Two recent articles belittling the need and use cases for Chromebooks also belittle those consumers who buy them. It’s a shame that some are stuck in the old-school traditional computing model where the thought of “more is better” overlooks cases where less is more.

The Chromebook pundits have their heads in the sand again. In the past week, I’ve read not one, but two extremely myopic commentaries on how a PC easily trumps a Chromebook. One says “Chromebooks are a joke,” while the other suggests that a PC can already run the Chrome browser and do so much more, so “there’s no good reason to buy a Chromebook.”

Really? Before I get into why I take issue, here’s a peek at the articles.

Last week I read “Assessing the Chromebook threat” from noted Windows blogger and author, Paul Thurrott. Here’s a snippet that’s filled with a few inaccuracies right off the bat.

“First, Chrome OS is still very much just a freaking web browser. As much as I like Google Chrome, I still find the general Chrome OS experience to be incredibly limiting. You’re basically using a single web browser window with multiple tabs, though recent Chrome OS versions feature a Windows 7-like taskbar at the bottom of the screen, which does make a bit of perceptual difference.”

Just a “freaking web browser”? I suspect Thurrott hasn’t paid attention to what we’ve noted for the past six months: Chrome and Chrome OS are strategic platforms to usurp engagement on the desktop. Yes, they have a front-facing browser, but look behind the window and you’ll see several ways — Packaged Apps and Native Client, for example — that developers can build rich apps.

Oh, and those apps work outside of the browser, so “using a single web browser window with multiple tabs” simply isn’t accurate. Since May, for example, I’ve been playing a console-like game in its own window on my Chromebook using an Xbox 360 controller. Just a browser, indeed…
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