Would you buy an ad-supported Chromebook?

Would you buy an ad-supported Chromebook?

Summary: Google says that it has no plans to introduce an ad-supported version of the Chromebook. But the move would make sense, and increase adoption rates for the computer.

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TOPICS: Amazon
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When Amazon announced an ad-supported version of its Kindle last month, reactions were, quite understandably split. While some dismissed the move as a shameless cash grab, others called it the future of gadgets.

But will Google ever go a similar route with its recently-revealed Chromebook? Not likely, says Google Chrome senior VP Sundar Pichai, who said that Google currently has no plans to release an ad-supported version of the the device.

But should it? At $349, the cheapest version of the Chromebook isn't exactly expensive - but nor was Amazon's $139 Kindle before the company shaved $25 off with the ad-supported model. But if Google is looking for significant adoption rates for the computer, the price may have to come down - and significantly.

Obviously, the best way to do this is to subsidize the Chromebook, following Amazon's lead and offering an ad-supported version of the device. As long as the advertisements are unintrusive - a la the ones that appear on the Kindle's screensaver - customers may not notice nor mind. But they will notice the price, especially if it crosses a psychologically-significant threshold to $299 $199 or $99.

And that may be more important for the Chromebook, which is, by Google's own admission, solely a web device. Convincing consumers to shell out money for such a stripped-down product will be infinitely easier if that product isn't all that expensive to begin with. Google, of course, maintains that the Chromebook is already competitively priced, but the company also argues that the Chromebook is in a category all its own. And the price should follow a similar model.

Topic: Amazon

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36 comments
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  • RE: Would you buy an ad-supported Chromebook?

    I don't like Big Brother whether I'm a VIP or not, so no...
    AmediaN
    • RE: Would you buy an ad-supported Chromebook?

      @AmediaN
      I doubt it has anything to do with big brother but it does remind me of the FREE PC offers from the late 90's... see where that ended..
      Hasam1991
  • Chromebook is useless as it sits...

    ...much less saddle it with ads.
    wolf_z
  • Short answer: no.

    As a business user, I would expect reliability and predictability from my business tools. It would not be worth the savings to jeopardize my job performance because some yahoo decided to load my laptop down with obnoxious ads.
    terry flores
  • I would not waste a dime on a chromebook

    as it has no real benefits.
    There's also the hidden cost of Google stealing your personal information and selling it. As for ad-support, YOU are the ad and Google will sell you out to the highest bidder.
    iPad-awan
    • Do you ever ...

      @iPad-awan

      come up with a new refrain? The old one is getting rather monotonous.
      Economister
      • RE: Would you buy an ad-supported Chromebook?

        @Economister

        You are complacent. Just because it is the mantra for a long time, the risk, worry, and reality of it is no less dangerous.

        And don't bother with MS this, Apple, that, strap on the blinders for this article. I love it when people go so what the other guys do it to. Remember two wrongs don't make a right.

        Try to be bigger than that.
        Raid6
      • I was looking for a somewhat coherent thought/message

        @Raid6

        but after a so-so start, it went rapidly down hill. If you want to preach, try again.
        Economister
      • Economister, you're the one preaching.

        @Economister<br>You should re-read at all your tiresome posts before you start judging people.
        iPad-awan
      • RE: Would you buy an ad-supported Chromebook?

        @Economister

        I dont think iPad-awan is off-base here. Google does look at your personal information. Let me put this the other way. We all complained on the conspiracy that everytime Windows looks for an update it contacts the mothership and sends some information. Its not proven yet we think so.

        In case of Google, it definitely scans my email and the proof is in the targeted ads that they put. How come you are not infuriated by that?

        Day in the life of a Google lover and what Google knows about me:
        Gmail: Knows everything about my email conversation with my friends, relatives, business partners
        Calendar: Knows what my today's appointments are
        Maps: Knows where i live (MyMaps if you have set alocation called home)
        Latitude: Knows in real-time where I am throughout the day
        Voice: Knows who I am talking to and what I am talking about
        Docs: knows the sensitive material I am working on
        PicasaWeb: knows about all my personal pictures of my family, kids

        Now just close your eyes and imagine that all these services were offered by Microsoft free of cost...would you trust Microsoft then??
        DontBeEvil
  • What's the point?

    At $349, I can get an Acer instead without the compromise. And Google doesn't have to know all about the ways I use my pc.

    http://www.amazon.com/Acer-LX-RD502-005-AS5253-BZ602-15-6-Inch-Laptop/dp/B004ETLO6C
    dave95.
    • And if you insist on using Google stuff

      @dave95. You can run Peppermint OS Linux as either a liveCD or a dual boot. It is designed around Google Online stuff and is free to download and use. I tried it, thought, "How cute" and went back to Ubuntu. If you don't use Google apps, it is not worthwhile.

      Paul
      pfyearwood
  • No, there are too many ads on all the websites already.

    It's getting so bad that it seems there isn't any informative 'content' on the internet any more, just advertisements and opinions.

    There's also the fact that it's still a network terminal rather than a real computer, and that at the money/month that they're talking about by the end of the period I could have purchased a decent laptop which would have full capabilities and NOT need to be tethered to a network connection just to work or play.

    Chrome-book is too limited and too expensive, and that includes a discounted model with advertisements.

    Sorry, but no thanks.

    Regards,
    Jon
    JonathonDoe
  • Yes, Google will create an ad supported option

    I don't see this moving very well on a rent/purchase so it will be at the point where it will be given away, so Google will sell ads to recoupe the costs.
    Will Pharaoh
    • RE: Would you buy an ad-supported Chromebook?

      @Will Pharaoh

      Didn't companies try that before? Free computers if you watched a ton of ads?

      I seem to recall most of thee companies offering them went Tango Ultra.
      Hallowed are the Ori
  • Don't worry

    Donnieboy will be here shortly to tell us all why we're wrong if we don't want one of these pieces o' crap.
    Hallowed are the Ori
    • RE: Would you buy an ad-supported Chromebook?

      @Hallowed are the Ori

      Guys, with an ad supported Chromebook, all your worries about overpaying are taken care of! Not to mention Google will make sure to target you specifically to make the ads relevant to you that way as a consumer you can get the best deals on the things you like, while Google gets the profits from showing you ads in the first place! It's a win-win for everybody!
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • You left out the part where

        @Cylon Centurion 0005

        "MS will go belly up because the only people buying Windows will be the 6 people who still print on paper" :)
        Will Pharaoh
      • RE: Would you buy an ad-supported Chromebook?

        @Cylon Centurion 0005

        ROFL! Super!!!! I get personlly profiled ads while I use my docs??? no tanks! me no likey.

        You gotta be effing retarted if you thing that will fly... Windows killer my *
        WishyWashyWannabe
    • RE: Would you buy an ad-supported Chromebook?

      @Hallowed are the Ori

      I'm afraid Donnie is too busy trolling all the other Chromebook blogs. Looks like he's getting worried.
      tonymcs@...