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May 11, 2011
When Google unveiled the Chromebook for Business strategy today at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, The VAR Guy openly wondered where channel partners fit into the strategy. Now, The VAR Guy has received an answer from Google. Here’s the update.
First, a little background: Chromebook for Business marries a Web-based notebook (running Chrome OS) with Google cloud services. The entire solution — hardware, software, management and maintenance — costs $28 per user per month for businesses. The Chromebook for Business offerings, including Chromebook options from Acer and Samsung, are expected to launch June 15.
So where do channel partners fit into the potential conversation? Google’s official statement isn’t heartwarming. According to a spokeswoman:
“We currently are only offering Chromebooks for Business directly from Google. We have no other details to announce at this time.”
Hmmm… Google does have the Google Apps Authorized Reseller program. So The VAR Guy will be watching — long term — for potential synergies with Chromebooks. Also, some VARs and MSPs are starting to build and launch apps for the Google Apps Marketplace and the Chrome Web Store.
But near-term, Chromebooks for Business seems to be a pure direct sales initiative from Google…
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