Google has moved forward with the next phase of its plan to directly compete with Apple for your computing cash by opening an actual Chrome laptop store in London. Dubbed the “Chrome Zone,” the store is designed to give consumers a hands-on sample of what cloud computing is like using a Google Chromebook.
Inside the store, staffers stand at the ready to walk customers through the Google ecosystem of cloud services and applications on the notebooks. Commenting on the launch, Google Product Marketing Manager Laura Thompson said, “Many things in life, like football and rock music, are best experienced in person. Chromebooks are no exception.”
Perhaps the most surprising thing about this new retail initiative is that Google decided to put its first non-travel centric retail experiment in London, of all places. Those following the company’s recent history in Europe know that Google hasn’t had an easy time in terms of public perception in the region, but a recent initiative tied to Britain’s Tech City indicates that the brand is truly committed to making London the beachhead of its integration into Europe’s consumer market.
Referring to Google’s recent Tech City plans, former Google EMEA Head of Corporate Development Anil Hansjee gave us some insight into what Google’s increased presence in the U.K. means for tech innovation: “The emerging ecosystem of Internet startups in East London already has amazing resources at its fingertips such as Seedcamp, Techhub and The Trampery co-working spaces. With the Google announcement more resources are being added… The Google building is more than just about working space. They have understood what start-ups actually need at the very early stages and are bringing mentorship, skills and resources…”
Although Google has confirmed that more Chrome Zone stores will begin appearing throughout the U.K., no plans have been announced for additional stores in other major cities, but stay tuned for updates. We have a feeling, as the stores begin to evolve over the next year, the much-lauded and iconic Apple Stores may finally have some worthy competition.
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Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2394169,00.asp