When Google launched its Chromebook initiative for business and education customers, potential clients werenít given very much flexibility when it came to financing. Basically they either chose to agree to a three-year subscription fee, or they could look for something else. In a rather rare change of heart, Google has reversed the three-year requirement, and are now giving both sets of customers the option to buy the machines outright with one year of support instead. Clients will have the option to renew web-based admin, phone support, and hardware for years two and three, but it is no longer required.
Google admits that the change was a result of not fully understanding how budgets in this market were allocated, and that in some cases, financing over three years just wasnít an option. Pricing for the Chromebookís are now as follows:
1-Year Upfront: $449 (Wi-Fi), $519 (3G)
Years 2-3: $5/month per Chromebook for management & support
1-Year Upfront: $559 (Wi-Fi), $639 (3G)
Years 2-3: $13/month per Chromebook for management & support
Itís also interesting to note that Google has yet to announce any major victories for the Chromebook in either market. Iím sure it will take time, but if these things were selling like hot cakes Iím sure weíd be hearing about it by now.