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Google's next hardware push: Chromebox videoconferencing for businesses

Mark Hachman | Feb. 7, 2014
Google launches a $999 videoconferencing system, Chromebox for meetings, designed to use Google Hangouts to connect employees.

Participants who are working from home, or don't use the system, can be connected to the meeting via Gmail, using Hangouts from a PC, Chromebook, Android phone, or another device that supports Hangouts. Vidyo will also provide a special tool to connect to its videoconferencing systems, and users can also join via a number from UberConference.

There's a bit of a catch: Each system will also come with a $250/year management fee. The first year is included, Sengupta said. In return, Google will provide an undisclosed level of SLA guarantees, continue to provide software upgrades, and other improvements, Sengupta said. "Over time, you'll see more and more management features baked into this," he said.

Google's Chromebooks have quietly emerged as a force in the low-end computing market. Will this videoconferencing capability be what the Chromebox needs to make the same inroads into the business market? Microsoft and its partners will be guarding their territory jealously.

Updated at 11:28 AM with additional details.

 

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