Google Chromebooks -- cloud-centric notebooks running Chrome OS -- haven't made much noise in recent months. But it's a safe bet Google (GOOG) will update the Chromebook strategy during Google I/O, a major developer conference (June 27-29, San Francisco).

There are signs Sony may introduce a Chromebook -- joining existing Chromebook providers Acer and Samsung -- while Google itself continues to promote potential Chromebook price advantages over traditional PCs.

Indeed, Google's Chromebook website includes a savings calculator that compares the three-year ownership of Chromebooks vs. PCs. The calculator goes beyond hardware acquisitions costs, estimating hardware maintenance, IT software and infrastructure, management and administration overhead, and end-user costs.

I used the calculator to compare a 50-person organization using PCs vs. Chromebooks, and Google claims the 50 Chromebooks have a $101,400 total cost of ownership (TCO) over three years, or roughly $210,000 less expensive than the TCO for 50 PCs over three years.



I don't necessarily agree with TCO calculators. I realize many of them are built purely for marketing purposes. And as the old saying goes, your mileage -- er, TCO -- may vary.