You subscribe to The Arizona Republic, to Netflix and to gym memberships, so why not subscribe to a laptop, too? Google just announced that in addition to offering their new ChromeBooks for regular sale starting at $350, they will also offer the opportunity to get a subscription for the hardware.
This new notebook, due out June 15th, runs on the Google Chrome operating system, storing all data online. The company hopes to attract buyers through their elimination of the need for software updates and hard drive backups, as well as its estimated boot up time of eight seconds.
Google plans to first target schools and businesses with their subscription plan, hoping personal and independent purchases will later follow suit. Schools will pay $20 per month and businesses $28 per month per notebook they purchase.
Google is also offering three-year subscriptions, which will include the actual computer, technical support with consistent software updates online, and new computers after the three years expire. This method would be extremely appealing to small businesses with a tight budget, but David Daoud, research director for Personal Computing, IDC, predicts that getting corporate companies to make the switch from desktop software and using hard drives will be difficult.
Google appears confident for a gradual switch, with the appeal of the pay-as-you-go model and the convenience of online back up. If hardware is lost or damaged, customers can still access their data anywhere because it exists online.
Despite the struggle in corporate technology transition, the benefits of the subscription method and online backing seem to be promising for Google’s sales.
“Google Offers Laptops By Subscription” by Fredric Paul, Editorial Director, All Business Weekly
“Google’s Chrome Laptops To Go On Sale in June” by Claire Cain Miller, Bits in New York Times