re: Google Sells Chromebooks Without Subscriptions
This is not a good sign. Normally, when a technology product is selling well, the company that made the product will issue a press release or let someone know. For example, Apple recently trumpeted the fact that four million of its iPhone 4S devices were sold in just three days.
You are of course referring to Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 which has a massive half a billion dollar launch campaign and was sold in extensively distributed retail outfits. Microsoft said nothing about sales and when time became overdue to say something about sales, Microsoft reported the number of phones shipped (and mostly returned by the stores when they didn't sell). To date since launch a year ago about 1 to 1.5 million have been sold compared to 550,000 a day for Android.
The difference here is that Google's launch of the Chromebook is a low key affair, with no advertising, sales limited to online outlets and targeted at early adopters in schools and businesses, rather than and the mass market. The product was also a beta at launch, with lots of key software updates to come later. This is typically Google. They release early and then update it.
Hence unlike the Microsoft Windows phone 7 launch campaign, you wouldn't really expect large numbers of sales at this stage, because Google is trialing the Chromebooks as a beta. The same goes for their Chromebook areas in a few PC shops. These are not a permanent thing, and Google seems to be trialing retail sales outlets along the lines of Apple shops rather than actually selling a product.