At long last, the Google Chrome OS operating system is going prime time against Windows and Mac computers. On June 15, consumers can by them for a flat rate. Those in education and business have intriguing monthly payment options.
Google shared details at its Googe I/O conference today, as well as in a blog post and in related information now online, including a new Chromebook site complete with an overview video of the product:
Amazon and Best Buy will begin selling Chromebooks to consumers beginning on June 15 in the US. Chromebooks will also be sold in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, though through what vendors hasn’t been said.
Acer will offer a version that begins at $349 for a wifi-only version. A 3G version will be more expensive, though how much hasn’t yet been said.
Samsung will offer a wifi verison for $429, with the 3G version for $499.
Google says 3G versions will be unlocked, so those who use providers with SIM cards (everyone in Europe; T-Mobile and AT&T in the US) can switch around.
Leasing For Business & Education
Chromebooks For Business & Education offer monthly plans that bundle hardware and support, with plans opening up on June 15. The business plan costs $28 per user, per month. The education plan costs $20 per month, per users.
Google says there’s a three year subscription required. Hardware will be upgraded at the end of the three years, if people want to continue on the plans.
If hardware breaks, it’ll get replaced under warranty. But if you decide you want a shiny new Chromebook with perhaps better screens, trackpads or whatever midway through the program, there seems to be no provision for that.