Google Reported To Unveil Nexus Tablet, Cloud Service At I/O Conference

Solution providers will be closely following the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco this week as the company is expected to unveil a tablet named “Nexus” and provide more details about its new cloud service aimed at competing with Amazon.

Google won’t comment, but a 7-inch Nexus is widely reported to be forthcoming, priced at $199, well below Apple iPad’s starting price of $499, according to a Google training document seen by Gizmodo Australia.

The device, built by Asus, runs on a 1.3-GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, with GeForce 12-core GPUs, 1 GB of RAM and an Android Jelly Bean mobile operating system, and it will be targeted at Amazon’s Kindle Fire, according to the document.

Microsoft is also heating up the tablet space, announcing last week its intention to bring out its own tablet, called Surface, in the coming months.

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[Related: Can Google Partners Sell Chromebooks Against Microsoft's Surface Tablet? ]

One Google partner says the activity can only help his tablet sales.

“We love having a lot of choice with regards to end-user devices and endpoints,” said Tony Safoian, president and CEO of solution provider SADA Systems, of North Hollywood, Calif., which sells both Google and Microsoft products.

“We’re excited to see what Google has up their sleeve with regard to Nexus tablets. We’re absolutely selling Chromebooks in the market now,” he said. “We look forward to being able to sell Nexus tablets and other tablets, and Surface for Microsoft customers who have a large Microsoft footprint. Surface is very early, and we’ll have to see how they do.”

Surface is slated for sale only through Microsoft stores, but Safoian said he hopes Microsoft will let the channel resell them as well.

Other Google partners are less interested in hardware devices, including Patrick Monahan, president and owner of Iron Cove Solutions of Los Angeles, Calif., which includes Google Apps in its technology portfolio.

"Everyone is getting 'tablet overload,'" Monahan said. "I don't ever see it being ‘business essential’ for most companies. Yes, it does email and that is probably the main use, but in terms of actual business use, it’s a long way off."

For cloud services, Google is expected to outline more details of its Cloud Infrastructure-as-a Service initiative.

Called Google Cloud, the services will soon be available to resellers, Shailesh Rao, director of new products and solutions with Google Enterprise, told CRN earlier this year.

Google sees itself as competing against Amazon in this space, Rao said. “They [Amazon] had a head start and they are formidable competition,” he said. “But we feel we have better technology. This is our business. Amazon is a retail business.”

Jeremy Przygode, CEO of cloud-based managed service provider Stratalux, of Santa Monica, Calif., said he will watch Google’s cloud announcement closely.

“We’re certainly interested in learning more about this service,” said Przygode, who already works with Amazon and Rackspace. “It’s helpful to know what Google is providing as a service.”