Does anyone have a view on the potential success, or otherwise, of Google’s Chromebooks? I do have faith in cloud computing for some applications - particularly where collaboration and mobile access are important. I am less convinced that cloud computing is for every application. What is the future for favourite applications, such as Scrivener? Would it be necessary to write a cloud version of every application our there, if Chromebooks come to dominate?

Software always has to be rewritten for different operating systems. As for Chromebooks - brrr. Given the massive amounts of private data stolen from massive companies such as Sony, would anyone really want their novels, family photographs and personal letters stored only on Google’s servers? Sure, we already store a lot on places like Dropbox, but it’s a big shift from using a cloud services as a backup system to using it as your primary data storage solution.

I could see a Chromebook as a research device: gathering notes, URLs, images, etc for downloading to a Mac. And the new Google Docs editor has improved sharing and collaboration features. Of course, we can already use these services on an iOS or Mac device. Chrome will only succeed if the machines are super cheap, the cloud storage more secure, and the apps more innovative than Google’s present set.