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Summary:

Getting enterprise customers excited about Chromebooks can be an uphill battle – but for Google’s Rajen Sheth, it’s a deja vu. Sheth is known as the father of Google apps, and said at Net:Work Thursday that Google’s enterprise product was initially met with similar resistance.

Google's Rajen Sheth at Net:Work 2011
Google's Rajen Sheth at Net:Work 2011

Photo by Pinar Ozger, pinarozger.com

“Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in when they realized I asked them to move their emails outside of their firewall,” remembered Google’s  Rajen Sheth at GigaOM’s Net:Work conference in San Francisco Thursday. Sheth is known as the father of Google Apps, and he told his audience Thursday that establishing these apps what a bit of an uphill battle.

Even Google’s executives initially didn’t believe in the idea, and it took months to finally get the approval for one single engineer. Seven years later, Chrome Google Apps have evolved into a huge success story with four million business customers.

However, Sheth already has his next battle picked: He is now Group Product Manager of Chrome for Business at Google, and in this role is trying to sell Chromebooks to enterprise customers. “I feel like it’s a déjà-vu,” he said when asking about the challenges around establishing the device in the enterprise world. Some people already get it, he said, others aren’t quite there yet.

Google officially introduced the Chromebook at its Google I/O conference in May, and is charging enterprises $28 per month and device. Sheth said that Google wants to do to the desktop with Chromebooks what it did with Apps for enterprise IT. The upside for webworkers and companies alike is that the individual device matters much less than before. “We want to get to a point where any device is your device,” he said, adding that he doesn’t even carry a computer anymore. “I know when I log into my Chromebook at home its the same as my Chromebook at work,” he explained.

So how can Google win this battle and repeat the success of Google Apps? Sheth said that the product is continuously getting better, and also implied that there could be products other than laptops and the workstations currently available. “We are building it as a generic operating system,” he said, explaining that it would be up to the CE partners to come up with compelling form factors.

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Photo by Pinar Ozger.

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  1. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/HFK7si3M @amarchugg #news

  2. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/XLUaviHZ @amarchugg #news

  3. Ray Informatics Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in… http://t.co/NhE8dnU0

  4. Crunked On Tech Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/1Id4b5V8

  5. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in… http://t.co/uyRVigIA

  6. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in… http://t.co/RReIPnut

  7. Roberts Chapman Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in… http://t.co/DkSXpZUr

  8. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/tVl9Q9qe

  9. amazinginteriors Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/JxGUDeSR

  10. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/srCzPMq6

  11. Peter Alexandrov Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in… http://t.co/4fZ9apmO

  12. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/3wdMVhEb

  13. Yasbella Sebastian Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/XKSxGyMG

  14. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/ERCU8obE

  15. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/t2CSVP4C

  16. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/TzUeG8Rp

  17. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/ufxmVuHg

  18. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/NhighFNn via Janko Roettgers

  19. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/gslyuRjj

  20. #virtual events Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting… http://t.co/C11zNCEq

  21. #virtual events Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting… http://t.co/gRpP8oKt

  22. Small Business Apps Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/iParnmOR #businessapps

  23. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in… http://t.co/CkQKQj5c

  24. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in… http://t.co/5MTVXVVf

  25. True Small Business Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/esJzljnl #smallbiztech

  26. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in… http://t.co/I6KFAzvo

  27. #collabortion Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting f… http://t.co/WXsgGad4

  28. Gianto Widianto Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in… http://t.co/ZApMTcrS

  29. WebWorkerDaily.com Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/zloLBaY6

  30. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/Gg055vIE

  31. Jeroen Neckebrouck Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/zaytVGNm

  32. Janko Roettgers Thursday, December 8, 2011

    my latest on @gigaom – Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/QVioWC26

  33. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle @jank0 http://t.co/L125SujJ

  34. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle @jank0 http://t.co/L125SujJ

  35. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: Getting enterprise customers excited about Chromebooks can … http://t.co/R0LL6A12 #JobCircle

  36. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: Getting enterprise customers excited about Chromebooks can … http://t.co/R0LL6A12 #JobCircle

  37. Fburnr: Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of… http://t.co/ifaTM1QU

  38. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/o6RAopRG #webdevfeeds

  39. gigaom: Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/9aRt8ZJt

  40. Nerdy Seattleite Thursday, December 8, 2011

    $28/devicemonth seems like a good deal to me. RT @gigaom: Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/cETI9Ghm

  41. Love mine. Won’t succeed until MS Office isn’t a business requirement. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/s9azg9h2

  42. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle – Getting enterprise customers excited about Chromebooks can be an uphill … http://t.co/drJb2iJm

  43. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle – Getting enterprise customers excited about Chromebooks can be an uphill … http://t.co/rXc40Y4Y

  44. Net:Work Conference Thursday, December 8, 2011

    RT @gigaom: Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/f4elH93O #WorkConf

  45. “Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle” – I’d put my money on this working (via @jank0) http://t.co/zeW58O4T

  46. RT @jank0: my latest on @gigaom – Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/QVioWC26

  47. Something I’ve never understood and I’d love his answer to is why someone would buy hardware that can ONLY run ChromeOS vs buying similar hardware that runs a regular OS and can also run the Chrome browser. The former seems to drastically limit my options whereas the latter leaves me with all of the advantage of Chrome and more options for a very similar price.

    1. Here are things you get with a Chromebook that you do not get with a Windows machine of similar price running a Chrome browser: (a) lightning fast boot up time, less than 8 seconds from cold start to having the Chrome browser open due to the inherent simplicity of Chrome OS and the solid state drive on Chromebooks, or 1 second resume from sleep, (b) super long battery life, typically 6-9 hours depending on the model, (c) the security of verified boot which basically eliminates the need for antivirus software, (d) integrated 3G in some models. For people that own Windows laptops but find themselves spending nearly all their time in the Chrome browser anyway and not using any native applications, the Chromebook is a superior device for them.

      1. Zero maintenance and associated very low provisioning, maintenance, and support cost of Chromebooks are also a big part of the advantage of Chromebooks over Windows.

    2. A Chromebook has value for what it _doesn’t_ have: need for loading software, anti-virus protection, Windows bloat. The simplicity of the device is appealing. Like driving a nimble jeep instead of a large Hummer or trunk that can haul anything. Doesn’t solve all computing needs, but covers a great percentage of them if one adopts the model.

    3. A massive saving in desktop provisioning, maintenance and support labour costs is the reason.

  48. RT @WebWorkerDaily: Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/zloLBaY6

  49. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/iyuia4Im #li

  50. RT @jank0: my latest on @gigaom – Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/QVioWC26

  51. SectorThreeServices Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/l7cBI6i5

  52. RT @gigaom: Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/srCzPMq6

  53. If I can run all my business application out of the cloud for my staff…with enhanced security, no update issues and access any where any time…. that alone would be great. When you factor in 5 minute replacement of new local chromebook and cheap hardware…it’s an IT dream.

  54. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in… http://t.co/hwMgyH8v

  55. Freelance Mentor Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Freelance Advice | Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out … http://t.co/u186p8KW #webdesign

  56. Brandy Luscalzo Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five mi… http://t.co/7C29clic #gigaom

  57. Tech Management Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “Some businesses literally threw me out of the meeting five minutes in… http://t.co/wPUcmpPM

  58. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle: “I know when I log into my Chromebook at home its the same as my Chrom… http://t.co/OqmhByoC

  59. RT @gigaom: Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/srCzPMq6

  60. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/16zXsnaG

  61. RT @gigaom: Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/Ad9TfYeI #edtech – unsurprising resistance to clouds.

  62. Gerhard Ebeling Friday, December 9, 2011

    Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/4tPfuc87

  63. Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle http://t.co/0br4H47Z

  64. Jessica Kositz Monday, December 12, 2011

    Reading: Chromebooks: Google’s next uphill battle w/video of Rajen Sheth @GigaOm #workconf http://t.co/enloRqcL

  65. Chromebooks are targeted to specific types of users that want an easy-to-use, Internet-friendly device. They are not meant to replace the traditional PC or laptop.

    In addition, there are third party apps out there that can bridge the gap for Chromebook users that require occasional access to those tools found only in a Windows environment. For example, if a Chromebook user needs quick, easy, temporary access to a Windows desktop or Windows app, they can use Ericom AccessNow, a pure HTML5 RDP client that enables Chromebook users to connect to any RDP host, including Terminal Server (RDS Session Host), physical desktops or VDI virtual desktops – and run their applications and desktops in a browser.

    Ericom‘s AccessNow does not require Java, Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX, or any other underlying technology to be installed on end-user devices – an HTML5 browser is all that is required.

    For more info, and to download a demo, visit:
    http://www.ericom.com/html5_RDP_Chromebook.asp?URL_ID=708

    Note: I work for Ericom

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