April 2, 2012
chromebooksGoogle Chromebooks — cloud-centric notebooks running Chrome OS — haven’t made much noise in recent months. But it’s a safe bet Google (GOOG) will update the Chromebook strategy during Google I/O, a major developer conference (June 27-29, San Francisco).
There are signs Sony may introduce a Chromebook — joining existing Chromebook providers Acer and Samsung — while Google itself continues to promote potential Chromebook price advantages over traditional PCs.
Indeed, Google’s Chromebook website includes a savings calculator that compares the three-year ownership of Chromebooks vs. PCs. The calculator goes beyond hardware acquisitions costs, estimating hardware maintenance, IT software and infrastructure, management and administration overhead, and end-user costs.
I used the calculator to compare a 50-person organization using PCs vs. Chromebooks, and Google claims the 50 Chromebooks have a $101,400 total cost of ownership (TCO) over three years, or roughly $210,000 less expensive than the TCO for 50 PCs over three years.
ChromeBook Price Com
I don’t necessarily agree with TCO calculators. I realize many of them are built purely for marketing purposes. And as the old saying goes, your mileage — er, TCO — may vary.
Still, Talkin’ Cloud will continue to watch the Chromebook market. The Google I/O conference should provide a timely inflection point. If Google talks up the Chromebook industry, you’ll know the search giant is still firmly behind the fledgling devices. If Google is mostly mum about Chromebooks at I/O, it could be a warning sign that the devices aren’t living up to expectations.
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