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22 August 2017

Google launches Chrome Enterprise so businesses can use Chromebooks

Chromebooks are now for real work, too.
Chromebooks are now for real work, too.

Image: mashable/tyler essary

Google wants you to use a Chromebook at work.

The company just announced a new enterprise version of Chrome OS that will make it much easier for businesses to use Chromebooks.

Chrome Enterprise, which will cost companies $50 a year for each device, adds a suite of business-focused features on top of Chromebooks’ standard features. These include: single-sign-on support, theft prevention tools, integration with Microsoft Active Directory, and the ability for businesses to remotely manage printers, browser extensions, software updates, and networks. 

Though their cheaper price tags and limited features have made them popular in schools, Google says its new enterprise features will make the devices attractive to businesses as well.

Google notes that that several hardware makers, like HP, Lenovo, and Samsung, are already building enterprise-ready Chromebooks, so it makes sense they would customize Chrome OS to these use cases. Still, it’s an interesting shift since Chromebooks have generally been thought of as too underpowered for most settings outside of schools.

an important selling point for businesses is Chromebooks’ ability to run Android apps

That’s why an important selling point for businesses is Chromebooks’ ability to run Android apps from Google’s Play Store. Though Google has shown off consumer-facing apps and games in the past, there are now a number of business apps available for Chromebooks as well. Additionally, administrators can remotely manage Play Store apps for enterprise customers as well. 

Even though it’s still technically in beta, more than 25 Chromebooks are capable of running Android apps, according to the company, and many more devices are planned to support the feature in the coming weeks and months. 

Google will be holding a remote webinar tomorrow, August 23rd, for businesses interested in adopting Chrome Enterprise.

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