Google Chromebooks for Rent: $30 Month, No Commitment
Google Chromebooks, those cloud-centric notebook computers, are now available for rent. The cost: $30 per month for Chromebooks, and $25 per month for Chromeboxes (a desktop form factor). The really interesting part: There’s no long-term commitment required. Chromebooks, which run Chrome OS, have not taken the world by storm. But VARs should watch the market closely. Here’s why.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is constantly experimenting with hardware form factors. As broadband connectivity improves worldwide, and cloud applications (i.e., Google Apps) become universal, the Chromebook form factor could catch on. In recent months, The VAR Guy has heard from numerous Google Apps channel partners that are promoting Chromebooks to their customers. One example involves Cloud Sherpas. And a recent adopter includes School of Rock, which offers music education at retail locations across the U.S.
Chromebooks, promoted by Acer and Samsung, are available for outright purchase from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, NewEgg and TigerDirect. There also is a pay-as-you-go subscription model, where customers have been able to pay $30 per month per device for a long-term Chromebook commitment.
But Google’s latest business model involves no long-term commitment. According to Google:
“Organizations can rent a new Chromebook starting at $30 per month or rent a Chromebox starting at $25 per month. Rentals are month-to-month, and there’s no long-term commitment. The rental includes Chrome hardware with 3-year limited warranty, the web-based Chrome management console to centrally set-up and control users, devices and apps, and 24/7 support. And the monthly payments actually decrease the longer you keep the device.”
Indeed, prices drop t0 $20 per month during year three of a three-year commitment.
Will channel partners and customers jump on the Chromebook bandwagon? Cloud Sherpas certainly thinks so. The company is currently running a Google Adwords campaign to capture potential Chromebook customer sales leads.