or Windows. Or as capable for that matter.
But, as a vision for what computing is and can be for the future, I love Chrome OS. I work and recreate with it every day and enjoy it immensely. Perhaps it isn’t for every single person in the world, and that is just fine.
For the people that find out that this platform can be their one and only computing solution, the future is only going to get faster.
Glad you are here.