Google is trying everything when it comes to Chromebooks. At first, it rented them to businesses with a yearly contract at a fixed monthly payment. When that didn't work, Google started selling them outright. Now, it's back at rentals, now with no contract requirements, targeting temporary needs in particular.
Businesses can rent any number of Chromebooks or Chromeboxes they need for the number of months they need and then return them once they're done with the work.
"We’re bringing the cloud model to the hardware itself by trialing a Chromebook rental program, in conjunction with financing partner CIT," Google announced.
"Imagine you’re setting up shop for a local political campaign and will have an influx of new, temporary workers. You can rent a Chromebook for each worker for the next few months, and return them when the campaign is over," it explained
Google is offering the program with CIT - organizations that want to join have to sign up with CIT first. It's trial run, so the offer is limited. Those interested can get a Chromebook of $30 a month with no long-term requirements. Chromeboxes are $25 a month, for the first year.
Prices drop the longer you rent the devices - after the first year they go to $25/$22 a month, after the second year they drop further to $20/$18 a month.
The devices have a three-year guarantee and the enterprise tools Google offers for Chromebooks, via the Chrome Management Console, are available.
Google is also making it easier for businesses to buy Chromebooks, Google Apps business customers can buy as many as 10 Chromebooks online. The devices come fully configured, they're added to the Apps users that need them, and businesses get access to the Chrome Management Console, integrated into Google Apps.
It's hard to know how popular Chromebooks have proven with enterprises, but Google is making some inroad. Schools in particular are making the most out of the devices.