SAN FRANCISCO Feb 6 Google Inc
unveiled a videoconferencing system for businesses on Thursday,
the Internet search company's latest effort generate revenue
from corporate customers.
Google said it was partnering with Asus, Hewlett-Packard Co
and Dell to offer a specialized version of its Chromebox
PC that comes with videoconferencing gear, including a video
camera and speakers.
The first Chromebox for meetings to be available is made by
Asus and goes on sale in the U.S. on Thursday for $999, Google
said. Customers can also pay a $250 annual service and
management fee, though the first year is included in the
product's sales price.
The product uses Google's free Hangouts video chat
technology to connect up to 15 separate video streams from users
in different locations.
The product will put Google in competition against Cisco
Systems Inc and Polycom Inc, which make the
video conferencing systems used by many corporations.
The world's largest Internet search engine, Google makes the
vast majority of its revenue from advertising. But Google also
sells services to corporate customers, including special
versions of its online apps such as email and word processing,
as well as Chromebook laptops aimed at business users.