Will Chrome Notebooks Be Available for a Monthly Fee?

We'd heard previously that Google's going to make its Chrome notebooks widely available this June or July. A little more curious, according to Neowin, is the way in which Google's bringing Chrome hardware to the masses: as a subscription service, reportedly, tied to Gmail.

It's not clear whether that means any Gmail user can order up a Chrome notebook, or just Google Apps users. But Neowin's sources say that the laptops will be available for $10-$20/month per user, with hardware refreshes built into the package. They'll also be available for a more traditional one-time purchase.

A subscription service seems like a strange way to launch a new product widely, to say the least. And if those subscription fees are right, you'd end up paying, at the low end, only $360 or so over the device's lifespan. But Google wasn't afraid to be disruptive with the Nexus One—first, unsuccessfully, employing an online-only sales policy—so who's to say they won't rock the boat again with laptops? [Neowin]