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Google unveiled Chrome operating system-based netbooks this week in the never-ending battle to win mindshare away from both Apple and Microsoft.

Pointing to the speed of its Chrome web browser, Google said that users could boot the new Chromebooks and be reading email in eight seconds.

"Chromebooks bring you all of Chrome’s speed, simplicity and security without the headaches of operating systems designed 20 to 30 years ago," the company posted in its Official Google Blog. "We’re very proud of what the Chrome team along with our partners have built, and with seamless updates, it will just keep getting better."

Quick Specs

Initial Chromebooks from Samsung and Acer will appear on the market on June 15 and be available from Amazon and Best Buy with prices starting at $349, all with just 16G drives and weighing 3.3 lbs. The largest screen size is 12.1 inches. The Chromebooks will run dual core Intel Atom processors. They will offer both WiFi and 3G connectivity, and Google promises the battery will last a day without needing to be charged.

Through partnerships with VMware and Citrix, Google also says that Chromebooks will run the enterprise applications that business users use today.

The Partner Perspective

Google’s largest reseller partner viewed the news as a big plus.

"From a channel perspective, Chromebooks have potential to create tremendous reseller and professional services opportunities for top Google solution providers like Cloud Sherpas," Eran Gil, co-founder and vice president of business development at Cloud Sherpas told Channel Insider.

"As enterprises adopt Chromebooks they’ll look to Google partners for help with issues like how best to use applications that don’t run natively in browsers, and how they can migrate to applications that have a true cloud architecture," he added. "As usual Google has taken a leadership role in driving the cloud further into the enterprise, and in so doing has facilitated new and exciting business opportunities for partners like Cloud Sherpas."

A Hardware as a Service Option

In addition to Chromebooks being offered for sale, Google will also rent/lease Chromebooks for enterprise users at a price of $28 per user per month or to educational organizations for $20 per user per month.

The service includes the chromebooks, a cloud management console to remotely manager and administer users, devices, applications and policies, Google said. Enterprise-level support, device warranties and replacements and regular hardware refreshes are also included, Google said.