We've long known that IT was moving to the cloud. I believe that the Chromebook has very quietly been telling us that the desktop is moving to the cloud as well. Dell is the first OEM to realize that that can mean more than just Google's cloud services. As other OEMs see the possibilities for providing their customers with branded, business-oriented cloud services, I see them pushing Chromebooks to SMB and enterprise customers.
At day's end, my take is that Chromebooks are pushing Windows aside because their integration of the desktop, the Internet and the cloud is simply more attractive than Microsoft's desktop-bound vision, both to users and businesses. Microsoft wants to transform itself into a service company, but its approach has been to force everyone into a new interface across all devices: Metro (to use the original name, which Microsoft long ago abandoned). Google is trying to get to the same place, and by making the familiar Web interface the face of the new desktop, it's winning out.
Windows won't go quickly. Microsoft's installed base is enormous. But tomorrow belongs to cloud-friendly desktops, and unless Microsoft changes directions, that desktop is going to be Chrome OS.
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