Posted by: Glenn Wilson, Product Manager, Chrome for Business

A year ago we introduced a new model of computing with the launch of Chromebooks. Since then we’ve seen hundreds of schools across the U.S. and Europe adopt Chromebooks and use them to reshape learning as we know it. We’ve also seen a lot of interest from businesses, with organizations across a variety of industries using Chromebooks in a number of compelling ways.

Today we announced some exciting developments — new hardware, a major software update and many more robust apps — as we continue on our journey to make computers much better. For businesses and schools, we’re introducing zero-touch deployment, more affordable desktop virtualization, and a simplified pricing model.

Zero-touch deployment
Today, most businesses and schools require a very manual and often cumbersome process to deploy computers. In contrast, you can remotely set up Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, and manage users, apps and policies across a fleet of devices via a web-based console. This ease of setup and deployment results in a total cost of ownership for Chromebooks that’s less than half of that of traditional PCs.

With the latest OS release, you can also push network settings and auto-enroll a device for management when a user first logs in, creating a zero-touch deployment experience where you can ship a device directly to an end user. Once a user is logged in, the Chromebox or Chromebook is automatically configured with the designated apps, networks and settings without any manual IT intervention. Thereafter, you can now control the frequency of OS updates and receive reports on device usage.

Works seamlessly with all apps
For those who still require access to specific Windows software, we’ve teamed up with nGenx to launch a hosted virtualization solution where you can access any desktop app through the web—at a fraction of the price of current virtualization offerings.

New customers, compelling use cases
One of the things we’ve learned from businesses is that Chromebooks and Chromeboxes make great tools for a variety of uses such as retail stores, call centers, mobile or distributed workforces, and library lending. Here are four great examples:
  • Retail and distributed offices: Dillard's Inc., one of the largest fashion, apparel, and home furnishing retailers in the U.S., will deploy Chromeboxes in hundreds of their retail locations across the U.S. to give employees access to Google Apps and various internal apps.
  • Call centers: Kaplan, an educational test prep and training provider, is moving their New York call center to Genesys’ HTML5-based customer service solution running on Chromeboxes.
  • Mobile workforces: Mollen Clinics is rolling out 4,500 Chromebooks with 3G connectivity to support Walmart & Sam’s Club flu clinics.
  • Device lending: The California State Library is making 1,000 Chromebooks available for checkout in public libraries across the state, based on successful Chromebook lending programs at the Palo Alto and Santa Clara City Libraries.

Simplified pricing
Finally, we’re simplifying business and education pricing for the devices, as well as for management and support. Management and support is now a one-time cost of $150 per device for businesses and $30 per device for schools, and lasts for the supported life of the device. You can purchase devices, and management and support directly from Google or our authorized resellers. And you can add management and support to any device that you currently own. For more information, check out our website.