The feeding frenzy over the Chromebook continues in the tech press.
By the end of the year, they are all going to be so embarrassed.
It will take another seven to ten years for a Chrome-like all-Net vision to be prevalent.
And when that happens, it will destroy hardware as we know it.
Hardware will all become blank and dumb and generic.
One notebook, netbook, tablet, cellphone, will be like any other.
None of them will need anything more than a minimum standard set of specs to be operational and functional. This kind of commoditization is what Chinese manufacturing excels at.
Since everything — the OS, the UI, the software, and your own files — will reside in The Cloud, there will be no need for the kind of mobile hardware we have today.
Imagine a mirror. A mirror reflects what is put in front of it. Mirrors are compatible with everything.
That kind of universal adaptability and use is what hardware will become.
It won’t matter if you are using Chrome in the Cloud, iOS in the Cloud, Linux in the Cloud, webOS in the Cloud, or something that has yet to be imagined — an Uber OS that Just Works.
Any piece of hardware will be able to run it.
All of the hardware will be blank and dumb, fast, wireless, and cheap.
Hundred-dollar notebooks, seventy-five netbooks, fifty-dollar tablets, twenty-five dollar phones.
Of course, there will always be manufacturers cutting themselves an edge with design. So a blank Apple tablet will have more surface style than a generic no-name tablet from China. But even that premium won’t command anything near the kind of iPad prices we see today.
General wireless blank hardware will be so damn cheap, on sale everywhere, that all the worries we have today about theft and replacement will vanish. If you lose a paper newspaper, do you care? That’s the kind of no-worry world that’s ahead of us.
Google’s Chromebook is the first step towards that.
But it’s only a first step — and a baby step at that.