One of the most interesting decisions Google took when it launched its cloud-focused Chromebooks was to offer them to businesses and education on a 3-year monthly payment subscription basis with no upfront cost. However, the company has today announced that it will allow businesses to pay completely upfront for the first time.
Google says that it found some businesses simply couldn’t budget for a three-year commitment, requiring annual cycles. As such, schools and businesses a choice to pay upfront for Chromebooks with one year of access to a Web-based admin management console, phone support, and hardware warranty. After that first year, they will have the option to pay a monthly fee for years two and three for management console access and support.
Education can get hold of a Chromebook for $449 (Wi-Fi) or $519 (3G), while businesses pay $559 (Wi-Fi), $639 (3G).
The change of policy for the business and education markets (important due to their bulk sales) is particularly notable due to the fact that we’re yet to hear anything from Google about success in this market. Sure, it’s only 4 months in, but even today’s blog post from the company tells us nothing about how well sales are going.
Still, Google is well known for its ‘launch in beta’ policy and it seems that applies to its enterprise business models too.
An earlier version of this story had Education and Business Chromebook pricing the wrong way around, this has been corrected.