Google on June 15 will launch Chromebook for Business, a complete hardware and software as a service that will cost users $28 per device per month. Google announced the Chromebook for Business strategy this morning at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco. If the service works as advertised, Chromebook for Business could be a potential landmark move that disrupts traditional PC and notebook markets. Here are the potential implications for managed services providers (MSPs) and VARs.
Chromebook for Business will blend hardware as a service (HaaS) with software as a service (SaaS). The Chromebooks, under development from Samsung and Acer, will be pure web devices that also support offline applications -- particularly Gmail and Google Apps.
The Google for Business service will include the Chromebook, a web management console, support, warranty and replacement hardware for $28 per user per month, according to Senior VP of Chrome Sundar Pichai. We have a complete recap of Pichai's keynote on TalkinCloud, MSPmentor's sister site. MSPmentor is meeting with Google this week to learn if there will be a Google Chromebook for Business channel partner program.
Key Considerations for Channel PartnersIn the meantime some potential implications for VARs, MSPs and the broader IT channel:
- More than 5,000 developers, channel partners and customers are attending this week's Google I/O conference in San Francisco. The energy is high...
- Various Chrome OS and Chromebook for Business announcements wowed attendees today.
- Google Chromebook for Business will likely launch around the time -- or sooner -- than Microsoft debuts Office 365, a complete cloud-based applications platform that will cost as little as $6 per user per month. However, it's unclear if Microsoft will counter Chromebook for Business with some sort of bundled Office365-hardware service.
- It's unclear if MSPs will be able to leverage the Chromebooks for Business Web management console. I am checking with Jeff Ragusa and other Google sources to see if Google will extend the dashboard to managed services providers (MSPs).
- I realize Chromebook for Business could also fail. If the user experience doesn't work as advertised, customers could become frustrated with Chromebook dependence on web connectivity.
- Google's Pichai said the typical Chromebook will take 3 minutes for initial day-one setup, and then boot times will be essentially instantaneous/instant on.
- Of course, many customers may reject the idea of storing all of their Chromebook for Business data in the cloud.
- Acer and Samsung will also sell the Chromebooks in a traditional sales model, starting at about $349 to $429. The first Chromebooks will debut on Amazon.com and BestBuy online on June 15.
- Google is not positioning Chromebooks as netbooks. Instead, Google is emphasizing the notebook terminology, perhaps because netbook sales have dropped in recenue months.
Still, Google Chrome for Business's all-in-one service sounds disruptive. It will cost $28 per user per month for everything. I believe schools and education customers will pay $20 per user per month. I don't know if a long-term service contract is required.
More thoughts soon on MSPmentor.
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