The notebooks will be sold to consumers as a subscription.
Tech site Neowin is claiming that Google’s much awaited Chrome OS based notebooks will be available for purchase in late June to early July. The date pretty much aligns with Google’s tentative release window of ‘Summer 2011′.
However, Google will be playing the game differently than other laptop manufacturers. Neowin says that Google plans to sell the device as part of a subscription based model with Gmail. The notebooks will be available for $10-$20 a month per user, and with Google providing hardware refreshes as they are released as part of the package. Google will also take the responsibility of replacing faulty hardware for the life of the subscription.
In addition, Google will also make the devices available as a one-time payment, like a normal retailer, though it is unlikely to distribute it themselves.
What is not clear is the tie up with Gmail, will it be available for mainstream Gmail users or only for Google Apps premier customers? Regardless, this is an interesting strategy and we are now eager to see it in action.