If you are a business person who likes the new Google Chromebooks, the this will be exciting news for you. Google has announced a program to bring Chromebooks and exclusive support services to businesses. All of this is an effort to supplant iPads as the premiere tablet for doing business, with the company boasting that its Chromebooks are on par with Microsoft Windows PCs.
Chrome Enterprise will give IT administrators a cloud-based management portal for handling a fleet of Chromebooks; including support for virtualized desktop applications, theft prevention, and a host of other features. One of the most important features in the bundle for many enterprises will be support for authentication through Microsoft Active Directory, even when the directory server is held in an on-premises environment. The service will cost businesses $50 per managed Chromebook per year. Google didn’t say whether it will offer large enterprises discounts on massive volume orders. The initial response to the announcement appears to express concerns with the plan’s cloud computing capabilities, as they appear to rely heavily on cloud based storage and computing.
The official statement follows:
“Since we launched Chrome OS in 2009, our goal has been to build the simplest, fastest, and most secure operating system possible. And we’ve been inspired by all the ways we’ve seen businesses embrace Chrome, from Chromebooks in the office, to shared Chrome devices in the field, to signage and kiosks for customer engagement in retail. But with so many different business needs—not to mention so many different devices—companies have also told us they want a single, cost-effective solution that gives them the flexibility and control to keep their employees connected. That’s why today we’re announcing Chrome Enterprise.
Chrome Enterprise offers a host of features, including access to enterprise app storefronts, deep security controls, 24/7 support, as well as integration with cloud and on-premise management tools, VMware Workspace ONE and Microsoft Active Directory.”