By Alexandra Burlacu | Jun 18, 2013 03:54 PM EDT
Google is expanding the retail availability of its Chromebook laptops, teaming up with several heavyweight online retailers to offer the device.
The tech giant said that Chromebooks will now be available at more than 6,600 stores, which means the laptops will triple their availability.
Walmart started offering the Acer C7 Chromebook for $199 at 2,800 of its stores on Monday, June 17, with more retailers to follow suit shortly. Starting this coming weekend, Staples will also join the race and offer Chromebooks from Acer, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Samsung at its more than 1,500 stores nationwide. Staples will sell the laptops online as well.
Google launched its laptops running the Chrome OS in a bid to convince more users to rely on cloud computing, but so far the devices failed to leave much of a footprint in the market. The tech giant hopes to change all that by expanding the Chromebooks' retail availability.
Office Depot, OfficeMax and regional chains TigerDirect and Fry's outlets will start offering Chromebooks as well in the coming months, Google announced in a blog post. Previously, Chromebooks were only available at Best Buy and Amazon.com.
With the new expanded availability, Google will now sell its Chromebooks in three times more retail outlets, widening its reach both in the U.S. and in 10 other markets worldwide, notes the company. Joining Dixons in the UK, 116 Tesco stores will sell the Chromebooks, while all Media Markt and Saturn stores will expand the Chromebook availability in the Netherlands. FNAC stores join the party in France and Elgiganten stores will sell the devices in Sweden. All JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman stores will start carrying the Chromebooks in Australia. Google further notes that it's working hard to make its Chromebooks available in even more countries this "later this year."
Considering that Chromebooks were previously available only from Best Buy stores or from online retailers such as Amazon.com, the new scheme marks a significant step for Google, considerably expanding the availability of its Chromebook laptops. It remains to be seen, however, whether widening its reach will help Google gain a bigger fan base for its Chrome OS laptops.
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