The open-source Chromium-OS project is gaining steam, and Google is constantly adding new power to its portfolio. So, where's our new hardware?
In simple terms - The Chrome devices available for sale today are going stale - we're all more than ready for something delicious, fresh and juicy to hit the enterprise space, but it appears we're going to need to wait until the Summer before we can recommend any significant purchase in the Chrome device space. After all, the last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of money on an outdated or EOL device (no matter how affordable Chrome solutions might be).
Usually, by this time of year, we've got our hands full of new devices to present to the educational and enterprise sectors, but this year we've been left discouragingly without an impressive Chrome device to show as we work our way towards the Midsize Enterprise Summit.
Should You Wait Before Making a Chrome Device Investment?
Chrome devices should already be the next big thing for today's enterprises. They're innovative - with easy access to the state-of-the-art Google Cloud Platform, remote desktops and Android Apps. Chrome devices are incredibly cost-effective to manage too. Google's devices seem to focus on the less-is-more mantra when it comes to workflow operations - and that process is working for them.
Still, if you're excited by the concept adding Chrome devices to your enterprise mix, you may have a few more months to wait before you should start spending your cash. Specifically, we're waiting for the arrival of "Google Cloud Next 18", coming in July. This event, running between the 24th and 27th of July in San Francisco is where partners, customers, influencers, developers, and anyone else in the cloud community can come together to plan their next move in the Google Cloud.
With hundreds of breakout sessions, live demos, and hands-on training, we're pretty sure that we're going to see some exciting roll-outs during this Summer event - if you can only push yourself to wait that long.
3 reasons why we think it's probably best to wait until Summer for your Chrome Deployments.
This Season's EDU Class of Chrome Devices is Slow to Roll Out
It's fair to say that Chrome devices rule the education sector and provide a fantastic playground for today's Google developers. Many of the new devices available in the network today take advantage of a stylus, and there are two new manufacturers in the marketplace that recently announced their own detachable tablet forms. A-Open also has the Chrome Base Commercial, but these things are practically impossible to get hold of right now.
Even the Lenovo new E-Series appears to have problems in the line, with potential version one issues on the core units with delays and backorders affecting orders for tens of thousands of units already. The new Lenovo 100e Chromebook is the replacement to the most ubiquitous (and now End of Life) device in education, The Lenovo N23 Chromebook. If you really want to get your hands on the new deliveries in the EDU and enterprise areas, then you're going to need to show a lot of patience and be willing to make a large investment without a demo unit.
💤 Current Chrome Devices are Tired and Dated
We've already used the Samsung Chromebook Pro and Google Pixelbook in circulation and you might be thinking that those systems are enough to keep you going for the meantime. However, the truth is that Chrome's original flagship devices are growing more old and weak by the minute. Samsung's only update to their Chromebook Pro for 2018 was a back-lit keyboard - which isn't particularly exciting.
Produced more than 2 years ago, Pixelbook's hardware is outdated too. It's not like Google doesn't have something great to offer the hardware space either. In fact, the group recently announced a new Education tablet designed with Chrome OS. The Acer Chromebook Tab should be one of the first Chrome tablets for schools that are specifically designed for use by kids.
Of course, while this development is exciting, it's not exactly what today's enterprises are looking for when it comes to flashy new tech. Yes, it gives educators a new way to get technology into the hands of their students - but company leaders aren't looking for devices made for kids.
There are Continued Painpoints with Android Apps on ChromeOS
Finally, a recent comment posted on the Chromium board suggests that Chrome OS might make the decision to skip over the Android Oreo version to the "P" Android version instead when it arrives later this year. Currently, some compatible Chromebooks are working on Nougat, while smartphone manufacturers are still looking for ways to roll out Oreo at the end of 2018.
A preview level of the Android P system is available for the Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel L, and Pixel smartphones, but when it comes to the OS for your chrome devices beyond the smartphone, you've got some time to wait. Of course, that might not be a bad thing. Up until now the Android apps on Chrome devices, which were originally announced in 2016, have been pretty unstable at best - even on the brand-new 2017 devices that Google suggested would have the power and control to use Enterprise licensing strategies.
If Chrome is thinking of skipping over the mid-year period with their OS Android updates, then maybe this could be another sign that it's better to wait until summer before you make any significant investments.
Google Hardware for the Enterprise - Wait For it.
Right now, Chrome OS hardware is more of a gamble for enterprises than it needs to be. This Cranky Chromie says that it might be time for us to all show a little bit of patience and wait for the hardware to officially catch up to the OS.
Expect to put a circle on your calendar sometime around summer and be ready to explore late summer and fall as the new season for new Chrome devices. This would put a new release of products exactly in line with the upcoming Google 'Next' event and 'Just in Time' back to school. In the meantime, for the latest tender chunks of Chrome, G Suite and Google Cloud news, you know where to come.