Neowin reports that “a reliable source” has indicated that Google ChromeOS notebooks will be available for purchase around the end of June or the start of July, and that in addition to standard sales, Google will offer them on a monthly subscription basis.
For $10-$20 per month, Google will replace faulty hardware for the life of the subscription, and will provide hardware refreshes as they become available. This essentially treats notebooks like a cable modem—a device leased from the cable company as part of your monthly fee in return for replacing it if anything goes wrong.
I wonder if the subscription will involve a minimum contract length? If not, it would be interesting to try the device out for a month or two at minimal cost, even if I didn’t want to keep it for the long term.
And if scaled down, perhaps the subscription model could offer a way for people to try e-book readers who didn’t want to pay for one in a lump sum. Would you pay, say, $5 a month for a few months to rent a Kindle if you weren’t sure you wanted to buy one?