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Google sets sights on enterprise, education with subscription 'Chromebooks'

post #1 of 372
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Google announced on Wednesday that it will offer subscription "Chromebooks" running its Chrome OS Web-based operating system at a cost of $28 per month for business users, and $20 per month for students.

Google made the announcement to developers at its I/O 2011 conference, where it showed off two Chromebook hardware options launching this June. Samsung will sell a ChromeOS-powered computer with a 12.1-inch screen and instant-on capabilities for $429, or $499 with 3G connectivity, while Acer has a 11.6-inch model starting at $349.

But business and education customers will be able to bypass standard purchasing options and instead subscribe to Chrome OS. The search giant announced that government and small business customers will be able to subscribe for $28 per month, while students will pay $20 per month.

Paying a monthly fee will allow Google to offer a complete hardware and service package that includes the hardware, technical support, warranty, and replacements. And when the hardware lifecycle is over, Google will automatically upgrade users to new hardware at no extra cost.

Google Chromebooks from Samsung. Google I/O photos via Gizmodo.

The new Chromebooks will be available starting June 15 in the U.S., France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, U.K. and Italy. Subscription plans will also be available for schools, businesses and governments in June.

Google Chrome OS Web applications. Google I/O photos via Gizmodo.

Google showed off Chrome OS to attendees on Wednesday, pitching the new operating system as a browser-based solution that offers "Nothing but the Web." But content such as word processors and games like Angry Birds will be accessed within the browser, and can even be accessed when the device is not connected to the Internet.

Google also showed off the Chrome Web store, and revealed that it would take a flat fee of 5 percent from all transactions, leaving developers with 95 percent. That's higher than the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from App Store transactions for the iPhone and iPad.
post #2 of 372
$20/month? What a ripoff!
post #3 of 372
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Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

$20/month? What a ripoff!

You need to remember this includes service/upgrade etc for the schools, which is a huge cost to schools, it's not consumers renting this for $20/month.
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post #5 of 372
So it is a cheap PC using a traditional mouse / keyboard interface with a very limited OS. This is too little too late piece of junk makes an iPad look like something from the 23rd Century. I really think Google must have started planning this before they thought of copying iOS and somehow forgot to cancel the project. This will be another Beta project that will fizzle out. Google have more chance with Honeycomb, after all there is about 17% or the tablet market to fight over for the iPad copycats.

Schools are far better of with iPads BUT Apple need to beef up educational pricing and apps and ebooks.
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post #6 of 372
Jesus, Google is going after schools now too? They're just attacking Apple on all fronts and with their momentum, I don't see how they can be stopped.
post #7 of 372
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Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

Jesus, Google is going after schools now too? They're just attacking Apple on all fronts and with their momentum, I don't see how they can be stopped.

Wait and see.
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post #8 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

Jesus, Google is going after schools now too? They're just attacking Apple on all fronts and with their momentum, I don't see how they can be stopped.

Many such projects may fizzle. If the life expectancy for one of these laptops is 2 yrs it will cost close to $500.-. A wifi iPad with educational discount should match that if paid on a monthly basis (at the end of which the machine will still have value). Given the choice I cannot see why anyone would not choose the iPad.
post #9 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So it is a cheap PC using a traditional mouse / keyboard interface with a very limited OS. This is too little too late piece of junk makes an iPad look like something from the 23rd Century. I really think Google must have started planning this before they thought of copying iOS and somehow forgot to cancel the project. This will be another Beta project that will fizzle out. Google have more chance with Honeycomb, after all there is about 17% or the tablet market to fight over for the iPad copycats.

I'm not huge on following Chrome (I absolutely refuse to use any Google product besides YouTube), so I have no idea what makes it a "very limited OS." Can you please enlighten me? Not that I'm asking you to go out of your way to type out the whole history or anything, since I'm sure you're a busy person, but I'd just like to know a bit more about it without having to read some in-depth story on Wikipedia or something.

Thanks.
post #10 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Many such projects may fizzle. If the life expectancy for one of these laptops is 2 yrs it will cost close to $500.-. A wifi iPad with educational discount should match that if paid on a monthly basis (at the end of which the machine will still have value). Given the choice I cannot see why anyone would not choose the iPad.

I agree that nobody should choose it over an iPad, but never doubt an idiot's ability to ignore quality in favor of flashy ads or easy availability (the dominance of Android is a testament to that).
post #11 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

Jesus, Google is going after schools now too? They're just attacking Apple on all fronts and with their momentum, I don't see how they can be stopped.

This is an attack on Microsoft not Apple. Completely different war. This is about Google Docs vs. Office. iPad does have iWork but Google Docs with a real keyboard and mouse is probably better for writing and collaborating in an academic or business environment. Not to take anything away from iPad, but it really is a bit clumsy when working on longer documents especially with the horrible spelling suggestion feature. I swear I cannot write a single sentence without having to fight off that word replacement fiasco.

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post #12 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by drobforever View Post

You need to remember this includes service/upgrade etc for the schools, which is a huge cost to schools, it's not consumers renting this for $20/month.

It's a ripoff. My personal data is far more valuable than negative $20/month.
post #13 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

So it is a cheap PC using a traditional mouse / keyboard interface with a very limited OS. This is too little too late piece of junk makes an iPad look like something from the 23rd Century. I really think Google must have started planning this before they thought of copying iOS and somehow forgot to cancel the project. This will be another Beta project that will fizzle out. Google have more chance with Honeycomb, after all there is about 17% or the tablet market to fight over for the iPad copycats.

Schools are far better of with iPads BUT Apple need to beef up educational pricing and apps and ebooks.

I think Chrome OS brilliant. Its not any more powerful than a netbook but it feel faster for the tasks its designed for and its tricking the consumer that it will run resource heavy apps simply because its running the resource heavy Windows OS. It also has a full size keyboard and trackpad.

Its WebOS on a desktop in that its a WebKit-based OS. it doesnt mean you have to be connected to the internet for it to be useful but understands that PC users typically have routine, in not constant, web access.

Ive been a fan of this since before it was ever announced. Assuming the HW is good enough and the result is as stable as Chrome browser on Mac OS Ill be recommending these machines to people I know that want more than a tablet, dont want to pay for a Mac, and dont need the complexity and utility of Mac OS and Windows just for getting online for basic web browsing and email.

Also, I see Chrome OS being huge in developing countries where these can be sold or rented from ISPs, telcos, cable and other companies at reduced prices for service to help get a huge portion of the world online where before they had no real options. I dont see the iPad or Mac doing that.

This has the opportunity to wear away at Windows marketshare in a way that Mac OS could never do simply because its a premium product. This is a good thing!
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post #14 of 372
LMFAO! So this is Google's big idea?! It's Netbook 2.0. Remember the thin client craze of the early 2000s? Yeah, same thing. Except now everything is written in JavaScript. Hello? The year 1999 called: it wants it's user experience back!

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post #15 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Many such projects may fizzle. If the life expectancy for one of these laptops is 2 yrs it will cost close to $500.-. A wifi iPad with educational discount should match that if paid on a monthly basis (at the end of which the machine will still have value). Given the choice I cannot see why anyone would not choose the iPad.

Because an iPad is so brilliant for office applications and collaboration through web apps....

The difference here is that for a work horse machine a chromebook can replace a laptop an iPad is not even close to doing that.
post #16 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

Jesus, Google is going after schools now too? They're just attacking Apple on all fronts and with their momentum, I don't see how they can be stopped.

Apple has been making insane profits on game changing products that are constantly selling out for a number of years now. They have far more momentum than google.
Maybe this chrome netbook will do well but I'm skeptical.
post #17 of 372
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Google also showed off the Chrome Web store, and revealed that it would take a flat fee of 5 percent from all transactions, leaving developers with 95 percent. That's higher than the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from App Store transactions for the iPhone and iPad.

So, I'm not so good at math...what is 95% of $0?
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post #18 of 372
As the IT manager (among many other things) for a small business I'm wondering why a business would move to this type of environment. We do use google apps, but just for the emailing. What happens when you lose your connections to the internet? Or you are unable to log onto a Wifi at a clients. Call me old fashion but I like to keep my documents where I can access them any time I have power.

Also, the second issue is that everyone is starting to cap data usage. How quickly could you go through a 4GB limit using this in 3G mode.

Regarding schools - what good is this for family that do not have internet access?

I see this solely as a consumer product.
post #19 of 372
For all Google's apparent benevolence, they are only after 1 thing...everything there is to know about you...so that they can push advertising and either directly or indirectly sell your personal information. Period.

Every little app and/or tool that Google shares provides them a little more information about you, what you are interested in (Google search), who you communicate with (gmail, googletalk, android, etc) and what you say, what you buy (google checkout), where you live (google maps), what you do for a living (google docs), what you and your friends look like (Picasa web albums), what amuses you (YouTube), etc., etc., etc. Go to the Google home page and Google labs and open your brain a little and you can imagine all the different ways that Google gathers information about you.

Personally, although a devout Apple enthusiast, if forced to make a choice other than Apple, I'd take Microsoft over Google any day.
post #20 of 372
How fast would this really be? It might start up fast but using the web products that could cause a network to slow way down. At my office we have a T3 for data and voice and I can tell when someone is doing internet intense work as the whole network slows down.

I also assuming that you would place all your video and music in the google music and then stream that to the device - there you go eating up your data cap (4GB for phone companies and 150 to 250 GB at home) streaming your own music and video.

I'll pay the extra money because I know that my MacBook's will be around for a very long time and won't be obsolete any time soon.
post #21 of 372
" ...This is too little too late piece of junk makes an iPad look like something from the 23rd Century."

Very funny digitalclips! made me laugh.

Couldn't agree more. Google is really picking up where MS left off. This is what happens when programmers are left to their own devices with minimal direction.

Is it just me...But if I have to have $20 coming out of my checking account every month, it's an instant turn-off! Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying for value and certainly don't expect everything for free, but I hate the subscription model.
post #22 of 372
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Originally Posted by jdhayes117 View Post

For all Google's apparent benevolence, they are only after 1 thing...everything there is to know about you...so that they can push advertising and either directly or indirectly sell your personal information. Period.

Every little app and/or tool that Google shares provides them a little more information about you, what you are interested in (Google search), who you communicate with (gmail, googletalk, android, etc) and what you say, what you buy (google checkout), where you live (google maps), what you do for a living (google docs), what you and your friends look like (Picasa web albums), what amuses you (YouTube), etc., etc., etc. Go to the Google home page and Google labs and open your brain a little and you can imagine all the different ways that Google gathers information about you.

Personally, although a devout Apple enthusiast, if forced to make a choice other than Apple, I'd take Microsoft over Google any day.

I agree totally, JD. I mentioned this on a previous topic:

You guys should check out the free App "Ghostery." It blocks all this data mining crap including Google Analytics and Google Adsense! It was recommended by MacWorld last week! http://www.ghostery.com/

PS. No Affiliation: Just like the App.

Best
post #23 of 372
On a laptop people expect a complete OS not a browser. They really should've just focused on Android. Google is just throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks at this point.
post #24 of 372
Schools aren't just going to switch over. That costs a ton of money and training. When administrators realize how little features are available to them, they won't consider it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

Jesus, Google is going after schools now too? They're just attacking Apple on all fronts and with their momentum, I don't see how they can be stopped.
post #25 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I agree totally, JD. I mentioned this on a previous topic:

You guys should check out the free App "Ghostery." It blocks all this data mining crap including Google Analytics and Google Adsense! It was recommended by MacWorld last week! http://www.macworld.com/article/1596...extension.html

PS. No Affiliation: Just like the App.

Best

Your link is busted.

Here is the direct link to their site: http://www.ghostery.com/

Nice that they cover all major web browsers.
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post #26 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhayes117 View Post

For all Google's apparent benevolence, they are only after 1 thing...everything there is to know about you...so that they can push advertising and either directly or indirectly sell your personal information. Period.

Of course they are. That's what their business is built on. Nearly every company is after maximized profits. Apple's comes from a closed loop of hardware/software/applications. Microsoft's from software and services, with a bit of Xbox hardware throw in. And Google makes it's living from advertising.
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post #27 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Your link is busted.

Here is the direct link to their site: http://www.ghostery.com/

Nice that they cover all major web browsers.

Drats! Thanks Solipsism!
post #28 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Drats! Thanks Solipsism!

Thanks for the extension. Appears to be working fine in Safari in Lion.
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post #29 of 372
I don't think I understand.

1) Does it run an Atom chip or an ARM chip?

2) If Atom, how is it different from a netbook?

3) If ARM how is it different from a tablet?

4) What do you get that is worth a $20 month subscription?

5) Is a carrier contract or additional monthly charge for cell access?


How does this compete with an iPad at $499 (no subscription, no contract, month-by-month cell)


It might make sense in it were offered a package (hardware, software, subscription, cell data) for, say $20 up front and a 23 month contract at $20/month.

Otherwise... I must really be missing somethin'
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post #30 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Thanks for the extension. Appears to be working fine in Safari in Lion.

You're welcome, solipsism! I have it working in Safari SL and have had no problems....a little purple bubble shows up with all the tracking software listed, but "lined-out!" Pretty cool.
post #31 of 372
Don't know if there is any link, but the ChromeBook has hit the financial news and:

AAPL down .63%
GOOG down 1.50%

in a down market
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post #32 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

I agree totally, JD. I mentioned this on a previous topic:

You guys should check out the free App "Ghostery." It blocks all this data mining crap including Google Analytics and Google Adsense! It was recommended by MacWorld last week! http://www.ghostery.com/

PS. No Affiliation: Just like the App.

Best

Nice. Thanks!

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post #33 of 372
It's really sad when people let their inner fanboy blind them from technological advances.

Solipsism got it right. He sees the value in this.

As do I. For the average high schooler or non-science/engineering student, what is the need for a laptop that costs on average $500-%700...or if you go Apple, closer to $1000? Do they really need that kind of processing or graphics power to surf the web, write essays and check Facebook? And then there's the cost of all the Office software you have to buy. You're never spending just $500.

Tablets are not a decent solution. Nobody is going to sit down and work on an essay for hours on an iPad. The iPad is also severely limited by onboard storage.

Now bring in a thin client connected to the cloud. It's perfect for any student that doesn't have to do CAD or graphics work. No need for MS Office. Just work off Google Docs. And given that many universities are now switching their e-mail systems over to Google (Google Apps), and given that most campuses have great wifi, the next logical step is to deploy these kinds of thin clients.

And even better if Google is offering a total solution for hardware and software and if they will manage it all for $20 per month. It's an attractive proposition for universities. Costs are low. Capital budgets are preserved. And Google manages the whole thing for them.

As for competition with Apple. It's not the same thing. Apple sells computers to schools and students. They haven't cared much for actually taking the whole responsibility for IT, out of the hands of university CIOs.

It might take off. It might not. Too early to tell. But I don't think the idea should be dismissed off-hand just because it came from Google.
post #34 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I don't think I understand.

1) Does it run an Atom chip or an ARM chip?

2) If Atom, how is it different from a netbook?

3) If ARM how is it different from a tablet?

4) What do you get that is worth a $20 month subscription?

5) Is a carrier contract or additional monthly charge for cell access?


[6)] How does this compete with an iPad at $499 (no subscription, no contract, month-by-month cell)


It might make sense in it were offered a package (hardware, software, subscription, cell data) for, say $20 up front and a 23 month contract at $20/month.

Otherwise... I must really be missing somethin'

1) Both.

2) Raw computing power, it’s not. But since it’s an OS designed for Atom and ARM — much like iOS is ideal for ARM’s performance but Mac OS is not — the tasks it’s designed for could work very well, just like Safari on iOS/ARM as opposed to running Safari on Windows XP on an Atom netbook which has much more raw performance than an ARM CPU.

3) They are notebooks, which means a clamshell with a keyboard and trackpad where the screen is vertically placed when open. There is no reason you can’t put ARM CPUs in a notebook form. We even have Atom CPUs in a tablets.

4) I believe you get the device, services and support for that price. Whether that is month-to-month, part of a single or bulk contract I don’t know.

5) I doubt that would include any 3G service for that price when a smartphone is $30/month just fo unlimited internet access.

6) To be clear, the iPad with month-to-month cellular starts at $629. For $499 the iPad is a great deal and for many users a Chrome OS device couldn’t possibly replace their iPad as their chosen satellite computer. But it does have its place. If you are running a workshop where you need to control the access to the LAN for a seminar where there will be plenty of typing I don’t think a tablet with a docking station and keyboard are going to cut it.. and will be pricer.

For schools they can rent these for 9 months of the year and don’t have to buy any additional components to make them work. Students can type reports on these things and they can use it for listening to music, downloading files, and even reading/copying files from/to a HDD via USB. The iPad can’t do that and therefore wouldn’t be a suitable replacement for such activities.

But I ask why are people comparing this to the iPad or Apple? Why aren’t you looking at its intended target, cheap as Windows machines where Apple doesn’t play. We can’t assume that a poor family in a poor country should get an iPad over renting a computer on the cheap from their ISP. The emerging market arena is vast and this has great potential. I want the whole world connected but that isn’t going to happen with a premium product.

Remember, WebOS is pretty much the same thing for a smartphone. It’s a Linux kernel with an OS UI made from WebKit.


PS: I’ve been a fan of Chrome OS since the beginning. I hoped that Google’s I/O on it today would get more posters here seeing what I see but i guess we’ll have to wait another day on that.
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post #35 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Schools aren't just going to switch over. That costs a ton of money and training. When administrators realize how little features are available to them, they won't consider it.

I'd argue that schools will switch over, precisely because they'll figure out they've been buying computing power they don't need. Why does a high school or elementary student or even a non-science/engineering college student need a laptop with the latest processor, graphics card and stuffed to the gills with RAM?
post #36 of 372
I don't think the subscription model has ever worked for computers. First thing that comes to mind is all the predator companies that try to sell computers on credit.

Is there really any motivation to buy software for this if you will lose it if google decides to cancel the service (because it flops) or if you need to pay a monthly charge to use your own software?

I can really only see this working if the service and hardware were separate and if most services were free.
post #37 of 372
this is a real threat to Windows/Office Home Edition in the low-end consumer market. and that is a big deal by itself. assuming it works well and is not just another Google beta product. it is a huge threat to MS if Google can also offer an effective replacement to Exchange. we'll see.

but no clamshell product is a threat to any tablet, including the iPad. different markets. except for education, but even then entertainment use at home is a factor. you don't want to use a clamshell while sitting on the sofa. neither do your kids.

but i suppose some kind of hybrid Android/Chrome tablet might be possible in the next year. we'll see.

for Apple and other brands' laptops, users who require powerful, specialized, or enterprise applications will not be interested in Chrome (until it can do all that too). these users are less price sensitive. they are probably most of the laptop Mac market, tho much less so for the other OEM's.

a question for Apple is how much of iOS to merge into OS X Lion. iOS apps, being a combination of local and web, are are much more powerful than just websites. some would work well on a touchpad laptop/desktop too, others would not. we'll see about that next month at WWDC.
post #38 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

I'd argue that schools will switch over, precisely because they'll figure out they've been buying computing power they don't need. Why does a high school or elementary student or even a non-science/engineering college student need a laptop with the latest processor, graphics card and stuffed to the gills with RAM?

Yep I agree with this. I think it's a good gamble by Google. I wonder how much people are willing ot have google tracking everything they do and say.
post #39 of 372
Woah, guys, this isn't meant to be competing against iPads. It's barely competing against Netbooks. The two Chromebooks being released both have full sized keyboards like the Macbook Air.

This is competing against all the crappy XP computers out there that are being given out by businesses or schools which people use almost entirely just for the web browser. Have you ever worked in a call centre or been a sales rep? 9 times out of 10 you are working with web based forms that input into the company database. Few businesses are going to hand out iPads which don't have a physical keyboard.

Most companies lease these computers anyway. For $28 / $20 a month per seat a company can distribute a fleet of these Chrome books. Even if there is internet down time and a file has not been cached on the computer (Which Google Docs and gmail do on Chrome OS), this is more than made up for by the lack of down time from Viruses, software updates and broken Hardware.

If a Chromebook breaks down, all IT has to do is swap the hardware over and the employee just logs into their account and they pick up from where they left off.

$28 per seat for businesses or $20 for schools is insanely cheap compared to the costs of running a Windows fleet of computers. Microsoft is crapping themselves.
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post #40 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

I'd argue that schools will switch over, precisely because they'll figure out they've been buying computing power they don't need. Why does a high school or elementary student or even a non-science/engineering college student need a laptop with the latest processor, graphics card and stuffed to the gills with RAM?

Id argue the training is limited since its the most used app in the world, the web browser. Chrome browser, Google docs, etc. can even be practiced and accessed from other devices.

You can use this device offline.
You can copy files to a HDD/USB stick.
You can read files from a HDD/USB stick.

I bet the WebKit version will also render Apple and MS online versions of iWork and Office just fine, too.


PS: This does make Googles music storage more useful. Ive wondered if Apple will make a complete WebKit-based version of iTunes for users to access their digital iTunes lockers. I think it would be remiss not to have that as perfectly represented as they have done to Mail for iPad and Mail for me.com.
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