Today Google is launching a new business service: for $50 per year and device, a business can subscribe to get access to Google’s advanced Chrome OS management features and support.
This change ensures that Google can give options in terms of how a company can get access to the management console and support for said console. Initially, the only option was a one-time fee of $150 to the previously mentioned package. In terms of pricing, there isn’t that much of a difference as a norm is usually to plan for a three-year replacement cycle, however with the new annual subscription plan a client may chose to transfer the licence to a new device, while the old method allowed for transfer to a device of the same model. The new payment plan however is not available for educational institutions or nonprofit organizations. It is exclusive to Chrome for Work customers.
The new pricing option is accompanied by a couple of new features that are now part of the advanced subscription/ one-time payment services, the most important of which is support for single sign-on. With this, enterprises can use other sign-on services like Microsoft AD FS, Okta, Ping Identity, CA SiteMinder etc., to allow their employees to log in to their Chromebooks. This is important because some clients may choose not to fully go with the services provided by Google and who may not be using Google Apps.
Businesses can, with this update, now also easily provision their devices with client certificates for accessing wireless networks and mutual TLS-protected web resources. Google’s management console can be used by admins to manage the aforementioned certificates and distribute them to the appropriate users. Several companies have already implemented these features, among them being Aerohive Networks, Cloudpath Networks and Aruba Networks.