Home Google Rumored Preparing $10/Month Chrome OS Laptop Rentals

Google Rumored Preparing $10/Month Chrome OS Laptop Rentals

As soon as this summer, Google could announce a program to rent Chrome OS portable computers for $10 to $20 per month. According to a report on the generally reputable tech blog Neowin, this plan, part of an effort to get more people using its services and viewing its ads online, was confirmed by an unnamed source.

In response to our request for comment, Google told us the same thing it told the U.K. Register yesterday: “We don’t have anything to share at this time.” This, then, is just a rumor; but I think it’s a very thought-provoking one. What would it mean for a consumer cloud computing interface to be available dirt cheap, largely ad-supported and as a rental?

Neowin says: “Google will be selling the devices as part of a subscription based model with Gmail to customers…According to our source, Google… will provide hardware refreshes as they are released as part of the package, and will replace faulty hardware for the life of the subscription. On top of this, Google… is likely to not distribute the devices directly. Instead, the company will distribute them in a fashion similar to the way Android is distributed.”

Would such a move democratize access to Web-based computing all the more? Would it change the fundamental nature of our relationships with our computers? (See the conversation below for more thoughts raised by readers.) If there’s truth to this rumor, we could hear confirmation of the plans next month at the Google I/O conference.

July will mark two years since Chrome OS was first announced. Rumors arose this winter of a forthcoming Chrome OS lightweight “surf station” from Acer.

I wrote about a review unit Google sent out in December and said I loved its speed but hated the terrible CR-48 hardware it was shipped on, specifically the trackpad. If that could be fixed, and if the Google Ads were not too intrusive, I can see a lot of people renting such a device.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.