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Google opens first retail store in London

Google opens first retail store in London

The new Chrome Zone store will enable potential buyers to try out a Chromebook first-hand.

Google has opened its first retail outlet in London. The company has chosen to partner with the Dixons Group, specifically Currys and PC world, and the first 'Chrome Zone' outlet has opened inside the Tottenham Court Road branch of PC World.

The company is giving potential punters a chance to try out the latest Chromebooks, and a visit to the store will give you the chance to get first-hand experience of the cloud computing-based, browser-orientated Chrome OS in action.

'The Chrome Zone is designed to be as open, colourful and user-friendly as possible, and there are seating areas for shoppers to enable them to try out Chromebooks in comfort,' Google said in a statement.

The Chromebook has only been available so far via online etailers such as Amazon and PC World, which don't offer a way to try out the devices first. As such, Google is clearly hoping that more people will buy a Chromebook after trying one first-hand.

According to Arvind Desikan, Google UK's head of consumer marketing at Google UK, the company had 'found anecdotally that when people tried the Chromebook and played with it, that made a huge difference to their understanding of what the Chromebook is all about.'

In a similar fashion to Apple's stores, experts will be on hand to advise potential buyers, with the first snaps of the store appearing to show equally flashy-looking interiors to its competitor.

Have you taken a Chromebook for a spin yet? Do you think the retail store will help Chromebooks to catch on? Let us know in the forum.

27 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Phalanx 3rd October 2011, 12:01 Quote
Dixons group? Really? I sense great fail in this endeavour.
Centy-face 3rd October 2011, 12:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phalanx
Dixons group? Really? I sense great fail in this endeavour.

Who else could they partner with?
Phalanx 3rd October 2011, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centy-face
Who else could they partner with?

No one?
Digi 3rd October 2011, 12:18 Quote
They could open the equivalent of the 'Apple Store' self branded but it would cost them a lot more to get it off the ground. By partnering with Dixons they get out of a lot of the admin and can get products out there faster.

I for one would be interested in trying one but unfortunately I moved to Denmark... :P
Phalanx 3rd October 2011, 12:21 Quote
It's just opinion I guess. I wouldn't walk into a Dixons (of any type, ie. PC World, etc) if you paid me!
Combatus 3rd October 2011, 12:23 Quote
A Google branded store would undoubtedly draw quite a bit of attention, but as they're only pimping one product, doing so might be a bit overzealous?
mighty_pirate 3rd October 2011, 12:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phalanx
It's just opinion I guess. I wouldn't walk into a Dixons (of any type, ie. PC World, etc) if you paid me!
Why?
I know they suck on a number of fronts, but their prices are occassionally pretty good. I've known them to better than both Amazon & Ebuyer on occassion.
greypilgers 3rd October 2011, 13:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mighty_pirate
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phalanx
It's just opinion I guess. I wouldn't walk into a Dixons (of any type, ie. PC World, etc) if you paid me!
Why?
I know they suck on a number of fronts, but their prices are occassionally pretty good. I've known them to better than both Amazon & Ebuyer on occassion.

I echo this - whilst so-called 'computer enthusiasts' generally wouldn't shop at these outlets, PC Worlds are suaully pretty full on busy shopping days, so plenty of people use them. Makes sense to me to position your products in a key area of a leading retail outlet for PCs?
justicefornone 3rd October 2011, 13:40 Quote
I love walking around them chuckling at the specs of the PCs and prices of said naff PCs. It's great fun, although usually end up chatting to some people who are after PCs and are confused. That is also rather fun mind... Maybe I should get a job there!
improprietary 3rd October 2011, 14:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digi
They could open the equivalent of the 'Apple Store' self branded but it would cost them a lot more to get it off the ground. By partnering with Dixons they get out of a lot of the admin and can get products out there faster.

I for one would be interested in trying one but unfortunately I moved to Denmark... :P

Get out of there while you can! The national beer is basically watered down piss with fizz!

#offtopic
jrs77 3rd October 2011, 14:12 Quote
ChromeOS has written fail all over it imho, just as much as all other cloud-products.

Noones able to guarantee 110% safety of my data in the cloud and as legal systems heavily differ between US and EU I don't see the cloud to be of any use at all for international companies aswell. See "Patriot Act" in that regard.

Aditionally. A device that doesn't work while offline is total bollocks and aslong as most people don't have access to unlimited mobile broadband-plans for a fixed and rather low price these "online only" devices won't take off in the consumer-market.

So yeah. They can sure install shops for their ChromeOS-gimmicks, but anyone with a small amount of brain-capacity left can only laugh about this.
Cogwulf 3rd October 2011, 14:38 Quote
The biggest problem with chromebooks that I can see is that for basically the same base hardware, they cost about £100 more than a windows netbook. And also, the fact that they use tiny SSDs and that chrome OS has lower power usage than windows means that they're using much cheaper batteries to get the same battery life.

Basically, if I had the option to buy a normal netbook and install chrome OS on it, I would seriously consider it, but current options are extortionate.
John_T 3rd October 2011, 14:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by improprietary
Get out of there [Denmark] while you can! The national beer is basically watered down piss with fizz!

I assume you're talking about Carlsberg? Have you ever actually tasted it in Denmark? It tastes like a completely different drink over there - Quality Control definitely holds back the good stuff for themselves...

As for Google partnering with Dixons, as Centy-face said: Who else? They're by far the largest and most prominent electronics retailer in the country. Certain people may look on them with snobbery, but the footfall and attention Google will get out of this would probably eclipse every other option they had combined.

Not everyone analyses and agonizes over their gadget purchases - most people just buy stuff in the same way as they'd buy a bar of chocolate: Decide they want something, wander into a shop & have a look around, then choose something off the shelf.
Guinevere 3rd October 2011, 15:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
ChromeOS has written fail all over it imho, just as much as all other cloud-products.

Yeah cloud products are just full of fail, just look at the mess apple is in because of it. And can anyone remember Gmail? Ha I bet those google engineers got so fired for dreaming up that lemon!

It's proper software and physical media all the way for me. Cloud... Shmoud

You'd never catch me buying an app or some music from the cloud, not when I can walk into a shop to do the same.

...Or updating my computer, not when I can get DVDs sent to me in the post.

... Or seamlessly transferring files between all my devices. Sneaker-net rocks!

... Or catching up on last night's TV online or watching some tit on a skateboard face planet down some steps. I've got my trusty Betamax full of re-runs of You've been framed. Who needs iPlayer and 4OD and that unpopular jumped up "U Toob" or whatever it's called.

Oh hold on... Flipped out there for a moment, I really don't know what happened... what did I just say? Oh yeah...

The cloud is here - long live the cloud.

(But be sure to keep a local backup)
bigkingfun 3rd October 2011, 18:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by improprietary
Get out of there while you can! The national beer is basically watered down piss with fizz!

#offtopic

It most certainly is not!
Give me your adress and I shall send a bottle of Carlsberg and/or Tuborg.
jrs77 3rd October 2011, 20:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Yeah cloud products are just full of fail, just look at the mess apple is in because of it. And can anyone remember Gmail? Ha I bet those google engineers got so fired for dreaming up that lemon!

It's proper software and physical media all the way for me. Cloud... Shmoud

You'd never catch me buying an app or some music from the cloud, not when I can walk into a shop to do the same.

...Or updating my computer, not when I can get DVDs sent to me in the post.

... Or seamlessly transferring files between all my devices. Sneaker-net rocks!

... Or catching up on last night's TV online or watching some tit on a skateboard face planet down some steps. I've got my trusty Betamax full of re-runs of You've been framed. Who needs iPlayer and 4OD and that unpopular jumped up "U Toob" or whatever it's called.

Oh hold on... Flipped out there for a moment, I really don't know what happened... what did I just say? Oh yeah...

The cloud is here - long live the cloud.

(But be sure to keep a local backup)

You fail to understand, that ChromeOS can only be used within the cloud and not as an offline-system. You simply can't do anything with your ChromeOS-device while not connected to the internet, as you can't even install software on your device. All software is just unlocked/rented and then used through the browser as a cloud-service.

This is something totally different to the examples given by you.
Yslen 3rd October 2011, 21:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
You fail to understand, that ChromeOS can only be used within the cloud and not as an offline-system. You simply can't do anything with your ChromeOS-device while not connected to the internet, as you can't even install software on your device. All software is just unlocked/rented and then used through the browser as a cloud-service.

This is something totally different to the examples given by you.

You beat me to it.

Yes, there is a massive difference between cloud integration and cloud dependent computing.
Sloth 3rd October 2011, 22:15 Quote
Maybe I just have strange taste, but those chairs look mighty uncomfortable. No back to lean into, no arm rests to for support while typing.
Snips 3rd October 2011, 23:22 Quote
I was in PC World/Currys the other day so I could see the size of a home cinema soundbar I was ordering elsewhere online. Anyway, they already have an "Apple" store inside, looked quite flashy too.

Still wouldn't buy from there but you can't deny that many do.
Prowler_88 3rd October 2011, 23:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mighty_pirate
Why?
I know they suck on a number of fronts, but their prices are occassionally pretty good. I've known them to better than both Amazon & Ebuyer on occassion.

I bought a Corsair HX750 from them just days ago as they had it for £99.99...£20 cheaper than most other places once delivery is factored in. I work for their arch rivals (and just as awful/badly run/useless etc.) Comet...I wouldn't buy anything from them!
bobwya 4th October 2011, 02:44 Quote
I can by AMD Fusion/Intel Atom netbook with Windows 7 for <250.00 GBP... This is why Chromebook = fail.

Accessing the full OS on a Chromebook is a pain in the proverbials... It runs a very stripped down Linux kernel+shell apparently... Really only enough to run the Chrome browser... I'd rather buy a real computer and install a full Linux-based distro then use this neutered, ******* child...

I do like the styling of the store though.. Kind of "Clockwork Orange" looking :-)
Aragon Speed 4th October 2011, 07:07 Quote
@ the picture in the article: Oh look, a colour scheme for 5 year olds.
Pooeypants 4th October 2011, 09:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
A Google branded store would undoubtedly draw quite a bit of attention, but as they're only pimping one product, doing so might be a bit overzealous?
Why not? Apple don't really have that many variant of products on show. It's a great advertising front but only if you make it funky enough.
gcwebbyuk 4th October 2011, 09:54 Quote
I quite enjoy wandering around PC World looking at tablets and laptops. As mentioned before, they aren't always more expensive that on-line, and if you need something quickly you can get it then and there. We don't have many PC stores near here that keep a lot of stock, so I find them quite handy.

As for Chromebook - I won't cast judgement till I have tried one - in PC World of course...
tonyd223 4th October 2011, 12:58 Quote
So every store has to have web access? Ok, so if you have demo Chromebooks, because people have to use it to understand it, you're giving the public access to the web, for free...

Now, call me Ishmael, but isn't that a recipe for disaster!
joolz1 4th October 2011, 14:22 Quote
Ishmael
Faunus 5th October 2011, 11:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77


You fail to understand, that ChromeOS can only be used within the cloud and not as an offline-system. You simply can't do anything with your ChromeOS-device while not connected to the internet, as you can't even install software on your device. All software is just unlocked/rented and then used through the browser as a cloud-service.

This is something totally different to the examples given by you.

I don't get what the issue is here. We live in a county where 82% of the population use the internet, and ADSL is available to 85% of the country. 3G coverage is rising fast all the time. So, exactly what was the issue with ChromeOS? If you are going to be in the position of not being online for extended periods, then simply don't buy it.

Just because you are scared of it / living in the stone age, it doesn't mean it's a bad idea.
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