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(Ars Technica)   Google announces Chrome desktop for $999. Why is everybody laughing?   (arstechnica.com) divider line 51
    More: Dumbass, video conferencing, Google, Chromebox, Google Apps, Wireless LAN, autofocus, Google Calendar  
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4916 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 Feb 2014 at 10:56 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



51 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-02-10 10:37:02 AM  
Chrome as an OS is WAY overrated

Those Chrome Apps are just a shiatty relocation of your bookmark bar. OMG YOU CAN VIEW A WEBSITE OFFLINE! Its not like we've been doing that for quite some time.

Chrome Apps are just repackaging of old technology with a nice marketing term.
 
2014-02-10 10:40:22 AM  
It's Nervous laughter derived from true fear.
 
2014-02-10 10:47:41 AM  
I see nothing wrong with that. It's aimed towards enterprise users and it's a video conference rig in a box. $1000 bucks is a hell of a lot cheaper than a telepresence setup from, say, Cisco or whoever that will set you back $10,000.
 
2014-02-10 10:59:27 AM  
Yeah, a business class video conferencing setup is a deal at only $1k.  Assuming it works.
 
2014-02-10 11:06:19 AM  
I think I already have all the components in that system:

Intel NUC kit (yes the PC is actually that small), Chrome browser, Logitech camera (totally the camera they have), projector and phone capable of conference calls.

And the best part:  my company barely uses that kind of technology unless we need a manufacturer to demo a process to us and they use face time on their iphone for that.
 
2014-02-10 11:11:09 AM  
Actually, not a really bad deal considering their target audience.
 
2014-02-10 11:12:08 AM  
Paying Google $1000 for the privilege of being snooped on ?

No thanks...
 
2014-02-10 11:15:05 AM  

ReverendJasen: Yeah, a business class video conferencing setup is a deal at only $1k.  Assuming it works.


Yeah, this isn't a "desktop computer" in the traditional sense of the term.
 
2014-02-10 11:20:49 AM  

RexTalionis: I see nothing wrong with that. It's aimed towards enterprise users and it's a video conference rig in a box. $1000 bucks is a hell of a lot cheaper than a telepresence setup from, say, Cisco or whoever that will set you back $10,000.



^ This.  Google isn't selling a desktop.  It's selling a corporate communication system.
 
2014-02-10 11:32:27 AM  

cman: Chrome as an OS is WAY overrated

Those Chrome Apps are just a shiatty relocation of your bookmark bar. OMG YOU CAN VIEW A WEBSITE OFFLINE! Its not like we've been doing that for quite some time.

Chrome Apps are just repackaging of old technology with a nice marketing term.


They took a page out of Apples book then?
 
2014-02-10 11:49:55 AM  

RexTalionis: I see nothing wrong with that. It's aimed towards enterprise users and it's a video conference rig in a box. $1000 bucks is a hell of a lot cheaper than a telepresence setup from, say, Cisco or whoever that will set you back $10,000.


Plus a year of enterprise support from Google. I have no idea what my entire company spends on video conferencing every year, but I know that just my team of 15 budgets more than $999 for it annually.
 
2014-02-10 11:55:40 AM  

RexTalionis: I see nothing wrong with that. It's aimed towards enterprise users and it's a video conference rig in a box. $1000 bucks is a hell of a lot cheaper than a telepresence setup from, say, Cisco or whoever that will set you back $10,000.


Yah, but what enterprise is actually going to trust Google living as an OS in their network?   ...well any smart enterprise.
 
2014-02-10 11:56:10 AM  
Sorry to say, don't run tele-video/ web cam traffic ( UDP) over wireless; you are just asking for lag/ jitter/ and static... oh, most video conferencing experiences are shiatty, based on the room layout, size/distance of peoples heads to cam, and especially lighting ( both only fluorescent tubes, and worse only overhead ).

All those secondary services don't help either, both a different cell phone call in service ( using cell phones to call into a tele-video session is just asking for trouble ); and a bridging to Cisco/Avaya systems... ouch.

By the way, Camera Quality, and especially the light meter sensitivity are also important, and in this cheesey ad photo, having a super-bright window off to the side of the camera/ people is just asking for trouble with shadows on people's faces...

just my .02 bitcoins worth...
 
2014-02-10 11:58:02 AM  
Everyone look at subby. LOOK and LAUGH.

static.coverphotobox.com
 
2014-02-10 12:03:15 PM  
"Chrome desktop" is hardly the same as "enterprise-class video conferencing hardware"

Fail
 
2014-02-10 12:04:43 PM  

ReverendJasen: Yeah, a business class video conferencing setup is a deal at only $1k.  Assuming it works.


And who knows?

With a wind at it's back people might actually use it too!

/worked for 4 communications companies with absolutely stellar video conferencing setups
//and not one of them ever saw even 5 minutes of use
///because then the suits wouldn't get their 4 day "face time/business trip" weekends in
 
2014-02-10 12:18:07 PM  

RexTalionis: I see nothing wrong with that. It's aimed towards enterprise users and it's a video conference rig in a box. $1000 bucks is a hell of a lot cheaper than a telepresence setup from, say, Cisco or whoever that will set you back $10,000.


I dont know what you're smoking, but I just received a quote to do 3 rooms and it was close to 3/4 of a million.
Of course it was ripe with BS that they convinced the CEO that he wanted, but there's serious money to be made in setting up a big TV and lync or skype or whatever you chose to use.
Its going to be great when the figure out you can't train meatheads to answer phones from a TV screen.
 
2014-02-10 12:19:14 PM  

RexTalionis: I see nothing wrong with that. It's aimed towards enterprise users and it's a video conference rig in a box. $1000 bucks is a hell of a lot cheaper than a telepresence setup from, say, Cisco or whoever that will set you back $10,000.

I've been contemplating of using an Xbox One as our company's new video conference device. The new Kinect seems to have better video (and audio) chops than what's offered with this Chrome desktop thing . . . for less than half the price.

How's Google's Hangouts vs. Skype for a corporate meeting?
 
2014-02-10 12:23:30 PM  

theflatline: cman: Chrome as an OS is WAY overrated

Those Chrome Apps are just a shiatty relocation of your bookmark bar. OMG YOU CAN VIEW A WEBSITE OFFLINE! Its not like we've been doing that for quite some time.

Chrome Apps are just repackaging of old technology with a nice marketing term.

They took a page out of Apples book then?


Oh look. That guy showed up.
 
2014-02-10 12:24:41 PM  

RexTalionis: I see nothing wrong with that. It's aimed towards enterprise users and it's a video conference rig in a box. $1000 bucks is a hell of a lot cheaper than a telepresence setup from, say, Cisco or whoever that will set you back $10,000.



This.
You can easily pay that much for Tandberg units....enterprise class is a whole different game.
 
2014-02-10 12:41:59 PM  
We put in a new conference room where I work and were looking to do some basic teleconferencing.  One of the VPs brought in a company to bid and they said they could do a basic system for $40k.  This included $25k for a 50" screen (installed and wall mounted).  Had to call them back and asked if they made a typo as I could buy all the components from Amazon for $1,500. Nope their price included set up. So $999 isn't great as it doesn't include a display but it isn't bad.
 
2014-02-10 12:47:54 PM  
Comes preinstalled with NSA® monitoring technology!
 
2014-02-10 01:00:52 PM  

Cheron: So $999 isn't great as it doesn't include a display but it isn't bad.


So add on a $700 50" screen from Walmart and you'll still save $38,000 from the quote you got.  Even if you have to pay somebody to mount it to the wall for you.
 
2014-02-10 01:12:33 PM  
Enterprise Videoconferencing is the biggest ripoff out there. Offerings from usual suspects -- Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize/Logitech -- quickly run into the 10s of thousands of dollars *per installation*, and obviously you need at least two for it to make any sense. Many companies that have multiple locations end up with just one videoconference room per location. For $1000, I could easily see putting one of these units in *every* conference room. Tied to Google Hangouts for desktop/laptop/mobile connections, and it's a very compelling product.
 
2014-02-10 01:37:59 PM  

flaminio: Enterprise Videoconferencing is the biggest ripoff out there. Offerings from usual suspects -- Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize/Logitech -- quickly run into the 10s of thousands of dollars *per installation*, and obviously you need at least two for it to make any sense. Many companies that have multiple locations end up with just one videoconference room per location. For $1000, I could easily see putting one of these units in *every* conference room. Tied to Google Hangouts for desktop/laptop/mobile connections, and it's a very compelling product.


And there's the rub.  Google has a nice long list of abandonware.  For an enterprise, knowing that the ability to use this system a year from now is dependent upon a company that has made seemingly random and capricious cancellations of projects that people have used and enjoyed would give me pause.  I'd want to make sure that this system could also connect to another provider before I committed to this.

Having said that, this could be Google's way of dropping the price of the market - if they lead, others will follow and make it that much easier to integrate video conferencing into your business.
 
2014-02-10 01:54:22 PM  

rwhamann: flaminio: Enterprise Videoconferencing is the biggest ripoff out there. Offerings from usual suspects -- Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize/Logitech -- quickly run into the 10s of thousands of dollars *per installation*, and obviously you need at least two for it to make any sense. Many companies that have multiple locations end up with just one videoconference room per location. For $1000, I could easily see putting one of these units in *every* conference room. Tied to Google Hangouts for desktop/laptop/mobile connections, and it's a very compelling product.

And there's the rub.  Google has a nice long list of abandonware.  For an enterprise, knowing that the ability to use this system a year from now is dependent upon a company that has made seemingly random and capricious cancellations of projects that people have used and enjoyed would give me pause.  I'd want to make sure that this system could also connect to another provider before I committed to this.

Having said that, this could be Google's way of dropping the price of the market - if they lead, others will follow and make it that much easier to integrate video conferencing into your business.


I don't see Hangouts going away. It's an extension of something that took root in Google Chat's video chat function, and existed in Google Wave also. So if anything Hangout will change to something else but retain the essentials.
 
2014-02-10 01:57:39 PM  
Hurry up and get Google Fiber deployed in more areas.
 
2014-02-10 02:00:32 PM  

RexTalionis: I see nothing wrong with that. It's aimed towards enterprise users and it's a video conference rig in a box. $1000 bucks is a hell of a lot cheaper than a telepresence setup from, say, Cisco or whoever that will set you back $10,000.


Exactly what I was thinking, subby must be stoopid or sumptin'.
 
2014-02-10 02:13:31 PM  
Enterprise videoconferencing where you need to sign in to Google+. That's a winner.
 
2014-02-10 02:24:50 PM  

rwhamann: And there's the rub.  Google has a nice long list of abandonware.


It is not really abandonware if it never comes out of beta. I think that is one of the reasons they keep crap in beta for 20 years.
 
2014-02-10 02:34:19 PM  

Piizzadude: It is not really abandonware if it never comes out of beta. I think that is one of the reasons they keep crap in beta for 20 years.


Which makes it even worse to sell to your boss.
 
2014-02-10 02:37:25 PM  

rwhamann: Piizzadude: It is not really abandonware if it never comes out of beta. I think that is one of the reasons they keep crap in beta for 20 years.

Which makes it even worse to sell to your boss.


Really? I've had the conversations with CEOs that began with "Here is a product that may not be around in two years, but is under 50% the cost until then" and their reply of "About the time we would need to come up with cash for the upgrade anyway? Go for it".
 
2014-02-10 02:39:19 PM  
Not my experience, but most of my bosses have been government, with long upgrade cycles and "support, support, support" as the three magic words.
 
2014-02-10 03:03:20 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: It's Nervous laughter derived from true fear.



First they ignore you
then they laugh at you
then they attack you
then you win.     --Gandhi
 
2014-02-10 03:04:14 PM  
its running Linux, so that is a good sign.
 
2014-02-10 03:11:15 PM  

Linux_Yes: its running Linux, so that is a good sign.


Linux_Yes: Because People in power are Stupid: It's Nervous laughter derived from true fear.


First they ignore you
then they laugh at you
then they attack you
then you win.     --Gandhi


If you want a web browser instead of an OS, that's just fine. I am quite happy with my choice of OS
 
2014-02-10 03:14:09 PM  
As someone who has a Compunetix teleconferencing module in my garage I can see the appeal for a cheaper solution. However if I want a cheaper solution I can get a Kinect 2.0.
 
2014-02-10 03:41:38 PM  
Why don't you go price enterprise teleconferencing systems and get back to us, subby. You'll find out why we're laughing. Hint: it's not at the Chrome box.
 
2014-02-10 03:46:33 PM  
Buried in the article is the price for the consumer Chromebox, starting at $179 for the cheapest model.  Reading is hard.
 
2014-02-10 04:35:28 PM  
Not sure if more Google is better. They are getting mighty big and intrusive.
 
2014-02-10 04:39:18 PM  

rwhamann: flaminio: Enterprise Videoconferencing is the biggest ripoff out there. Offerings from usual suspects -- Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize/Logitech -- quickly run into the 10s of thousands of dollars *per installation*, and obviously you need at least two for it to make any sense. Many companies that have multiple locations end up with just one videoconference room per location. For $1000, I could easily see putting one of these units in *every* conference room. Tied to Google Hangouts for desktop/laptop/mobile connections, and it's a very compelling product.

And there's the rub.  Google has a nice long list of abandonware.  For an enterprise, knowing that the ability to use this system a year from now is dependent upon a company that has made seemingly random and capricious cancellations of projects that people have used and enjoyed would give me pause.  I'd want to make sure that this system could also connect to another provider before I committed to this.

Having said that, this could be Google's way of dropping the price of the market - if they lead, others will follow and make it that much easier to integrate video conferencing into your business.


Why do you need Hangouts to video conference when you have a browser, a camera, and a broadband connection?
 
2014-02-10 05:35:38 PM  

RexTalionis: I see nothing wrong with that. It's aimed towards enterprise users and it's a video conference rig in a box. $1000 bucks is a hell of a lot cheaper than a telepresence setup from, say, Cisco or whoever that will set you back $10,000.


You're off by a factor of between ten and one hundred on that Cisco estimate.
 
2014-02-10 06:22:12 PM  

sendtodave: RexTalionis: I see nothing wrong with that. It's aimed towards enterprise users and it's a video conference rig in a box. $1000 bucks is a hell of a lot cheaper than a telepresence setup from, say, Cisco or whoever that will set you back $10,000.

You're off by a factor of between ten and one hundred on that Cisco estimate.


http://www.videoconferencingsupply.com/Cisco-CTS-C40-K9-p/CTS-C40-K9 .h tm

Look, maybe I don't know the exact price, but it's not that much more expensive than $10,000 for the cheapest, most barebones setup you can get.
 
2014-02-10 07:00:57 PM  
Subby is bad and should feel bad.
 
2014-02-10 07:42:26 PM  
My company has a $75k Polycon setup in a classroom because we had a corporate customer that wanted us to use it. It's fussy and awful, even when I knew our end was working properly, I found that the remote site maybe or may not have had anyone who knew how to work theirs. We switched to off the shelf GotoWebinar and I think we paid about $500 to do the training and all we heard was how smoothly the sessions were compared to the old system.

Enterprise teleconferencing is a freaking scam.
 
2014-02-10 07:44:01 PM  
The reason it is so cheap is because you have to use Google+ Hangouts...

/just need to convince your clients to get a G+ account
//silly corporations, why not just use Skype?
 
2014-02-10 09:22:40 PM  
I would be all over this at work if it supported h.323 / SIP so that we could actually host video conferences with the board rooms that already have VC units or other companies / government agencies.

The difficulty is that it sounds like we would end up with 2 silos of equipment that cant communicate and would just end up frustrating the end user. "What do you mean I cant conference in the boardroom in boston from the conference room on my floor? I have a meeting starting in 3 minutes and the rooms reserved!"
 
2014-02-10 09:25:07 PM  

Loki009: I would be all over this at work if it supported h.323 / SIP so that we could actually host video conferences with the board rooms that already have VC units or other companies / government agencies.

The difficulty is that it sounds like we would end up with 2 silos of equipment that cant communicate and would just end up frustrating the end user. "What do you mean I cant conference in the boardroom in boston from the conference room on my floor? I have a meeting starting in 3 minutes and the rooms reserved!"


Ok, this time i actually read, not just scanned TFA and caught this part

"You can also connect to rooms that have traditional video conferencing systems using a new tool from Vidyo"

I might have to look into it. Still would prefer the protocol support built into the unit as its another piece that has to be managed and scheduled. But might be worth looking into.
 
2014-02-10 10:17:48 PM  
Ok, this time i actually read, not just scanned TFA and caught this part

"You can also connect to rooms that have traditional video conferencing systems using a new tool from Vidyo"

I might have to look into it. Still would prefer the protocol support built into the unit as its another piece that has to be managed and scheduled. But might be worth looking into.


They may be talking about Vidyo's "legacy" VidyoGateway http://www.vidyo.com/products/deploy/#tab=Interoperability.  It ain't cheap though (the VM version, i.e. no hardware, is $10-20k if I recollect properly).

Anyway, we use video conferencing a ton at work.  The unit in question from google would not cut it for a room system in most cases.  To me, a good room conferencing system should include:
- A PTZ Camera
- Video inputs for screen sharing (VGA / HDMI input)
- Interop with existing standards (H.323 / SIP)

This is an Asus box I7, a Logitech C920, a desktop mic and a remote in a package.  I'm sure it will be nice for some niche stuff but I doubt it will achieve wide usage.  You are better off getting the Logitech C920 on your desktop / laptop and using something like free jabber (http://www.ciscojabbervideo.com/home).  At least then you can do content sharing.
 
2014-02-11 09:59:36 AM  

MrPleasant: Ok, this time i actually read, not just scanned TFA and caught this part

"You can also connect to rooms that have traditional video conferencing systems using a new tool from Vidyo"

I might have to look into it. Still would prefer the protocol support built into the unit as its another piece that has to be managed and scheduled. But might be worth looking into.

They may be talking about Vidyo's "legacy" VidyoGateway http://www.vidyo.com/products/deploy/#tab=Interoperability.  It ain't cheap though (the VM version, i.e. no hardware, is $10-20k if I recollect properly).

Anyway, we use video conferencing a ton at work.  The unit in question from google would not cut it for a room system in most cases.  To me, a good room conferencing system should include:
- A PTZ Camera
- Video inputs for screen sharing (VGA / HDMI input)
- Interop with existing standards (H.323 / SIP)

This is an Asus box I7, a Logitech C920, a desktop mic and a remote in a package.  I'm sure it will be nice for some niche stuff but I doubt it will achieve wide usage.  You are better off getting the Logitech C920 on your desktop / laptop and using something like free jabber (http://www.ciscojabbervideo.com/home).  At least then you can do content sharing.


Google Hangouts actually has very good support for desktop sharing that works in Linux, Windows, and OS-X (as opposed to some of the other offerings out there such as farking goto meeting).
 
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