I had a manager at Gartner who had weaned paper out of his life. He would review tons of our draft research papers on a good old screen. And this was 15 years ago. Dennis Howlett says he has similarly not printed a page in a long, long time. Inspired by these folks I have similarly minimized my use of paper – and dramatically lowered the cost of printing with Brother Lasers, squeezing 2 printed pages on 1 etc. My business partners continue, however, to conspire – airline boarding passes, credit card item print outs. My family still continues to patronize our HP Color printer, with its 4 cartridges costing 15x what the Brother’s does.
Long transition to paperless.
As I unpacked my new Chromebook (my October “Black Friday” purchase) and set it up, it hit me we are going through another major transition. We have been gradually becoming what Workday calls Citizens of the Cloud.
Google is accelerating the transition. There are number of clues this is the ultimate thin client. Screen 1 of setup requires a Wi-fi network connection. You can stop right there if you do not have that. But think about it – with wi-fi via airports, cafes and smartphone hotspots, that’s not much of constraint. The local storage is a measly 16GB of flash MMC. In contrast, Google packs as part of the price, 2 years of 100 GB on its cloud storage. The applications we have learned to love and hate over the last 2 decades – most courtesy of Microsoft - do not work. Welcome to Calculator, Camera, Docs, Sheets, Slides among others – most designed to work better in cloud, collaborative mode that when you are actually in the clouds with crappy or no wi-fi. Google Hangouts takes aim at another Microsoft property, Skype.
And in what has to be an ultimate reminder you are going through a major transition is this warning “Don't try to plug your printer into your Chrome device -- it won't work!”
I have used several Google apps for years, and have had an Android phone for 2 years. And yet, I am not ready to leave on my trip this week with just the featherweight Chromebook. The transition will take a little time. But at just $ 250 for the device (actually half that when you factor the 2 years of cloud storage), Google is tempting millions to taste what it means to become a fuller Citizen of the Cloud.
Many of us illegals have just been offered amnesty!