We've heard very little about Chromebooks since Google revealed the high-end Pixel earlier this year — even Google I/O passed by with barely a word on Chromebooks — but it should soon be a bit easier to buy one of the Chrome OS-based machines. Google has struck deals with Walmart, Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, Fry’s, and TigerDirect to start selling a selection of Chromebooks in stores and online starting this summer and "the coming months." The new retailers expand availability in the US beyond just Best Buy and Amazon. According to Google's announcement, Walmart will only be carrying a 16GB SSD-equipped version of the inexpensive but problematic $199 Acer C7 from last year.
Google also says it's expanding availability abroad after it introduced Chromebooks to several countries last year, bringing the machines to a total of 6,600 stores worldwide — apparently three times as many as before. As for what this means for Chromebooks in the future, increased retail presence certainly can't hurt, but Google still needs to convince consumers that you can make it with just a web browser.