Google Chromebooks Pre-Sale Starts, Partners Still Waiting

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Google Chromebooks became available for pre-order this week, giving consumers a chance to buy what Google and others are touting as cloud-based notebooks that leverages the Web for applications and capabilities via Google's Chrome OS.

According to Google, the Chromebooks officially went up for pre-sale this week. "Nothing but the Web: Samsung & Acer Chromebooks now available for pre-order from Amazon and Best Buy in the U.S.," Google Chrome tweeted Thursday.

Partners have been champing at the bit to get a whack at selling Google's Chromebooks, which are being made by Samsung and Acer and are expected to be officially available next week. But despite Samsung making its Chromebook available today, Google resellers will continue to wait.

"…[O]ur partners are an important part of our enterprise strategy and we look forward to working with the channel to extend the reach of Chromebooks," Google said in an e-mail to CRN this week. "As we've said, we plan to work with our partners, who provide a variety of value added services to our customers, to build out a reseller program for Chromebooks later this year."

Google partners have been vocal about their wanting to get Chromebooks into their arsenals immediately to storm the market with a new hardware and mobility model many say will change the market.

"We're all disappointed that we can't sell them today," said Tony Safoian, president and CEO of SADA Systems, a North Hollywood, Calif.-based solution provider.

The pre-orders for the Acer- and Samsung-made Google Chromebooks notebooks range from $380 to $500. The Google Chrome-powered notebooks utilize 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of SSD storage, and will come equipped with the Chrome OS. For business users, Google is teaming with Citrix and VMware to get business apps working on Chromebooks.

Also for enterprise users, Google will offer a Chromebooks subscription service through which businesses can rent Chromebooks on a three-year refresh cycle, with support, warranty and Web-based management included for a monthly fee of $28 each.

NEXT: Google Chromebooks Are The 'Zipcar' Of Computing

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