Google Product VP Sundar Pichai announced today at Google I/O that the Chromebooks functionality for consumers will be expanded for businesses. According to Pichai, more than 50% of IT companies today are still running the ten-year-old Windows XP software despite the fact that it will be phased out in 2014. In addition, that fact that users are increasingly using their laptops to move in and out of the company firewalls has created problems for CIOs and IT admins.
Said Pichai, “Many companies have a hard time upgrading OS and most users use laptops today. They take them in and out of enterprise firewalls and this is challenging for IT admins. CIOs and IT admins are moving computing to the cloud.”
Because of these challenges Pichai announced that Google will be launching Chromebooks for Business, a software and hardware package tailored to the needs of businesses.
In preparation for this, Google has partnered with Citrix and VMWare to provide business apps for Chromebooks and has tested the service with businesses like Jason’s Deli and the City of Orlando.
The $28 per user monthly subscription fee will be covering hardware, a web console for multiple users, warranty and replacements, support and hardware auto-updates. Google tells Search Engine Land that there will be a three year subscription required and hardware will be upgraded at the end of the three years, if companies continue the service.
Chromebooks for Business will be available for users in 7 countries on June 15th. Google will be offering many of the same features in its Chromebooks for Education package.