Our friend (and fellow Google enthusiast) JR Raphael published a piece over at Computerworld intended to help people get to the bottom of a question that’s near and dear to our hearts:
Is Chrome OS right for you?
In his post, JR posed three questions that readers could answer to learn if they were ready to make the move to Chromebooks, noting that people are always asking him if Chromebooks might be right for their needs.
Although JR’s post was seemingly targeted more at consumers, we often hear a similar question from decision-makers and influencers at organizations that are considering making the move to CloudReady.
We thought that providing some additional context to the questions in JR’s quiz could be helpful for people considering a similar question:
right for you?
1. Do you spend most of your time using the web and web-centric services?
JR’s first question really gets to the heart of the matter. If your school or business (or even a specific team or OU within your organization) spends most of their working time in a browser, particularly if they’re using a productivity suite such as G Suite or Office 365 online, CloudReady’s a homerun for you. You’ll benefit from the speed you get thanks to the lightweight OS, and IT teams will love the inherent security and protection from malware and viruses...not to mention the ability to manage all your CloudReady devices using the Google Admin console.
2. Do you have specific local programs that you absolutely need, or could most of the things you do on a computer be accomplished with web-centric equivalents — along with Android and/or Linux apps to fill in any gaps?
The second question in JR’s Chrome OS quiz highlights an important piece of any transition: change management.
As we alluded to in the previous response, there will always be groups of people who are more ready than others to make the jump to using CloudReady or Chrome OS simply because it’s designed to work the way they do now—not the way people worked ten or fifteen or even twenty years ago. Something we like to say: If you could design an OS, you’d design CloudReady.
In some cases, though, users might have to make some minor adjustments to the way they work...whether it’s transitioning to the online versions of apps, as JR mentioned, or using a virtual desktop infrastructure like Citrix or VMware to access legacy apps in order to maintain an expected level of user experience and functionality.
(And for all you consumers, hobbyists, and tinkerers out there, CloudReady Home Edition offers additional functionality to help with the app gap, including experimental Docker support, Flatpaks for Linux apps, VirtualBox, and Crostini.)
3. Try living only in the Chrome browser on your PC for a week, without opening any local programs. How does it feel?
The final question is where CloudReady really shines, and where the difference between CloudReady and Chromebooks becomes very clear.
As JR outlined, you can simulate the Chrome OS experience using only the Chrome browser on your existing computer—although he admits it’s a less than optimal approach, since it ignores a lot of the OS’s key benefits, including faster boot times and streamlined updates.
To truly test the full experience, you can either:
1. Pay out of pocket for a Chromebook; or
2. Install CloudReady on existing Mac or PC hardware for free
If you’re still not sure if CloudReady is right for you, we get it—and we’re here to help. Because the beauty of CloudReady is that you’re getting all the benefits of Chrome OS, but on the hardware you choose...whether that’s a computer you already have, a school lab full of aging devices, a fleet of computers your business has had in service for couple of years, or highly specialized form factors you need to do business.
Curious to see what using CloudReady would be like for your school or business?
Sign up for a trial and install it on a few machines to gauge whether it meets your needs. Or just install it on a secondary laptop for a week to see what you think about it.
Not sure you’re ready for a full trial?
Not a problem. Create a CloudReady USB installer and use it to live boot your existing computer to see what the CloudReady experience is like.