Acer Polishing Chromebooks for the Channel

  • Tweet  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Facebook  
  • Google plus  
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to  

Acer released its Google Chromebook ultrabooks to online and direct market retailers for consumer sales. While the Chrome-powered devices aren't yet available to solution providers for business-to-business sales, Acer says there’s growing interest in the channel for these Microsoft Windows alternatives.

Acer Inc. took a big step in its Google Chromebooks market expansion by releasing the ultrabooks to online and direct-market resellers just as the holiday shopping season gets underway. The PC maker hopes to capture rising demand for low-cost, functional computing devices.

Acer and Samsung are the only two PC manufacturers offering a device running the Google operating system. Until recently, the lightweight devices were only available through Google and the manufacturer’s Web stores and through select retail stores, such as Best Buy.

Related articles

The expansion means online consumer and DMRs such as TigerDirect, NewEgg and Staples.com will now offer Acer Chromebooks for as little as $199.

"Our customers' enthusiastic response to the Acer C7 Chromebook has encouraged more of our e-tail partners to make them available for purchase online -- just in time for anyone looking for a great holiday gift for a loved one or yourself," said Scott Ledterman, vice president of retail, Acer America. "The extra low price of only $199 is so affordable that customers can even buy them as stocking stuffers for multiple people on their shopping list."

Selling through these online resellers may be an important step toward evolving the Chromebook model to the B2B channel. Since the release of Chrome and the first Chromebooks in June 2011, Google has avoided if and how it will release Chromebooks to its resellers and channel partners. Acer and Samsung have also dodged the issue, following Google with a consumer-first strategy.

Acer tells Channelnomics it’s not offering Chromebooks to VARs and solution providers. However, a spokesperson said there's increasing interest and demand among resellers and business customers for the device. Demand is particularly acute in the education segment, she said.

Holding Chromebooks back in the workplace is the lack of applications. Chrome is a decent operating system built to support Web-enabled devices and activities. It doesn't have the plethora of productivity and business applications supported by Microsoft Corp.'s Windows or Apple Inc.'s Mac OS.

The Acer Chromebook price is too good to pass up for many users. As Ledterman says, it’s cheap enough that it can be used as stocking stuffer. Perhaps, it’s also good for workplaces and organizations that don't need the fastest PCs, but rather disposable devices. Schools fit that description: Students abuse, misuse and lose PCs all the time.

This is particularly bad news for Microsoft, which is seeing its Windows market share erode to alternative devices and operating systems, such as iPad and Android tablets. The availability of a thick-client oOS that supports a conventional PC will give consumers and businesses a new option. At the least, Chrome and the Chromebook devices will pressure Microsoft to respond with lower prices or competitive offerings.

Interest in Chromebooks will increase as the application library expands and users find broader wireless Internet access while mobile. Some of these devices will find their way into the workplace through the bring-your-own-device trend. It’s only a matter of time before Acer, Google and perhaps Samsung introduce a professional version of Chrome to the channel.

  • Tweet  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Facebook  
  • Google plus  
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to  
More on Channel Business
man-family-office-suit

New Cyberoam UTM targets remote workers

Security device aimed at small offices

hands-dollars

What you give is what you get: Symantec partner program post-split

Firm's impending split may leave some partners better off, but what about the others?

contract-drafting

RackWare signs up to NetApp partner program

Firm integrating technology with NetApp and IBM

data-quality

Value over volume, RackWare says of expanded channel partner program

Aim is to have the right coverage with close relationships, VP says

Visitor comments
Add comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
In-depth
hands-dollars

What you give is what you get: Symantec partner program post-split

Firm's impending split may leave some partners better off, but what about the others?

steps55

Time to step up: vendors missing the mark on IoT

A new study by AVG Technologies finds that SMBs and MSPs see tremendous potential in the Internet of Things as a driver of business growth – provided IT vendors and solution providers step up their game

wael-aggan-cloudmask

Vendor Q&A Series: Wael Aggan, CloudMask

The latest vendor executive to sit in the Channelnomics hotseat is Wael Aggan, CEO of CloudMask

healthy-heart

Microsoft getting healthy, thanks to consumers

Is it time to take the software giant off the watch list of tech companies in distress, at least on the consumer side, asks Larry Walsh