back to article Google to sell subscriptions to Chrome OS notebooks?

Google will sell Chrome OS notebooks and accompanying software services for a $10 to $20 monthly subscription fee, according to a report citing a "reliable source". Neowin reports that for those paying a subscription fee, Google will provide "hardware refreshes" as they become available and replace faulty hardware for the …


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  1. 1uk3
    Thumb Up

    I'm in!

    This is something I'd be very interested in at these prices. I'm guessing that if it does happen though, it'll be a US only thing unfortunately.

  2. CmdrX3

    Not for me

    I'm just not loving the idea of browser based computing. Maybe I'm just a Facebook hating old fart who doesn't want to go with Google's Chrome coloured future.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I'm on the fence

      ...and want to see if I can find any way to get this working with a decent home server solution :)

  3. Combat Wombat

    Do not want...

    So essentially Google are renting you an OS/Hardware combo ?

    I like my desktop, which I can access anytime I like... which doesn't require me to pay protection money to Google, and I am safe in knowing that my personal files aren't being mined for marketing data.

    If their servers shit themselves and die (see current Amazon cloud status), its a paperweight.

    If my internet connection shits itself and dies, it's a paperweight.

    1. Robert E A Harvey
      Thumb Down

      Been wondering about that

      DER rented out tellies (and in their early days washing machines and fridges) for nigh on 50 years, until they became too cheap to bother.

      When home computing started they rented a few comodore pets & apple ][s , but discovered that the public could not tell the difference between "its broken" and "I am a shit-kicking yokel who doesn't know the first thing about computers" and very wisely dropped the scheme.

      Good luck to Mr Google with that.

    2. David 164

      They will probably include a lot of extras

      Through I got the feeling if this does happen, Google will be offering a lot more than just the lap top, I expect Google Music, and online storage solution probably 20gb and perhaps other services and the hardware.

  4. Justin Clements

    FAIL written all over it

    People already have a contract for their phones but if there is one thing that can be learned from the iPad is that people aren't interested in a second contract for computer hardware.

    Granted, a few will buy into it, but that'll be it.

  5. muninsfire

    Not a bad idea

    Provided that the 3g access is bundled into the price, getting the hardware and the service to use it isn't such a bad idea. Good for Grandma and her emails to family, anyway; saves tech support hassles and virus issues, too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up



      Every tech nerd (and I include myself in that description) will whinge about having their own desktop with its overclocked SSD & RAID milkshake cooled motherboard....

      But frankly this would suit my parents to a tee. And reduce the phone calls to me drastically!

      Price, as always, will determine its ultimate success.

  6. NoneSuch Silver badge

    Add Angry Birds at no cost...

    ...and they will sell a million of them.

  7. Mikel

    I'm in too

    Prefer a tablet though.

  8. Anomalous Cowlard


    Accepting the lease contract would seem to mean signing away your privacy to the maximum extent Google can get away with; them owning the hardware will, no doubt, mean they can get away with more as the punter might be in breach not only of contract but law ("unauthorised use") trying to find out what they are actually doing with one's data.

  9. Efros
    Thumb Up

    If this is true

    and there is a bulk discount I can see this cleaning up the educational market in the US. At the moment this is pretty much dominated by Apple, the agreements are 3 year leases at about $300 per year. At $240 a year with hardware and software (hopefully less), repairs and updates, coupled with cloud storage for student files (constant headache), Google docs, most cash strapped school districts will jump at the chance.

  10. famousringo
    Big Brother

    My first reaction...

    ...was frustration that every single damn thing we pay for seems to want to restructure itself as a subscription service so that customers only need to make one purchase decision instead of considering whether they actually need that new upgrade.

    Then I realized that it makes perfect sense to replace a purchase with a lease for cloud computing, because one of the fundamental ideas behind the cloud is that you surrender ownership and control of your own data (and to be fair, there are payoffs for that surrender of control). If you're going to lease everything on the back end, why not lease the front end, too?

  11. Doug Glass

    Google et al

    If you like it and want it; buy it. If not, well ..... don't.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $20 a month.

    Unless you're really beadlehanded, then you could buy a new netbook in just over a year.

    And there's loads of free distros to choose from.

    'Hardware refreshes' seems a bit pointless if it all runs in the fog like they say it does.

  13. Levente Szileszky

    Hope it has little to do with current Cr-48 model...

    ...because it's so SLOOOOOWWWWWW it's really painful. I'm using it (on-and-off) since day #1 but aside of several design shortcomings which make it impossible to replace my Thinkpad (literally no local storage, cannot play a video file, cannot use remote desktop etc) its OS development really feels like a constant regression: past 2-3 updates broke more and more things, Flash-based sites (~50-75% of everyday users' web use) are literally a PITA to use.

    Not sure what are these people doing but it was helluva bad idea to pick an Atom to develop a linux-based OS without proper hardware acceleration in place first...

  14. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    Oh goody

    A computer which is only usable when it's online. A mobile computer which is only usable when it's online. Because as we all know, mobile broadband coverage is complete, seamless and trouble free.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just what people want!

    Great market research Google, this is exactly what the people want. All two of them.

    Another innovative product from the Mountain View Chocolate Factory aimed for great success!

    You really should stick to copying off and improving on already successful products, that's what you're good at, not creating new ones.

    1. David 164

      May be but then there always companies, Education institutes, Governments

      I am not sure about people, but companies, Education institutes, Governments may jump at the the thought that they pay 240 dollars for two/3 years, free tech support, app account, online storage, and the hardware and on top of that Google repair and up grade the laptop as well.

      If this what going to happen, I am betting people at Microsoft, Apply may be sweating a bit and will release a rival to this with in a year.

    2. Levente Szileszky

      RE: Just what people want!

      "You really should stick to copying off and improving on already successful products, that's what you're good at, not creating new ones."

      You're confused: that's Apple, not Google.

  16. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    My software is already sandboxed

    "But frankly this would suit my parents to a tee. And reduce the phone calls to me drastically!"

    If you just jettison Windows off their EXISTING machine (put Ubuntu on) that'll already happen.

    Anyway, I for one don't want to pay a rental fee for my computer. I also don't want a computer that is ONLY a web browser (I must admit, I use my Mini A LOT for browsing, but being able to play videos off my local disk, to print, to do some local word processing, I want to do this. Oh, I also have run packet sniffers and junk now and again to diagnose network problems, but must admit that is not a usual use.) And, if it is just running a browser, what is the point of having a hardware refresh?

    As for "sandboxes", umm, every time browser-based computing is bandied about, or java, or even .NET (even though it turned out not to be true for it), they always mention "sandboxes". Well, running applications DIRECTLY on my system, the apps are run as a user, so with most of the disk being owned by root they cannot write to most directories. They cannot read files or directories owned by other users unless they are specifically set world-readable, or group readable and the user is a member of that group. Memory protection means the app will segfault if it tries to read or write memory outside it's address space. Since I'm running Ubuntu 10.10, Apparmor uses access control lists to enforce further restrictions on what can and cannot be done by various software. This appears to be pretty well sandboxed to me!

  17. Anteaus


    Not seen this so not sure how it will work in practice, but in my experience it's plugins which run inside a browser which are the main security problem. The way to make a browsing computer secure is to minimize the number of plugins. This is why IE has such poor security, because there are a billion ways of launching exploitable code from it.

    Now, if you have to use the same browser for trusted sites as for general browsing, does that mean you have to do everything with all plugins enabled?

    As regards online apps, Google Docs works better than most, but in general I loathe browser-based apps. One of the worst features of CMS websites is that you can't save your work to a local file, and you can't save your work without losing your place in a large document, because saving triggers a page reload. Thus you don't do periodic saves, and so end-up losing your work when the connection goes down.

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