Android isn’t Google’s only operating system. The company also offers Chrome OS — a simple operating system based on the Chrome web browser that’s designed to run on low-power laptops or desktops which Google calls Chrombooks or Chromeboxes. But you don’t hear much about Chrome OS these days, because Chromebooks haven’t had much commercial success.

But Google says the Chrome OS laptops are proving popular with schools. Today the company announced that school districts in Iowa, Illinois, and South Carolina will be providing Chromebooks to almost 27,000 primary and high school students.

Google says there are already “hundreds of schools in 41 states” using Chromebooks in one or more classrooms. But today’s announcement includes several schools or school districts which will be providing 1-to-1 computing, meaning that every single student will get a Chrome OS laptop.

Chromebooks typically have low power processors, decent battery life, and a small amount of local storage. The idea is that you don’t need a lot of local storage, because your data is stored online. Instead of running local apps such as Microsoft Office, you can run web apps such as Google Docs.

There’s really not much that you can do with Chrome OS that you couldn’t also do with a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer running the Chrome web browser. But Chromebooks tend to boot more quickly, offer better protection against malware since most of the software you’re running is actually hosted on remote servers, and allows you to save your settings to the cloud so that you can lose, break, or loan out you Chromebook and pick up where you left off on another machine.

I can see how those features would be appealing to educational institutions that don’t want to have to deal with keeping software up to date and secure on thousands of individual computers.

Share this article:

Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign

or...

Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

6 replies on “27 thousand students getting Chromebooks”

  1. The South Carolina school district mentioned in the article has licensed Ericom AccessNow for VMware View for use along with their Chromebooks by its 30,000 students and staff. AccessNow for VMware View will be deployed across its 35 K-12 schools.

    Ericom AccessNow for VMware View is a pure HTML5 RDP client that enables users with HTML5-compatible browsers to connect to their VMware virtual desktops – and run those desktops in a browser. It does not require Java, Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX, or any other underlying technology to be installed on end-user devices – an HTML5 browser is all that is required.

    For more information on this case study, visit:

    https://www.ericom.com/pr/pr_111206.asp?URL_ID=708

    Adam

    Note: I work for Ericom

  2. Sorry, the chromebook is pointless as long as it is shipping with an x86 chip.  Probably still pointless with an ARM but at least it could compete with Google’s ‘other’ operating system offering in the battery life dept.

    1. x86 chips aren’t the problem, it’s that despite being intended as a cloud based OS that Chrome still requires a level of hardware performance, especially for those apps that either require more CPU resources or take advantage of native code for hardware acceleration.

      Google provided the Native Client specifically to make it easier for developers to provide such enhancements and some recent Chromebooks have switched to a slightly more powerful Celeron instead of the Intel ATOM to provide the extra performance.

      Meanwhile ARM is just starting to rival Intel ATOM range CPU performance and there is the question of whether Chrome is as well optimized for power efficiency as Android.

      One thing most people don’t realize is a lot of ARM’s energy efficiency advantage comes from the ability to turn off what’s not needed but not all OS’es are designed with that in mind.

      So ARM Chromebooks face the problem that only the top end ARM chips may provide enough performance and even if the battery efficiency is better than x86, they may still not be priced as low as some people think it will be.

      Like Intel ATOM systems are usually priced with much lower profit margins than pretty much any other devices and those include ARM based ones, which counters the price advantage they otherwise would have over higher priced x86 chips.

      Meaning, aside from certain applications that Chrome can provide a better deal in things like reduced IT costs.  It may be that Android may wind up getting wider acceptance.

      Provided Windows 8 doesn’t prove to be a game changer…

  3. …. and then you read today that google will change its over all privacy policies of all its services ….
    you read about the  timeline enforcment for all facebook members ..
    you read ihe ipublishing policies of apple ….
    meaning “sub iugum” of all their users  …

    and stupid school administrations following this attitudes with glassy eyes and open mouths (and obviously cooked brains) .. loosing all freedom of independancy … a brave new world it will be

    1. Clueless++;
      Google streamlined their policies, meaning you get one policy for the whole bunch of services they offer. And contrary to Apple, there is no lock-in. I can create in Google Docs and download it in a selection of formats.

      The real bonus of the chromebooks comes from the security: You can’t change a single file without the OS noticing this, everything is encrypted – no choice, Everything is stored in the cloud. Perfect if your clients are students.

      Previous setups included restoring a complete image of the OS on every boot, and backing up documents to a network location. Admin nightmare, I can tell you…

Comments are closed.