May 12, 2011
Google tomorrow will announce sales of the new Chrome laptop in a $20 a month “student package” that combines both hardware and online services, according to a senior Google executive.
The product is almost certainly a precursor to an enterprise offering. Google Apps, an online product with features similar to Microsoft Office (word processing, spreadsheets, calendars, and other productivity software) is sold to business for $50 a year. An inexpensive Chrome laptop could be added to that for a small premium, somewhat the way mobile phones are sold below cost when tied to calling plans.
The browser-based office productivity system may also promise businesses more control over what employees do online. Google offers ways companies can set where employees go, and how they can access internal data.