Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Chrome OS Notebooks Have Subscription Fees?

By - Source: Neowin | B 32 comments

Google may offer Chrome OS notebooks at a subsidized price with an additional monthly charge.

Will Google be charging a monthly fee for using Chrome OS notebooks? That's the latest rumor based on unnamed sources close to the project. The news follows reports that the release of Chrome OS-based notebooks was pushed back to Summer 2011 due to last-minute bug squashing and to improve "compatibility with devices such as digital cameras on Chrome OS."

According to sources, the Summer 2011 window has now been narrowed down to "June/July 2011." Google will reportedly sell these notebooks at a possible subsidized price, requiring consumers to front a large chunk of money, create a Gmail account, and then pay a monthly "subscription fee" for an undetermined length of time. It's not clear if this subscription model applies to mainstream Gmail.com users, or to Google Apps premier customers. There's also no indication that 3G connectivity will be part of the subscription package.

Chrome OS subscribers will reportedly shell out between $10 and $20 per month. As part of the deal, Google will be responsible for hardware refreshes as they're released-- an automatic hardware upgrade if you will. Faulty hardware will also be replaced for free as part of the subscription package. Additionally, consumers wishing to bypass the subscription fees can actually purchase the laptop outright for the full cost through OEMs.

Google is expected to distribute the Chrome OS laptops much like it does with Android-based devices-- they won't be sold directly from Google itself. For now, the search engine giant is remaining tight-lipped about a definitive release date. But if the subscription model is indeed valid, this will be an excellent way for consumers to get a laptop without having to shell out loads of cash at the register. The hardware insurance and upgrades alone may be worth the monthly $20 fee.

Display 32 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 1 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , April 22, 2011 10:40 PM
    I'm not even trying this nonsense... what's the point? XP SP 2 on netbooks FTW! =)
  • 1 Hide
    kcorp2003 , April 22, 2011 10:47 PM
    hahahaha... I prefer my ubuntu its awesome.
  • 1 Hide
    ares1214 , April 22, 2011 11:02 PM
    Thats actually incredibly attractive to your average person. I mean, pay the lower upfront cost, do the monthly fee, and not have to worry about upgrades. No problems or worries. Id be outraged if it was mandatory, but since it isnt, I actually dont mind the idea...
  • 0 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , April 22, 2011 11:03 PM
    That, too, but 10.10 overheats my Eee PC 900 like mad. I only use it for programming.
  • 0 Hide
    WR2 , April 22, 2011 11:04 PM
    There has to be more to this story.
    Like Google rolling out some premium services that run on the Chrome netbooks and tablets?

    Otherwise isn't this buying hardware on an installment plan? At least that is what it sounds like to me. After all if you purchase the hardware outright there are no subscription fees.
  • 0 Hide
    d_kuhn , April 22, 2011 11:22 PM
    Depends on the price... if the monthly charge over time is less than what you typically pay to refresh your system every couple of years then it's a good deal - but somehow I doubt that'll be the case for most people.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 22, 2011 11:42 PM
    I'll never understand those that will take a permanent subscription fee over a one time cost. It just doesn't make sense, as in most cases you'll be paying a minimum of twice as much if you go the subscription route. If you can't afford the one-time cost, you definitely can't afford an unending subscription fee. Good for google, I suppose. Just means more profit for them.

    Automatic hardware upgrades would be nice, but it really is just a matter of what the cost difference is. If it's cheaper to stay on subscription than replace the hardware yourself, then google won't price it that low as it does them no good.
  • 0 Hide
    PreferLinux , April 23, 2011 12:50 AM
    What's the point of hardware upgrades? I thought it was pretty much cloud computing, meaning the computer itself does very little.
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , April 23, 2011 12:55 AM
    arcsoxI'll never understand those that will take a permanent subscription fee over a one time cost. It just doesn't make sense, as in most cases you'll be paying a minimum of twice as much if you go the subscription route. If you can't afford the one-time cost, you definitely can't afford an unending subscription fee. Good for google, I suppose. Just means more profit for them.Automatic hardware upgrades would be nice, but it really is just a matter of what the cost difference is. If it's cheaper to stay on subscription than replace the hardware yourself, then google won't price it that low as it does them no good.


    lets say a net book cost 300$

    getting it for free with a 2 year 20$ a month fee would cost 180 more in the long run, but you don't have to save up for months to get it. if i didn't have enough to buy it out right and needed it, i would defiantly consider it a viable option.
  • -1 Hide
    bustapr , April 23, 2011 1:47 AM
    10-20 a month. WOW. Really, first they want you to save all your stuff online and want you to use only a web browser, now they want subscriptions. No way, no matter how cheap it is, I consider a windows laptop and backup to be cheaper in the long term.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , April 23, 2011 1:58 AM
    You'd think the ad revenues from stealing information would be enough payback for Google, but no, they want you to pay $10~$20 a month. Ridiculous.
  • 0 Hide
    ltbob , April 23, 2011 2:16 AM
    amk-aka-phantomThat, too, but 10.10 overheats my Eee PC 900 like mad. I only use it for programming.


    I How does that happen o.O
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , April 23, 2011 3:26 AM
    i knew compatibility with Digital Cameras is very important for this OS.
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , April 23, 2011 3:40 AM
    Google...just stick to phones, please! ...and tablets. Ty.
  • 1 Hide
    epaalx , April 23, 2011 3:58 AM
    bustapr... first they want you to save all your stuff online and want you to use only a web browser, now they want subscriptions.

    Err, you didn't realise that this was Google's plan all along? It's Google's wish that everything you do on a computer (or even off computer, somehow) goes through Google.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 23, 2011 5:24 AM
    I would have preferred a one-time charge. But, since this is a fundamentally new product, I expect at least one or two new machines to come out fairly soon (at least one year apart) so paying $240 per year would be OK with me. In addition, getting hardware insurance (need to the see the details) makes it more attractive. I'm not a technology freak, so I'll be more insistent on buying outright the third or so generation of this device.
  • 1 Hide
    findmike , April 23, 2011 7:46 AM
    Just to throw in my two cents, I know Chrome is supposed to be entirely cloud based and I get the idea it's also pretty much unlimited or at least extensive storage. While lots of places offer a few gigs of free storage they all let you pay monthly for more space. If the idea is that you get to have everything you do and media you buy backed up in a top of the line fully redundant data center and never have to worry about losing anything ever, that's not that bad of a idea, especially for those that don't otherwise backup important stuff.
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , April 23, 2011 8:37 AM
    lol....i guess all that could data is not free after all
  • 1 Hide
    squallypie , April 23, 2011 9:35 AM
    with all the unstoppable flow of tons of smartphones and netbooks and tablets and what not, will it not affect the already fragile environment with more waste?

    Hope manufacturers have good recycling plans..

    I think it is china that will mostly be affected by all the manufacturing activities, since all of it happen in china!
  • 0 Hide
    MountainFlip , April 23, 2011 4:28 PM
    Think about your parent's and grandparent's. I will gladly migrate my parent's over to this type of setup.

    Thank you Google!

    I am not a fan of the monthly subscription charge, but this article is very speculative so we will see what their offer really is.
Display more comments