Chromebooks - not Microsoft Windows and not Apple Mac
In the world of personal computers most people know about Apple and Microsoft having their own operating systems and how those differing systems affect their choice when buying a machine.
Some people even know about Linux and the various flavours of that. It has been around for ages. It's free and quite good but still mostly for the people with time, patience and a bit of a technical bent.
But I suspect far fewer people have heard of Google Chrome OS or have an idea where it fits into the personal computer landscape.
I'm not going to analyse these operating systems and waste your time with wordy reviews and technical details.
Because you can find heaps of that all over the place.
No, this post is about raising your awareness that Google Chrome OS is now being pushed out on laptops through retails stores.
I have had customers sold Chromebooks (Chrome OS loaded laptops) who didn't know they weren't getting a Microsoft Windows machine.
This is a problem because, much like Apple vs Microsoft, Chrome OS doesn't "do" all the Microsoft programs and app's that you may be used to on a PC (or a Mac).
For example, if you are a fan of (or trapped with) Microsoft Office (Microsoft 365, Office 365...whatever it is being called right now) then you need to know that Chrome OS can't install Office the way you'd assume of a Windows or Mac machine.
Chrome OS can only use the Office app's that are available through the Google Play store.
Chrome OS has come a long way over the years and could well satisfy the needs of a lot of new customers.
But it isn't for everyone...yet.
So if a salesperson offers you a Chromebook as a solution to your computing needs, make sure you have all your questions ready for them.
Be ready for a learning curve, some obstacles and maybe even returning it for a refund.
Good luck, have fun :-)