Photo: Matt Rosoff
Starting this summer, companies will be able to pay $10 to $20 per month for notebooks running Google Chrome, according to a report in Neowin.The subscription might help get Chrome off the ground, as it would essentially cost companies nothing to take a chance with a few notebooks and see if they turn out to be worthwhile.
The report says the notebooks will be sold alongside Gmail subscriptions, and will include hardware refreshes and free repairs. More likely, Google will sell them as optional add-ons with Apps.
It’s not clear whether the subscription plan will also be available to consumers.
After a couple years, however, the subscriptions would end up costing more than buying the computers outright — early reports suggest that Asus is planning to sell its Chrome notebook for as little as $200.
The deal could also have fiscal and tax implications for customers, as companies would essentially be leasing rather than purchasing the computers outright.
Microsoft has experimented with subscription pricing for Windows in emerging economies, but has not offered a pure subscription plan for Windows PCs from partners.
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