Google Chromebook rolling out in more countries

The number of stores in the U.S. selling Chromebooks will also double

Chromebook devices from Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Samsung Electronics are rolling out Tuesday in six countries, Google said.

The countries where the laptops will be available are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands, the company said.

The rollout is however not uniform across these countries. In Australia, for example, the Samsung Chromebook and the Acer Chromebook are now available from select JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman stores while the HP Chromebook is still on its way.

The Chromebooks are also getting delivered to businesses and schools in the countries "to help improve computing for organizations," wrote Caesar Sengupta, product management director in a blog post.

More than 2,000 schools are now using Chromebooks for education, Google said. Businesses around the world are also using Chromebooks "where they need greater security and increased shareability," it added.

Google launched a Chromebook from Samsung in the U.S. and U.K. in October, with pre-orders and later sales through Amazon.com, Best Buy, PC World and other retailers. The laptop is an attempt by Google to attract users to cloud computing.

The company is now doubling the number of stores selling the device in the U.S. with more than 1,000 Best Buy stores selling the device over the next couple of weeks, Sengupta said. In October, about 500 Best Buy stores were offering the laptop.

"It's been rewarding to work with our partners to make Chromebooks available to more people around the world, and we're looking forward to bringing Chromebooks to even more countries in the months to come," Sengupta said.

HP announced in February the availability of its Pavilion laptop running the Chrome operating system, to try to improve laptop sales by offering an alternative to Microsoft's Windows operating system. Google also launched in February the Chromebook Pixel, a high-end performance version of the laptop.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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