A neon Google logo is seen at the new Google office in Toronto. Picture: Reuters
US teachers flocked to school-centric charity website DonorsChoose to get Google's Chrome notebook computers made available to classrooms for just $99 (R856) each.
The Internet giant said on Monday that it will be offering the steep educational discount on Series 5 Chromebooks from Samsung Electronics Co through December 21, reported Reuters.
It is also reported that Google has decided to sell the laptops at a lower price because Mayan prophecy says the world is ending and laptops will not be useful after. MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte believed that cheap laptops will bring technology to the masses.
DonorsChoose on Tuesday said that it was no longer taking Chromebook requests from teachers since the allotted supply was exhausted due to "tremendous response" to the offer.
DonorsChoose is a website where people can donate money to back class projects or provide gear needed in cash-strapped schools based on needs or goals laid out by teachers.
Google on Monday said that Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks that teachers put on wish lists at DonorsChoose would be available for a price of $99 (R856) each in a hefty $330 discount from the starting price in shops.
"For many students and teachers, the hassles of traditional computing often prevent them from making the most of technology in the classroom," Google group product manager Rajen Sheth said in a blog post.
"Schools that have adopted Chromebooks, however, have been able to bring the web's vast educational resources -- whether it's conducting real-time research or collaborating on group projects -- right into the classroom."
More than a thousand US schools use Chromebooks in classrooms, according to Sheth.
Google built Chrome operating software into notebook computers in a challenge to machines powered by Microsoft Windows.
The Chrome computing model shifts operating software into the Internet "cloud," where data centers store data and tend to tough tasks.
Chromebooks act essentially as doors to banks of Google servers on the Internet, with the California-based technology titan tending to matters such as updating programs and fending off hackers and malicious software.
Advantages include quick start-ups from disk-drive free machines, long battery life, and essentially being able to dive into one's desktop data from anywhere on the Internet. -With AFP