Google, VMware Offer $200 Chromebook Rebates for XP Users
Google has been busy with Chromebook announcements in recent months. In February 2014, Google announced its first-ever Chromebox for meetings product, which brings together a desktop Chromebox along with Google Apps and Google+ Hangouts to offer an easy way for far-flung businesspeople to hold meetings with participants around the world. The new Chromebox for meetings hardware included an Asus Chromebox with an Intel Core i7 processor, a 1080p high-definition Webcam with a Carl Zeiss lens that supports up to 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, a combined microphone and speaker unit, and a remote control unit, according to Google. The device lets users set their meeting rooms up in minutes and manage all meeting rooms from a Web-based management console. Up to 15 people at a time can join in on a Chromebook for meetings. In January, Toshiba and LG Electronics unveiled new Chromebook devices at the Consumer Electronics Show, including LG's all-in-one desktop machine, called a Chromebase. The new offerings mean that eight manufacturers are now building Chromebooks around the world. In June 2013, Google expanded its network of dealers for its Chromebooks by beginning to sell them through Walmart and Staples stores, raising the number of outlets for the devices to some 6,600 stores. The move added the Walmart and Staples stores to the existing Chromebook retail outlets through Best Buy and Amazon.com. Consumers are also able to purchase the machines via Staples online while business users will be able to buy them through the Staples Advantage B2B program.In May 2013, Google began testing Chromebook-equipped store kiosks to make it easier for businesses to help their customers and employees check merchandise stock, place orders or get more information while shopping or working. The kiosks use what Google calls "Managed Public Sessions" to allow employee and customer use of the devices without the need for logging in.
Chromebooks and their desktop brethren Chromeboxes run Google's Chrome operating system and feature a wide range of preinstalled, cloud-based Google services and products, including Google Docs and Google Calendar. Chromebooks allow users to do their work online with less need for on-machine storage for large applications and files.