Today Google announced a new netbook offering, called Chromebook. It's being touted as a new kind of computer that offers "nothing but the web." A chromebook will look like a laptop, only it won't have any software programs or storage space. The only thing it has is a web browser, from which you will be able to access your email (from Gmail or other online mail services), calendar (Google calendar), documents (most likely from Google Docs), social networks (like Facebook) and any other web-based service.
This is the culmination of Google's strategy to release browser-based services for just about everything, but in particular around productivity apps like email and word processing. Its social web services initiatives have been patchy at best, so Google hasn't managed to muscle in on Facebook or Twitter like it has with Microsoft and Yahoo. Nevertheless, this is what all of that activity was building up to: the Chromebook. But do consumers need this device; and if they do, is it too pricey?