Google, VMware Make It Easier for Businesses to Deploy Chromebooks

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Print this article Print

A Google and VMware partnership will allow Windows apps to be available in the cloud so business users will have access to needed apps on Chromebooks.

The new DaaS services will be available to any existing or prospective VMware customers that want to use Chromebooks, he said. Customers can choose to run it through a public or private cloud and through a service provider or in-house.

Official pricing has not yet been announced but is likely going to be in the $30 to $50 per month range for each user, said Poonen.

Google has been busy with related Chromebook announcements in recent months. Earlier this month, Google announced its first-ever Chromebox for meetings product which brings together a desktop Chromebox along with Google Apps and Google+ Hangouts to offer an easy way for far-flung businesspeople to hold meetings with participants around the world.

The new Chromebox for meetings hardware includes an Asus Chromebox with an Intel Core i7 processor, a 1080p high-definition Webcam with a Carl Zeiss lens that supports up to 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, a combined microphone and speaker unit, and a remote control unit, according to Google. The device lets users set their meeting rooms up in minutes and manage all meeting rooms from a Web-based management console. Up to 15 people at a time can join in on a Chromebook for meetings session.

In January, Toshiba and LG Electronics unveiled new Chromebook devices at the Consumer Electronics Show, including LG's all-in-one desktop machine, called a Chromebase. The new offerings mean that eight manufacturers are now building Chromebooks around the world.

In December 2013, Dell unveiled its first-ever Chromebook that is targeted toward school students and educators, and company officials said it will release additional models in the future for consumers, small businesses and other markets. The Dell Chromebook 11 devices will include fourth-generation Intel Celeron 2955U processors, 11.6-inch screens, up to 10 hours of battery life and a 16GB embedded SSD, according to Dell. The machines will be available in two models, one with 4GB of internal DDR3 RAM, and the other with 2GB of RAM.

In June 2013, Google expanded its network of dealers for its Chromebooks by beginning to sell them through Walmart and Staples stores, raising the number of outlets for the devices to some 6,600 stores. The move added the Walmart and Staples stores to the existing Chromebook retail outlets through Best Buy and Amazon.com. Consumers are also able to purchase the machines via Staples online, while business users will be able to buy them through the Staples Advantage B2B program.

Chromebooks and their desktop brethren Chromeboxes run Google's Chrome operating system and feature a wide range of preinstalled, cloud-based Google services and products, including Google Docs and Google Calendar. Chromebooks allow users to do their work online with less need for on-machine storage for large applications and files.

In May 2013, Google began testing Chromebook-equipped store kiosks to make it easier for businesses to help their customers and employees check merchandise stock, place orders or get more information while shopping or working. The kiosks use something Google calls "Managed Public Sessions" to allow employee and customer use of the devices without the need for logging in.