Stone is launching its first Google Chrome-powered devices into the education sector as it unveils its first own-branded tablet.
The Staffordshire system builder used the Bett show, taking place in London this week, to launch the Samsung device. Stone's group marketing director Daley Robinson told ChannelWeb that while his firm remains "100 per cent committed to Microsoft", customer demand has prompted the new partnership.
"Microsoft has fundamentally exited the netbook space, and there is still demand from customers for a netbook-style form factor," he said. "It is an exciting opportunity. The conversations that we have with customers all [indicate] that they are embracing cloud technologies."
"We are also Samsung's number-one partner and this is building on the strength of that relationship."
Robinson claimed that the higher education sector would be a key market for the Chromebook, and suggested the Google partnership could blossom from here.
"Universities have recognised the cost-saving benefits of the cloud; the Chromebook is a premium product, and is priced as such, but it can be part of an overall cost-saving project," he added. "This is the most exciting time for end-user devices; there is a new Wi-Fi standard coming in the next year and it is a great time for hardware. This will be a long-term partnership."
The Stone man also revealed that the firm is launching its first own-brand tablet this week. He admitted that ODM supply-chain delays in Asia had held up the process somewhat, but expressed his excitement at the launch.
"We are really proud to have a Stone brand tablet, it is a great product," he said.
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