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Why online resources are not free and ChromeOS will fail

Nowadays there seems to be a big push for the use of online resources to replace offline functionality. New operating systems like ChromesOS or Jolicloud are mostly web based, and more and more audio and video services are moving from downloads to streaming. On the surface it looks like this is a big win for freedom as you are much less dependent on your operating system or proprietary applications, all is in the browser. There is a big caveat however: this makes you overly dependent on your internet connection, and in a world that is more and more mobile this is a recipe for disaster.

An internet connection is expensive

The problem with many online services and applications is that they do not take into account the price of the connection. If you have to pay for an ADSL connection at home, then a 3G connection for your smartphone, then a Wimax connection (or another 3G connection, or a Boingo account) for your netbook or iPad you are looking at a frightening bill at the end of the month, even if these services are available. It is likely that many people will only afford an ADSL connection and end up "stuck at home" if they rely on online services for their application and entertainment. Streaming a video clip from YouTube may seem cheaper than purchasing the song, but it is probably not the case once the connection bill is factored in.

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