Google has a message for those 44% of U.S. businesses that are still clutching onto Windows XP: buy some Chromebooks and it will give you $US200 off each one you buy. And you can still keep using your beloved Windows apps.
This is a smart move for Google to drum up customers for its Chromebooks for Business service.
Specifically: Google will give companies $US100 for each Chromebook they buy plus they get another $US100 off the Chromebook if they also buy a service from VMware called Horizon Desktop as a Service (DaaS).
Horizon costs start at $US35 per month per device, VMware says. Horizon delivers Windows and all of a corporation’s Windows apps over a corporate network or the Internet. In other words, you get your Windows desktop running in a window on a Chromebook from the cloud.
Chromebooks range in price from $US199 to $US329. Businesses must also buy Google’s Management console and support, which costs $US150 per device. That feature lets a single IT person manage a company’s fleet of Chromebooks, doing things like creating and revoking corporate Google passwords.
Alternatively, businesses can opt for a competitor to Horizon, Citrix XenApp Platinum Edition, and get a 25% discount on that.
One thing to note: a company will still have to pay Microsoft for Windows licenses, even if Windows is running over the cloud and not actually installed on each device.
But, with $US200 off a device, Google is practically giving the Chromebooks away for free.
Plus, Google is really ramping up the number of enterprise apps that run natively on ChromeOS: Salesforce.com, NetSuite, SAP StreamWork, for instance.
On the blog post announcing the offer, Google’s President of Google Enterprise, Amit Singh, couldn’t resist a little jibe at Microsoft, writing: “Even Microsoft admits: it’s time for a change.”
He’s got a point there. Yesterday, Microsoft officially stopped supporting XP. On its Windows website, it warns, “Your Windows XP computer isn’t as secure as it used to be.”