Google has seen a decent amount of success for its Chrome OS based notebooks, dubbed Chromebooks. Now Google seems to want to push that success further and is trying out a new idea in the form of Chromebook rentals. Google has announced on its Enterprise Blog that the search giant will be giving Chromebooks to organisations on a rental basis.
Google's Chromebooks will be available on rent
According to the blog post, organisations can rent a new Chromebook starting at $30 per month, or a Chromebox for $25 per month. There isn’t any long term commitment and the rentals are on a month-to-month basis. The rental for the Chrome hardware goes down over time. The Chromebook will only cost $30 a month for the first twelve months, after which the rental will go down to $25 per month for the next twelve months and then $20 per month for the next twelve months. For the Chromebox, the rental will be $25 per month for the first twelve months, followed my $22 per month and $18 per month. The rental will consist of the Chrome hardware with 3 months of limited warranty, the web-based Chrome management console to centrally set-up and control users, devices and apps and 24/7 support.
Back in August, it looked like Google was going to offer100 GB of free Google Drive storage space to owners of Chromebooks. Google’s latest versions of the Chromebook only have 16GB of space. While this may seem limiting to some, the machine is mostly meant to use cloud storage and cloud-based services to work well, though users still need to buy that space on the cloud. By default, Google Drive gives users 5GB of free cloud storage.
Google launched Google Drive in April. The service was rolledout in stages – free account users get 5GB of space while paid upgrades are available, with capacities scaling right up to 16TB. The service lets users simply save data to Google Drive. You can check out our hands-on of the service here.
Google Drive features built-in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology which lets you search for text embedded in images, alongside image recognition, which allows you to search for specific holiday photos, even if they aren’t tagged correctly. Google has integrated Drive tightly with its other services as well and you can now attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+. Google is also working with third-party developers to enable sending faxes, editing videos and creating website mockups directly from Drive. The new service is still a work in progress, so don’t expect everything to be flawless right from the get go; things will only improve with time.
Google started integrating Google Drive into Chrome OS shortly after the launch of the cloud storage service. The update is available for Chromebooks, specifically for the Acer AC700, Samsung Series 5 and Cr-48s Chromebooks.