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Google Opens First Retail Outlet In London 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-it's-still-in-beta dept.
theodp writes "Google is following in the footsteps of Apple and Microsoft. The London Evening Standard reports that the world's first 'Google Store' has opened in a PC World on London's gadget street, Tottenham Court Road. Officially known as 'the Chromezone,' the 285sq. ft. pop-up 'shop within a shop,' which only sells Google's Chromebook laptop and a few accessories such as headphones, will run for three months up to Christmas. But if the low-key experiment is successful, Google could follow Apple in opening permanent stores around the world. 'It is our first foray into physical retail,' said Google's Arvind Desikan. 'This is a new channel for us and it's still very, very early days. It's something Google is going to play with and see where it leads.'"
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Google Opens First Retail Outlet In London

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  • Just wondering what physical item google has for sale? RFID kits so you can outfit every item in your home and search it's location in your home via google search?

    where are my keys?

    I'm feeling lucky

    • by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Sunday October 02, 2011 @05:42AM (#37582356) Homepage Journal

      If you had RTFA, you would see that they are going to sell Chromebooks and things to go with them like headphones. Yeah, it would have been a great idea to put it in the summary, too bad they didn't... No, wait, there it is. In the summary:

      sells Google's Chromebook laptop and a few accessories such as headphones,

      What I want to know is what other computers one can get for 349 pounds.

      • by realityimpaired (1668397) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:33AM (#37582474)

        What I want to know is what other computers one can get for 349 pounds.

        For £349, you could very decent laptop... This being Slashdot, I kinda skimmed TFA rather than actually reading it, but are they seriously selling the Chromebook for that much money? That's ridiculous. I was able to buy a 3lb 13" ultraportable for about £250 ($400 CAD), and if I'd had another $150 in the budget for it, I could have upgraded it quite nicely. And that's not even considering other form factors that are a lot cheaper, like a 14" or a 15" laptop where you're not as concerned about weight.

        • by hitmark (640295)

          Did said ultraportable come with a mobile radio built in?

          Sadly those radios have nasty premium nailed too them, dropping them from something can reduce the cost by $100.

          • It has wifi, just like the £349 version... it does not have 3G like the £399 version, but it was available as an upgrade option at configuration time (it's a Dell), and with 3G built-in, it would still have cost less than £399.

            Aside from the fact that 3G data is way too expensive in this country (Canada), the main reason I didn't go with built-in 3G data is that it would have required that I buy Windows with the laptop. For some reason known only to Dell, the Linux versions of their laptop

            • by hitmark (640295)

              Well color me surprised, i could have sworn the mobile radio was not optional. That puts things in a whole new light.

        • In a world where a locked down underpowered touchscreen that you can't upgrade but have to buy a complete new one is the future, the chromebook will probably do really well.

        • For £349, you could very decent laptop... This being Slashdot, I kinda skimmed TFA rather than actually reading it, but are they seriously selling the Chromebook for that much money? That's ridiculous. I was able to buy a 3lb 13" ultraportable for about £250 ($400 CAD), and if I'd had another $150 in the budget for it, I could have upgraded it quite nicely. And that's not even considering other form factors that are a lot cheaper, like a 14" or a 15" laptop where you're not as concerned about weight.

          Lex talionis mofos.

          Can I be the first to say Google Tax?

          I will go to the mat with "I can build a system _!EXACTLY!_ like it for less, but I don't want this and that feature or the form factor, Google always charges more for the same, GOOGLE TAX!1"

          • by geekoid (135745)

            No you can't build a system cheaper, and it's not a google tax. It's the price Samsung charges for the SSD chromebook.

        • by jwijnands (2313022) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @12:30PM (#37583706)
          Prices don't translate that easily. A price in American dollars often means the same in euros and only slightly less in pounds. Something our North American /, crowd seems to forget.
          • by geekoid (135745)

            "A price in American dollars often means the same in euros and only slightly less in pounds"

            Worry less about people in N. American and more about yourself; since you don''t even have it right.

          • by trawg (308495)

            And for us in Australia, a price in USD often means as much as 2x as much in AUD. Even recently when the AUD has been worth more than the USD.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          what size SSD drives do those 250 pound laptops come with?
          How many gigs of memory?

          Anyhow, that's not Google's price, that's Samsung's pricing.

          All this makes me want to ask:
          Why do you think that 250 laptop is better?

        • Would your decent laptop for that price have SSD?

      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        What I want to know is what other computers one can get for 349 pounds.

        Most things on the first few pages here [ebuyer.com], if you want a reasonable idea of UK pricing. As far as I'm concerned, considering its specs (and the clearly problematic requirement of an entirely constant internet connection, making use on the move somewhere between uncertain and impossible) it costs at least twice what it would need to in order to be competitive.

        That said, Google's product development seems to be pretty good; I know I made a good few complaints about Android when I first saw a G1, but a few years

        • by hitmark (640295)

          No such requirement. The Chromebooks are built to leverage the HTML5 web storage API so that say something like Gmail or Google Docs is usable offline (tho for the latter that support is so far read only, likely because of issues with tracking concurrent edits and such).

          • by mollymoo (202721)

            So they're brave enough to ship it when you can't write a document while offline. Wow. If they're taking a leaf from Apple's book in opening stores they should take another leaf from Apple's book and not ship products until they have something worth shipping.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        What I want to know is what other computers one can get for 349 pounds.

        For that you can build a dual- or triple- core machine with a DVD burner and a decent GPU. Well, if you spend the money in the USA, in dollars :) Or buy an Asus Transporter with the keyboard/battery dock. Or buy pretty much any other netbook.

      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        What I want to know is what other computers one can get for 349 pounds.

        I honestly can't believe they're selling a Samsung "chromebook" for £350. I literally read TFA just to check you hadn't got that wrong. I'm completely flabbergasted that they would be selling what is basically a "thin client" Atom laptop with a 12" screen for that. I mean, you can get a real Samsung-brand laptop for less than that.

        I MIGHT have been interested in Chromebooks if they had massively undercut conventional netbooks, or had fantastic new hardware features (epic battery life, for example). Bu

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          I think they're trying to go for the less-is-more branding (think about it - for the longest time the typical iPod did less than most competing mp3 players and yet commanded a hefty premium).

          For small businesses/etc the fact that it has almost zero overhead to support long-term would also be a plus that would add value.

          But, yes, I scratch my head over the decision to price these ABOVE comparable systems that run general-purpose OSes (windows tax and all). If they cost $150 US or something like that they'd

          • by BasilBrush (643681) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @08:50AM (#37582818)

            There's no such thing as "less-is-more branding". Less is more is an attribute of good design. Brand is an assurance of quality.

            Actually the iPod did far more. It had an ecosystem that included software on the PC to manage and sync music files, and soon after to purchase, download and sync to the MP3 player with minimal user intervention. That's all far more than simply mounting the MP3 player as a drive, and leaving the file management as a task for the user to do.

            The "less" involved was less for the user to have to do. Less for the user to worry about. That, together with the attractive industrial design were reasons for the iPod to take off. People bought it despite it's higher cost because it was a better value proposition.

            Now of course Apple has a brand that assures people of a high quality product. But that brand was (re)made largely by the iPod (after the nadir of the brand in the 1990s.)

            As to Google, they have a quality brand in search, for largely the same reasons - they do a lot of quality engineering behind the scenes, but put it behind a simple to use but quality user interface.

            But their brand doesn't transfer too well to most other things they do. Except perhaps email. Certainly not to hardware. They'd have to extend the brand into that market. It's not impossible, but the odds are against them.

            • by geekoid (135745)

              " It had an ecosystem that included software on the PC to manage and sync music files, and soon after to purchase, download and sync to the MP3 player with minimal user intervention."

              oh, how soon people forget. Apple had to be figuratively bludgeoned to get iTunes on the PC. Initially they had said it would be an Apple only device..also firewire only device. Also, the firt couple of version of iTunes for windows where clearly rushed to market. Apples best competency is rewrtinig history.

              You also seem to for

              • oh, how soon people forget.

                Given that I owed one of those early iPods, and you didn't, my recollection is far better than yours.

                Apple didn't have to be "bludgeoned" into releasing a Windows iPod. They released the first generation as a Mac peripheral, then once they saw how successful it was, they released the second generation for Windows as well, a mere 9 months after the first generation was launched. That's far from being bludgeoned. In fact the general response was one of surprise when the Windows iPod came out.

                You also seem to forget moving into the mp3 arena was outside apples core competency as well.

                On the contrary,

              • by tehcyder (746570)

                iTunes for windows

                The horror, the horror.

        • by hitmark (640295)

          There is a mobile radio in there.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Not with SSD.

          • by Patch86 (1465427)

            I'm not really sure what you mean, but my first netbook (a 9" Asus eeePC) had an SSD hard drive. Unfortunately they seem to have gon out of fashion a bit now (I guess it's a tough sell compared to a 250 GB spinning disk drive, what with peoples' attitude to "bigger numbers are better" for PC specs), but that netbook set me back only £200. It had an Atom processor and a full-featured OS too.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          I MIGHT have been interested in Chromebooks if they had massively undercut conventional netbooks

          Exactly, yu can get a perfectly reasonable netbook for GBP200, the Chromebook would have to be about GBP100 to make it a appealing option.

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      I was hoping for Android Market gift cards like those Apple is selling in every store ever. Limiting the service to those who have credit cards was a terrible idea.

    • by jo42 (227475)

      wondering what physical item google has for sale

      Privacy invasion devices disguised as limited functionality internet access device AKA a netbook.

    • by Arlet (29997)

      They are selling you.

    • by RulerOf (975607)

      Just wondering what physical item google has for sale? RFID kits so you can outfit every item in your home and search it's location in your home via google search?

      where are my keys?

      I'm feeling lucky

      That would be SO ... FUCKING ... AWESOME.

      Now all I've got to do is rationalize to myself that it's worth being a Google statistic for the privilege. After all, what's one data point among billions, right?

  • by MRe_nl (306212) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @05:39AM (#37582352)

    But if the low-key experiment is successful, Google could follow Apple in becoming evil. 'It is our first foray into evil,' said Google's Asmodeus Dessicant. 'This is a new channel for us and it's still very, very early days. It's something Google is going to play with and see where it leads.'"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02, 2011 @05:43AM (#37582358)

    People interested in checking it out should use the Warren st. tube station rather than TCR.

  • by penguinchris (1020961) <penguinchris.gmail@com> on Sunday October 02, 2011 @05:43AM (#37582360) Homepage

    I think the Nexus One would have been a lot more successful if they had physical stores... I mean I'm still using mine and love it (it's a device you can really get attached to, despite its flaws and that it's outdated) but I've only ever seen one other one in the wild (other than at Maker Faire SF, where dozens of Google employees were using them).

    Also, it would have been nice to have someplace to check out and buy the accessories and so on, especially on short notice when necessary.

    Despite the fact that you can do everything online these days, there truly is still a major role for retail to play. I would be reluctant to buy a new and unusual computer like the Chromebook without being able to try one myself (as I'm sure people are with Apple products if they haven't used them before), so this will probably be a good strategy for them.

    • by DrXym (126579)
      The HTC Desire was the Nexus One's half sibling - same basic design but modified Android and it sold extremely well. So I agree if Google had got its device into retail channels it could have sold extremely well.
      • HTC Desire was the last Smartphone I know of that has *physical buttons*. Which is one thing making me hang on to it to the bitter end. (that and it's still a pretty good phone, after 18 months)

        • HTC Desire was the last Smartphone I know of that has *physical buttons*. Which is one thing making me hang on to it to the bitter end. (that and it's still a pretty good phone, after 18 months)

          My Desire Z has 40-ish physical buttons, including the Desire-ish small trackpad under the screen

          • Yeah, but the front buttons are capacitative, so bring the same problems, ie poorer user feedback, variable pressure needed to activate them based on atmospheric conditions, inability to find them with your fingers ahead of pressing them since they have no physical shape and would be activated as soon as you touch, accidental activation.

        • by MoonBuggy (611105)

          The HTC Chacha is a decent option if you ignore the bloody stupid name and the Facebook branding. The Samsung Galaxy M Pro B7800 also looks promising, if you're happy enough waiting a few months.

          • Actually, all I want is physical buttons to cover Back, Menu & Home rather than capaitative buttons which seem to be ubiquitous. But thanks.

        • Many Samsung Android phones (other than SGS/SGS2) have physical buttons - look here [samsung.com]. Most ZTE phones also have hard buttons.

    • by Phurge (1112105)

      Agree - if they had physical stores take up would have been a lot higher (also if they had provided a plan for it - Joe Sixpack is not used to paying $XXX upfront). The main reason for physical stores is that these days phones are quite a personal item. (does it fit in my pocket/hand/handbag/purse/?. Does it look "cool"). I think both factors combined meant that Nexus 1 was an underperformer, despite it being the leading phone of its time.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Well, Google learned and released the Nexus S, available form every carrier that it supports, fully unlocked.

      Yes, you can march down to Best Buy and walk home with a Nexus S. Given its age, it's often free with contract these days.

      Given how well it sells, Google seems to have fixed that problem.

  • But you can only get to pay with Google Checkout. Which sits right next to useless.

  • Meh... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by excelsior_gr (969383) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @05:56AM (#37582404)

    Why aren't such stores obsolete yet? This is an honest question. Especially for Google, that has online access to billions of customers worldwide, what would such a store offer? For Apple it worked because part of their marketing strategy is to dazzle you with fancy plastic. Is Google trying to do the same?

    If there was a Google store in my neighborhood, I would probably drop by out of curiosity. However, whenever I go to an electronics retail store the salesperson ends up ordering the stuff I need anyway because they don't have what I want in stock (and, with my luck, even if they once did they would have probably run out). OK, if all you have to offer is 2-3 versions of the same hardware, your stock will always be up-to-date. However, I still don't see any good enough reason for embracing the costs and the trouble of physical retail sale.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They're browsable. Looking at stuff online isn't the same as getting to interact with it in the real world.

      Also, if anything should happen to the thing you buy, it can be nice with a physical place to go to get it repaired or replaced.

    • by Phurge (1112105)

      Google agrees with you, though the millions of people who didn't buy the Nexus-1 (the leading phone of its time) would probably disagree.

    • Well, they sort of make more sense for a lot of countries outside the US vs. the US because those countries have national sales taxes, meaning the price differentials between online and offline are significantly less than they are in the US.
    • by Fnkmaster (89084)

      As the other reply indicated, Google, a company staffed by nerds like you, thought the same thing with the Nexus One. Though it was the best phone of its time, it failed as a business miserably. Because the vast majority of people out there don't shop the way you and I and the people who work at Google do. Because they aren't nerds like us.

    • Have you ever seen an Apple product? it's all unibody brushed aluminum now. PCs are, for the most part, rickety flexing plastic.

      Retail for computers is back for a simple reason--how computers look and feel is more important now than it has ever been as computers have become increasingly portable and consumerized. People want to hold and feel it before buying.

    • by BZ (40346)

      Because a lot of people want to actually _try_ a device before buying it. Little things like how the keyboard feels, how the screen looks, that sort of thing.

      I dearly wish I could just go to a physical store and try a bunch of different e-readers instead of spending tens of hours poring over online reviews trying to tease the bits of information I care about out of them.

    • Re:Meh... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by webheaded (997188) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @01:33PM (#37584036) Homepage
      You know, despite the fact that I am a huge nerd and buying most of my shit online, sometimes I still want to actually try a thing out. For instance, a tablet. I want one with a 10" screen to read comics on but I've always wanted to actually USE one and see how big a comic book would be. I'm sure 10" is good enough, but will I LIKE it? Who knows. At some point, I might actually be able to go down to a store and at least get a basic idea but trying one of the tablets out for myself. If I'm lucky, they might even have the one I want and I can play around with other stuff on it. You can never be sure how much you're going to like using a new device. All the specs in the world can't convey sluggishness...or when reviews say it's sluggish, you realize it isn't really that bad and the reviewer is a gigantic whinebag. So that's another thing too...see if it sucks but also see if it's actually not as bad as reviewers say.

      Sometimes...I really hate reviewers. They over complicate everything because well...that's their job. Sometimes the difference between the expensive thing and the cheap thing is so minimal that a normal person (even a nerd) really isn't going to care. I have to sit back and realize that sometimes...I don't really care enough about the difference between the $150 good enough HP TN Panel LCD monitor that I bought and the $350 Samsung IPS panel my friend bought. Yeah his is better...but I once I've got mine, I realized I didn't give a shit because it still looks good enough. :p
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Because the vast majority of people like to handle expensive items before buying.

    • by Syberz (1170343)
      Because many people like to play with the gadget prior to purchasing it.
  • Physical, Schmizical. IT Services is where the money is to be made! Like with IBM, or maybe the new HP. Google could offer paid assistance in their shops for folks who are having problems with Google products. And judging by how often I read here on Slashdot, "Oh, google it yourself!", apparently a lot of folks have problems googling themselves. Let alone other Google products.

    Think of a Google Shop as a computer fitness service center . . . with your own Personal Google Cloud Trainer!

  • Me too! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:08AM (#37582434)
    Ah, it's the me-too company again.

    AltaVista: we do search!
    Google: me too!

    Hotmail: we do online mail
    Google: me too!

    Nokia: We do smartphones
    Apple: we do too, and added touch and apps
    Google: me too! and we added nothing.

    Sun: We do Java
    Google: Me too! Allegedly.

    Everyone: We do instant messaging
    Google: Me too!

    Facebook: We do social
    Google: Me too!

    Sony/Apple: We do brand-specific shops
    MS & now Google: me too!

    Bah. I will never understand the love geeks give to this copycat advertising company.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jkcity (577735)

      hmmm iphone was not the first touch screen phone you can get and they never invented apps there was apps tores onother phones before it they just tended to be expensive and not have alot on them.

    • by qxcv (2422318)

      It's not what Google does, but how. Google has the ability to realise when something sucks or is broken, and they re-invent it into something that works again. They've done it by enhancing search, simplifying mail, opening up phones, opening up Java, integrating IM and are now hoping to do it with social media and physical retailing. Notice how AltaVista, Hotmail, Nokia and Sun have shrunken back into the shadow of their former glory, yet Google keeps powering along? That's the difference between Google and

    • Re:Me too! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Phurge (1112105) on Sunday October 02, 2011 @07:19AM (#37582600)

      google: "me too - except we do it BETTER"

    • AltaVista: we do search!

      Google: We do search that gives better results based on what the person actually wants. It includes a calculator, knowledge engine, currency converter and many more little features you'll take for granted all in one.

      Hotmail: we do online mail

      Google: We do online mail with quite a nice interface that includes chat features integrated into it, along with a labs section to fiddle with stuff. We give a lot more space for free. We are even trying to innovate with the use of priority inbox's and other features that didn't exist before. Yo

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Listing facts doesn't make you a lover; it makes you factually correct.

        So, Google sees that other tech companies make money with shops, so the opens a shop...pretty much like every other shop.

    • Most of those have merit, but I will say:

      * Sun released Java for others to use. You [read: the courts] can argue about the terms of said release, but it was released for free use on computers if not phones [as if they were different...sigh...]. If Google had developed a language called Microsoft J++ that was similar and pushed it as their alternative, you would have a point. Google uses Linux too. That's what it's there for; use.

      * Altavista, yahoo, etc did classical AI methods relying heavily on human label

      • by geekoid (135745)

        But his "point" applies it any company in pretty much any other industry.

        It's like saying Toyota is a me-too company:

        insert list of things ford had first, and replies from Toyota with me too.,.. Im' too lazy

    • by knarf (34928)

      Sony/Apple: We do brand-specific shops

      Whoa there, cowboy. If you want to teach history, first learn what happened in the past. Your line should have read something like:

      B&O: We do brand-specific shops
      Apple: me too!

      or, if you don't want to limit the comparison to entertainment tech companies, insert any of the dozens of branded fashion stores (Levis, etc). Or why not include phone companies, they used to sell their own branded stuff in their own brand stores. Apple was very late in the game of brand stor

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:20AM (#37582454)

    It is funny to have a store for the people that are not the customers. We are google's product, the advertisers and the carriers are the customers.

    --ditkin

  • COURT ROAD, Tottenham, Friday (NTN) — Internet advertising agency Google is opening its first retail store, [newstechnica.com] selling the Internet-only Chromebook.

    "We've put a lot of effort into making it feel welcoming, homely and, dare I say it, 'Googley'," said Arvind Desikan, head of consumer marketing. The revolutionary shopping experience leverages Google's famous abilities in customer service, having no staff. Customers seeking advice on a product can simply log in with their Google account to the in-store forum, where they and other customers can assist each other.

    "People will be able to go in and have a play with the devices, so they can get a feel for what it's about and we can monitor their reaction." Persons seeking entry to the store must give their bank account name and glue an RFID tag to their forehead, so as to create a suitably decorous shopping environment, "just like in real life." Should they be discovered to be using a name the Google Identity algorithm considers unlikely, they will be ejected mid-purchase and their GMail and Android phone disabled, for their comfort and convenience.

    The store is in Tottenham Court Road, so as to select for the valuable demographic of people who want shiny things and are willing to pay a hundred quid more than they would for an ordinary netbook that does more. A second store will be opened in Lakeside for customers of similar discernment.

    The Google store still anticipates more customers than the Microsoft stores. Rumours of the purchase of a Windows 7 phone somewhere in Britain are as yet unconfirmed, despite investigations by sceptics' organisations.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Sunday October 02, 2011 @06:36AM (#37582478) Journal

    When Apple decided to build their own retail operation, they had a problem to solve. Existing retailers were doing a very poor job of presenting their products. I remember a time where if you saw a Mac at all at a store that sold PCs, it was usually missing a few keys from the keyboard, and if it was powered up, it was flashing the "sad mac" icon. There were a handful of Mac-only resellers who did a better job of it, but there certainly weren't enough of them. Retail was crucial to Apple's survival.

    For an outfit like Google or Microsoft, retail is just something they think they should do because Apple did it.

    -jcr

    • by hitmark (640295)

      Err, HP seemed the have the same issue as Apple regarding getting a proper presentation of their Touchpad. And i suspect Google may have the same problems getting Chromebooks properly demoed. And i think a whole lot of "older" customers store shop more then web shop, especially if the price tag is more then a couple of dollars/pounds/whatever.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Err, HP seemed the have the same issue as Apple regarding getting a proper presentation of their Touchpad.

        I think Best Buy would disagree. I seem to recall the endless signs of "Pre order the HP Touchpad now!" signs all throughout Best Buy stores for months. Heck, when the Touchpad was released, Best Buy had HP reps with tablets everyone.

        Heck, the only other tablets they did ti for were the iPad 2 (obviously), and PlayBook (at least in Canada - RIM's Canadian after all). But after that, it was TouchPad all

    • For an outfit like Google or Microsoft, retail is just something they think they should do because Apple did it.

      While it's cute that you're trying to make some sort of joke/point of conflating Google & MS as Apple-competitors, this statement is totally wrong for Google.

      Google had a real problem trying to get people to look at the Nexus One, I suspect they're having the same problem with early chromebooks. This problem is not quite as dire for Google as it was for Apple (as selling retail product is not

    • by JAlexoi (1085785)
      Well.... Considering that Chromebooks are nowhere to be seen in the stores, Google is solving the same problem that Apple had to. It's just that they are doing it in the newer Apple fashion - Chromezone is like Apple stand in those stores.
  • There's Google store in Mountain View, at the 'plex. They sell the same products as their online store [googlestore.com].

  • So they open up a store and sell only chromebooks? WTF?

    As of right now their hardware portfolio includes the Nexus, 2 different Google TV boxes, maybe a dozen Android tablets, and the chromebook.

    Granted they are not all made by google but they all run android or other google software. Google has a range of offerings to set up an entire digital home. That is precisely why you'd need a retail store to help shoppers make it all work together.

    • by tycoex (1832784)

      I believe this is in anticipation for when they take over Motorola and have multiple phones to sell.

  • built around one product that they also offer a few basically unimportant, buy anywhere, accessories.

    sounds pretty ridiculous to me.
    What is their slogan, "Come to the Chromezone where the only choose you will have to make is how many of our single product to buy"

  • They're hardly 'following in the footsteps of Apple and Microsoft' - Apple spent a fortune on the design of their stores to maximise the amount of time punters spend and maximise the opportunity to convert browsers to sales. I'm pretty sure MS did the same.

    Google have setup a stall in the back of someone else's shop (and a chain that is very poorly regarded to boot!). That's not _quite_ the same thing.

  • One actual "item" and a few accessories. Right. Whatever, it's Google, and we all know what that means: A lot of hype, and once the initial buzz settles down to the usual 17 "adopter/fans" Google will just walk away from it.

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