In Partnership, Google Takes Chrome Laptops to the Cloud

By Ashok Bindra May 12, 2011

This week at the annual Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, Calif., Google unwrapped Chrome operating system based netbooks dubbed Chromebooks. Concurrently, targeting businesses, schools and government, the search engine giant also unveiled hardware and software subscription plans for the cloud.

The web-centric Chromebooks will be produced by two consumer electronics manufacturers, namely Acer and Samsung Electronics. According to CNNMoney, this is Google’s latest push into the cloud.

As per CNNMoney reporter Michal Lev-Ram, enterprise customers will pay a monthly fee starting at $28 per user for a Chromebook while a student pays $20. This fee includes a cloud management console for remotely administering and managing users, devices and applications. Plus, it includes enterprise-level support, device warranties and replacements.

However, what is not included is Google applications for business. To get Google’s enterprise-level app suite, which includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs and other applications, the user pays an additional $50 a year, wrote Lev-Ram.

By comparison, wrote Lev-Ram, the combined cost of Google's monthly Chromebook subscription and annual business apps fee is likely to be lower than giving employees full-powered laptops running on either Microsoft Windows or Apple OS X operating systems. Plus, adds the CNNMoney reporter, Google's web-based Chrome OS brings other advantages to mobile workers who are already storing most of their data like emails, documents and photos in the cloud. Chromebooks boot up faster and have a much longer battery life than traditional laptops,

The initial Chromebooks will be manufactured by Samsung Electronics and Acer, and will be launched on June 15th in the U.S. Meanwhile, the company has announced  a series of pilot customers, which include American Airlines, Logitech, and KIPP, a nationwide network of charter schools.

Besides Apple’s iPads, Google's Chromebooks will also compete against its own Android OS based tablets from makers like Motorola and Samsung, wrote CNNMoney.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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