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Google woos Windows XP crowd with Chromebook discount

With the demise of support for Windows XP, Google spied an opportunity for Chromebooks. Customers exposed to iOS and Android may now be more open to something besides just swapping in the latest Wintel laptop.

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With Microsoft ending Windows XP support, Google isn't wasting any time seeking out new prospects with a Chromebook for Business offer.

After reminiscing about the Windows XP "revolution", Google argues it's "time for a real change" on its Official Enterprise Blog. Then comes the sales pitch: "Buy Chromebooks for Business and get $100 off for each managed device purchased."

Chromebooks are laptops that run Google's Chrome OS, a browser-based operating system that runs Web apps -- most notably those such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Gmail that are at the center of Google's cloud-computing push. Windows XP, in contrast, dates from an era when most people had no smartphones and personal data was more likely to be stored on a PC's hard drive than an Internet server. Google wants ordinary consumers to buy Chrome OS devices, but its more obvious niche is in education where budgets are tight and in businesses where Microsoft Office isn't required.

Given how popular the 2001-era Windows XP has been, replacing it is a big opportunity, especially since customers now exposed to Android and iOS might be more willing to make a dramatic change instead of just upgrade to the latest Windows machine. Here are some of CNET's ideas for computers to replace aging Windows XP models.

In its promotion, Google also has partnerships with Citrix and VMware for Chromebook customers who aren't ready to fully wean themselves from Windows:

Not surprisingly, Google makes a pitch for Google Docs, too. "With more adoption of business Web apps, companies are making the switch from Windows XP to Chromebooks. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides work online or offline," the blog said.

The deal is good through June 30.