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May 12, 2011
When it comes to channel partners, Google briefly goofed earlier today. But now, Google is making amends. Rapidly. Indeed, the company now says Chromebooks for Business will be available for certain value-added channel partners to promote to customers. Here’s the most up-to-date information.
First, some background: At the Google I/O conference today, Google unveiled Chromebooks for Business, which will combine Web notebook hardware and cloud software for $28 per user per month. When The VAR Guy asked Google about the potential channel partner implications, Google initially stated:
“We currently are only offering Chromebooks for Business directly from Google. We have no other details to announce at this time.”
But a few hours later Google revised the statement to read:
“We currently are only offering Chromebooks for Business directly from Google. We plan to expand this product to sell through our Google Apps partners who provide a variety of value added services to our customers but have no other details to announce at this time.”
Translation: Details are sketchy but Google is not abandoning its fledgling channel. Quite a few VARs and MSPs are here at the Google I/O conference, which attracted 5,000 attendees. And many of those channel partners participate in the Google Apps Authorized Reseller program.
The VAR Guy’s best guess: Basic resellers will have little to no opportunity with Chromebooks for Business. But channel partners that specialize in Google Apps and value-added custom code may play a role in the Google Chromebooks for Business initiatives.
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