Google Chromebooks

It seems that Google is gearing up to push its Chrome OS devices into the hands of more consumers. Earlier this year, Google updated the OS to give it a Windows-like feel, hoping that the UI Change would drive more customers to the platform.

While this might have helped the platform grow a little, it looks like Google intends to find new ways to reach even more customers.

Today the company announced two new services related to Chrome OS: a Google Chromebook and ChromeBox rental program, and the ability for its Apps customers to purchase and deploy hardware quickly.

Offering out hardware for rent might sound like an odd strategy, but it could prove to be a relatively smart move.

The new program will let customers rent Google Chromebooks for $30 a month for up to a year. After a year passes, the price will go down to $25. At the end of the second year, it will drop to $20. In a similar manner, ChromeBoxes will rent for $25 a month, and after two years go down to $20.

If you do the math, renting would cost much more than buying a Chrome OS device in the long-term, so why do it? Google hopes that companies take an interest in the rental program as a way to provide machines to temporary workers.

For example, the web-based computers could be used in a political campaign that has temporary workers. Or it could even find use in a company that makes use of seasonal employees. In situations like this, a company could rent for just a few months at a cost that would be cheaper than flat-out purchasing the hardware.

The other new feature is a bulk purchase system for Chromebooks online. Current app customers can snag up to 10 units from a new portal launched by Google. You can also manage your fleet of Chromebooks right from the Apps control panel.

This much is clear: Google isn’t giving up on Chrome OS yet.

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