Chrome OS for business and for schools, with hardware subscriptions

Google is not only releasing Chrome OS to the consumer market. At today’s keynote at Google I/O, Google pushed the significance of Chrome OS in the enterprise. Touting partnerships with Citrix and other cloud/virtualization firms, Google promised that Chromebooks will become the easiest devices to manage and in an enterprise environment. There are many options businesses can take advantage of to drive interest in Chrome OS products.

First, Chrome OS is not only available on a laptop. Google will be partnering with manufacturers to release a “Chromebox” to act as a desktop thin client that runs on Chrome OS. It will be cheaper than the mobile laptop option, and you will be able to hook up peripherals like monitors and printers to create a true Chrome OS thin client alternative.

To make the deal even sweeter, along with the already included perks of real time seamless updating in Chrome OS, Google will be offering a Hardware as a Service plan to IT administrators, allowing for free upgrades to newer hardware when it becomes available. The announced cost of this plan is $28 per month per user for businesses and $20 per student per month for schools. This creates a Software and Hardware as a Service cycle that few other platforms can emulate.

From an administrative standpoint, Chrome OS hardware and software will all be easily managed via a centralized web application, and security is built in by default; any all communications from Chrome OS is encrypted. Sandboxing of browser extensions and applications already happens in Chrome, and will certainly be a standard security feature in Chrome OS. Google also promises live support for these products.

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