One (Small) Hidden Cost Of Chromebooks For Business: Google Apps Not Included

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Google Posts Chromebook Product Page With Specs, FAQ, And Notifications

If there was any question about Google’s commitment to Chrome OS, you clearly haven’t been following day two of Google I/O today. It’s all Google is talking about. And in every way possible. But the biggest angle being talked about is probably the opportunity for businesses.

And that makes sense. Getting Chromebooks into the business market solve two problems for Google: Microsoft and a new revenue stream. If Google’s strategy works here, it could become a massive business for them. And it’s one that directly threatens Microsoft more than ever. All of that sounds great, but there is one curiosity in the business strategy: they’re not including Google Apps.

That’s right, even though Google has created a $28-a-month program to get Chromebooks into businesses, that cost does not include Google Apps for Business. If you want Google’s app suite, you’ll have to pay separately.

Granted, it’s not a huge fee. Google charges $50 a year for businesses apps. The means it’s only an additional $4 or so dollars a month if you want to add it on. But that almost makes it weirder that Google isn’t including apps with the program.

Maybe it’s a concern that Google would face scrutiny for bundling their own apps — something Microsoft knows something about. Who knows. It’s just a bit odd. If you want to get the full Google business experience with Chrome OS, it’s actually going to cost you more like $32 a month, instead of $28.