back to article Chrome Enterprise Premium promises extra security – for a fee

Hoping to upsell freeloading corporate users of its Chrome browser, Google has announced Chrome Enterprise Premium – which comes with a dash of AI security sauce for just $6 per user per month. It's been a while since anyone charged for a web browser. Netscape initially asked $39 for Netscape Navigator Personal Edition in the …

  1. Yorick Hunt Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    $72 per user per year...

    ... Or you could just use Firefox... Or Brave if you have brain-dead developers who only write for WebKit.

    1. Ken G Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: $72 per user per year...

      Relax, you're not the customer for this. Companies with more money than sense are.

      First you need to have someone in internal audit point out it exists and that adoption as your default corporate browser would be an improvement. Google will push out articles saying this in the hope someone takes the bait. Then wait for a breach. Someone must do something and adopting Chrome premium is something therefore it must be done. Ker-ching!

      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: $72 per user per year...

        "Companies with more money than sense are."

        You mean "Companies with managers with more dense than sense are".

      2. mattaw2001

        Re: $72 per user per year...

        Actually, based on the current enshittification I'm far from relaxed. Instead I'm reasonably certain that standard features in Chrome are going to move behind a paywall for enterprise and consumer.

        How about a monthly charge to run plugins?

        How about only accessing Google websites through Chrome?

        At the least I expect continuous pop-up spam from Google asking me to subscribe to something as I'm unsafe.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: $72 per user per year...

          Yeah, Google has won the browser wars. The last few patches of resistance like mobile Safari about to fall with the ill considered assistance of the EU regulators. So now Google is free to put the screws to it users once more. The forced subscriptions for everything are kind of galling, and really starting to add up.

          It's really important to consider how the math scales for these fees. Googles costs for development don't scale linearly with the number of users. They bend down quite sharply. Even at a dollar per user per year will make back their development and operating costs. The 70x profit margin is why we should be starting bonfires on their lawn, but they are hoping to slip the wedge in slowly and normalize another massive fee on top of g-suite, search, and every other nickel and dime add on.

      3. the spectacularly refined chap

        Re: $72 per user per year...

        Then wait for a breach. Someone must do something and adopting Chrome premium is something therefore it must be done. Ker-ching!

        Sir Humphrey Appleby:

        We must do something! This is something. Therefore, we must do this!

  2. ChoHag Silver badge
    Holmes

    > But as Gartner foretold last year, "by 2030, the browser will become a platform

    Wow! They're really on the ball there!

    1. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge
      Holmes

      the browser vs. a browser

      But is "the" broswer really a platform for everything, or is rather "a" browser the platform for everything?

      What good does it bring paying for Google Chrome, when every shitty bit of of an application implements its own in-app browser from some minimal-effort, no-guarantees code base?

      While it's no wonder that micros~1 know better, and tries to use Edge, regardless of your default browser, I'm sure that more will follow this example.

      I am a mere lay-person, but I guess that the average computer has several browsers installed. Dedicated browsers (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) and "hidden" browsers (e.g. some help pages rendered using an in-app browser).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Browsers for everything

        Is one the worst and most persistent bad ideas in Tech. Google is the company that has done more than anyone else to push it.

        1) all the browsers are a dumpster fire of technical debt, bad ideas, security and privacy problems and bugs.

        2) HTML and JavaScript are seductive evil, rarely the best or even right tool for the job, but good enough if you ignore all the problems...

        3) Most of the supposed benefits are a lie. Write once run anyware, LIE. Cross platform, LIE(look how virtually every site has exeption code and browser fingerprinting to force windows, OSX, android and iOS to all get special handling. Security benefits, LIE. Ease of use, LIE(look at gmail generating graphics on a page that look like windows and are not, and don't work remotely like a window on any operating system.)

        4) The performance sucks, and these genius browser devs think it's fine for a single tab to hog 90% of the system resources, redline your GPU or F your battery because some random website programmer just dosen't care to write code that isn't hot garbage.

        5) Consolidation means the browser has become one of the main tools to gatekeep the modern computing market and skim profit of others success and labor.

        Pushing native code isn't much more work, will match the native OS, and provide a better UX. It means one version needs to be tested on one OS, as opposed to a matrix of dozens of browsers on different platforms, each with exception code that has to be constantly futzed with. Each of those changes had a good chance to break compatibility on another platform, and the devs and test teams are rarely experts on more than one or few of them. In addition your app may break whenever a third party decides to mess with the browser. At least with a native app with few dependencies you can be fairly sure it will only break when you change things, and a customer can control when to update individual apps.

        1. MrDamage Silver badge

          Re: Browsers for everything

          >> Google is the company that has done more than anyone else to push it.

          Hard disagree. Apple's "you must use shitty webkit pseudo-browser app on iThings" regime was more of the hard shove than Googles effort.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pushing native code isn't much more work

          Tell me you don't do web development without telling me you don't do web development.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge
      FAIL

      The browser as a platform?

      It was a bad idea 2 decades ago and still is.

      WhyTF do we need an OS on TOP of the OS?

      God save of all from this Idiocracy.

  3. CaroleS

    Fortunately, no matter how hard they try to convince everyone they are, Google isn't the only game in town.

    There are other browsers.

    Some of them, mostly the ones not based on Chromium, are even good ones.

  4. pro-logic
    Terminator

    I wonder how long it takes for the AI to work out ads and analytics from companies like Google are a threat and decides to terminate them.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Not soon enough.

  5. heyrick Silver badge

    So company that makes money from adverts, tracking, and enabling the enshittification of the internet wants to make money by promising a nugget of safety (likely so heavily wrapped in legalese as to be useless in reality)?

    It's audacious, but there are other options that don't involve Google.

    1. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

      Does this already constitute a racket

      First, they create a problem.

      Then, they sell you an insurance against it.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Does this already constitute a racket

        Modern day capitalism in a nutshell.

        "Nice thing you have there. Be a shame if something happened to it."

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Does this already constitute a racket

        Yes, except its not an insurance. Just a vague claim.

    2. Rafael #872397
      Pirate

      "Noice internet you've got here. It would be a pity if it was invaded by pirates, ads, criminals and bad web designers".

  6. ChrisElvidge Bronze badge

    Safer browsing

    So, is Chrome Enterprise Premium a bit like Chrome Safe Browsing (for a fee). I.e. Not safe really.

    1. MrDamage Silver badge

      Re: Safer browsing

      We promise not to monetise your data (while silently stealing and monetising your data).

      Fuck em right in the earhole.

      1. Fred Dibnah

        Re: Safer browsing

        Mine wouldn’t fit there :-D

  7. Locomotion69
    Meh

    ...which comes with a dash of AI security sauce...

    Now I get it. The moment you can slab a sign "AI included/driven/powered/..." to your product you can ask (more) money for it.

    And the benefits are ...... joining the hype?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      The benefit directly depends on how much stock you have.

  8. Plest Silver badge
    Facepalm

    True big pharma style, selling both the disease and the cure!

    "We've spent the last 25 years filling your browsing experience with shit, but hey there's a solution and it's only $72 person! Call for details!"

    I'm sure businesses will be falling over themselves to lap this one up, as per usual so they can have someone to yell at when something goes wrong, just like all the support contracts we all get fleeced for every year.

  9. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Good guys Google

    The best way to sell a more "secure" version of Chrome is for Google to collect more data from the free version and do worse things with it.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Good guys Google

      Naturally!

  10. aerogems Silver badge
    Pirate

    So basically...

    which comes with a dash of AI security sauce for just $6 per user per month.

    So, basically, it's a corporate grift. Designed to pad Google's bottom line without having to actually do anything other than make some vague claims about AI and give victims suckers customers the warm fuzzy feeling of a false sense security.*

    * Literally and figuratively

  11. Ryan D

    Google….

    Now being paid to take and resell your corporate data.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Before using AI as a security mechanism ...

    AI itself has to be secure. That's a significant task for the black box functionality of AI.

  13. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    The irony of Google developing AI and selling protection against it...

  14. Binraider Silver badge

    Tobacco Sales Tactics

    Get 'em hooked, then raise prices.

    I see no difference in the practises employed, and you should use the alternatives. Minor difficulty that the major sponsors of Chrome and Firefox are of course both in Google. And the code base of quite a few others is also derived from Chromium.

    New, new browser time?

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