Google on Sunday announced that education and corporate customers can now purchase Google Chromebooks outside of a pay-per-month 3-year subscription model, new offerings education customers can pick up WiFi models of the Chromebook for $449 and 3G models for $519 while corporate customers are grab the same WiFi machine for $559 with the 3G model available at $639. The new option provides schools and businesses with access to the Web-based administration console for Chromebook management, phone support and hardware warranty coverage, after the first year, customers can opt to pay a monthly fee for management access and support and at that first year is through, customers have the option to sign up for a monthly support contract, at $5 a month for education and $13 a month for enterprise…………….
One of the most interesting decisions Google took when it launched its cloud-focused Chromebooks was to offer them to businesses and education on a 3-year monthly payment subscription basis with no upfront cost, it will allow businesses to pay completely upfront for the first time and Google says that it found some businesses simply couldn’t budget for a three-year commitment, requiring annual cycles. Chrome for Business & Education Product Manager Glenn Wilson writes in the Google Enterprise blog, “This new option gives schools and businesses a choice to pay upfront for Chromebooks with one year of access to the Web-based admin management console, phone support, and hardware warranty coverage. After the first year, customers can choose to pay a monthly fee for years two and three for management console access and support.” Business pricing under this model is $559 or $639 up-front for the Chromebook and first year of service, the higher price being for the 3G version and $13 per month in support costs during years two and three. For three years, this ends up costing $871 or $951 per user and under the original subscription model, business plans ranged from $1,008 to $1,188 per user for three years. The new education purchasing option is $449 or $519 for the first year and $5 per month per user for management and support in years two and three. This works out to $569 or $639 per user for three years, whereas the cheapest plan under a regular three-year subscription is $720 per user. One detail the blog post does not include is whether the new plans apply to both the Acer and Samsung versions of the Chromebooks. Chromebooks offer an interesting take on Web-based computing, they are hardly going to replace Windows PCs or Macs for most users and Google is trying to make the devices more useful by partnering with Citrix to connect the Chrome browser to Windows virtual desktops. Google is also offering a Web-based administrative console, but it’s not fully fleshed out.