Google Announces Chromebook Leasing Plans
On Wednesday, Google finally confirmed at its I/O developer conference that it will lease Chrome laptops to schools and businesses. They named the program Chromebooks for Business & Education, wherein businesses along with educational institutions can pay Google a monthly fee in order to acquire supported and updated Chromebooks. Per unit, businesses will have to pay $28, and $20 for educational institutions as a “student package.”
A Google senior executive told Forbes, “Small and medium-sized businesses are banging on our doors to get something like this.” This simply suggests that the “student package” initiative is a convenient way for Google to see if it would be a smart idea to release a comparable offering for the “enterprise.”
Schools and businesses will have to order the units directly from Google at http://google.com/chromebook starting June 15, 2011. The company will cover any phone, email and hardware replacement for those who sign up for the subscription. Administrators of the units have management options for configuring and monitoring them.
For educational institutions, this deal may not go so well especially if they have to pay $240 per unit per year. Perhaps it would sell more to the businesses. If they are happy with the subscriptions, perhaps Google can have more exposure with their Apps for email.