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Chrome OS Notebooks Have Subscription Fees?

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.

  • amk-aka-Phantom
    I'm not even trying this nonsense... what's the point? XP SP 2 on netbooks FTW! =)
    Reply
  • kcorp2003
    hahahaha... I prefer my ubuntu its awesome.
    Reply
  • ares1214
    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...
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    That, too, but 10.10 overheats my Eee PC 900 like mad. I only use it for programming.
    Reply
  • WR2
    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.
    Reply
  • d_kuhn
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • PreferLinux
    What's the point of hardware upgrades? I thought it was pretty much cloud computing, meaning the computer itself does very little.
    Reply
  • alidan
    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.
    Reply
  • bustapr
    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.
    Reply