Google could be offering Chrome OS notebooks on a subscription basis
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Google already deviated from the norm in distributing their Chrome OS netbooks the first time around and they seem to be set on doing it once more. When the Chrome OS prototypes first launched, Google began a massive beta testing program by shipping around 60,000 free Chrome netbooks to testers around the US. Now the company seems to be planning on another unconventional method of distributing their notebooks once they officially launch.
According to a report by Neowin.net, Google’s Chrome OS should be finalized and begin shipping sometime in “late June/early July”. However, the big news is in the route by which Google will be selling these netbooks. According to the website’s sources, Google plans on making the notebooks available for a subscription of $10-$20 a month for every user. The subscription will apparently include hardware refreshes as they are released in addition to a replacement of any faulty hardware.
However, users that aren’t looking to be bound by a subscription to Google will still have another option to get their paws on the Chrome OS notebooks. The search giant is likely to still go ahead with their plans of distributing the notebooks through OEM’s and a one-time payment.
While Google’s supposed method of distribution is unconventional and might not be welcomed by some, the hardware refreshes and replacements are definitely some striking benefits of the plan. In addition, Google’s original 3G data bundle could be included with the subscription and would definitely help to ease the costs. We have yet to confirm any exact launch date for the netbooks but the picture should clarify soon enough. In the meantime, you can always take a look back at Google’s “testing” program for the CR-48 netbooks when they first launched and admire the company's subtle methods.