Tag Archives: Chrome OS enterprise
There is a lot of potential for the use of Chromebooks in the workplace. Although the criticism is that Google’s subscription plan is too expensive for a three year plan per user, it seems that being able to deploy Chrome OS for very little upfront cost would be enticing. Add in the fact that the pricing includes a warranty, support and lifecycle replacement after three years and it seems there would be a lot of businesses that could be good candidates for Chromebooks. Remember, owning a traditional PC today is more like buying a car – there are a lot of hidden fees associated with ownership. Why not lease the hardware in an attempt to lower your overall cost?
Do you think Chromebooks for Business and Education is a good idea?
Google has said that Chrome OS will be commercially launched “mid-year” 2011. That seems to be right around the corner, and now is a great time for the company to update where Chrome is going with Google I/O. Over the past few weeks we have been hearing some things that might be coming at the keynotes and here is a list of them.
It’s possible that Google will provide Chrome OS notebooks without an upfront payment in order to get the hardware into people’s hands. This may reduce the anxiety that may come with buying a new operating system. The concept of simplicity may lend well to this idea of only requiring monthly payments for people who already use one of Google’s services such as Gmail. It’s unknown how the wireless carriers would be involved with this one so stay tuned to see what the details might be regarding this.
A Samsung Device
After the I/O keynotes, Samsung will be holding its own press conference with folks from its PC division. That means we’ll probably be getting a first glimpse at their first Chrome OS device. Acer is said to also be launching with Chrome OS hardware, but we haven’t heard any details more details other than the ZGB codename reports in Chromium. What we do know is that the Samsung machine will have a1280X800 screen and an Intel Atom processor.
Chrome OS is coming for the enterprise, and which has been known for some time now. The company will pair it with its other enterprise offerings, namingly Google Apps. Now, in the Chromium reports we can see that extensive work is being done to make this happen.
When searching through Chromium’s bug reports, one can now see a new label that is called “Enterprise”. By selecting this, you can see bug reports that are narrowed down into issues related to Enterprise Chrome OS implementation within larger network organizations, likely those that are using the paid form of Google Apps.
There’s a veritable treasure trove of interesting bug reports here. A few: one request for the implementation of policies designed to control a Chrome OS unit’s microphone and camera, a way for enterprise administrators to activate 3G organization-wide and an automatic reboot and recovery when an owner key has been tampered with.
It also appears that there will be a special sign-in process that takes place when a user first gets a Chrome OS device, since the PC unit itself will be mobile from the get-go. It’s referred to as Enterprise Enrollment in the Chromium reports, and the preliminary text here refers to allowing an admin “to find and control your device from your Google Apps for Your Domain Control Panel”.
Chrome OS has been designed from the ground up to make IT administration much easier when compared to traditional Windows-based machines, and that means a lot of options in terms of secure policy and control for managers.
Google has implemented a website for businesses to learn more about Chrome hardware right here. I was not aware of it before, but it looks similar to this site that discusses the benefits of switching to the Chrome browser here. The company’s efforts here suggest a significant push during the balance of 2011 to get Chrome in front of as many businesses as possible.
What do you think about the prospects of Chrome OS at work?
It appears that now there is no question Google is planning on offering a subscription based model for Chrome OS hardware whenever it launches. But it might not be in the way that everyone has thought they would.
Speaking to All Things Digital, Product Manager Rajen Sheth has an insight into Chrome OS hardware and talked a bit about a monthly payment model in a article published today called “Seven Questions for Rajen Sheth, Who Wants To Put Chrome OS on Your Desktop”.
“My mission is to bring Chrome to business and to ask how we make it something that can reshape the enterprise desktop. The thing that was really intriguing for me, is that cloud computing has done so much for businesses. You don’t need to think about deploying the hardware, you can just turn things on. You don’t need to worry about massive up-front payments for hardware, you can just pay monthly for what you use. And your applications just keep getting better. In my mind the cloud really stops at the desktop”, said Sheth.
I’ve been a bit skeptical about Chrome OS actually being a subscription-based product in the consumer market because you would need to pair it with a service to really entice users. But in an enterprise environment, Google would have that covered. That would be by selling Google Apps to businesses, and adding a monthly hardware fee on top for Chrome OS deployments.
With this model, companies never have to worry about hardware lifecycles. They just pay their licensing fee and it is taken care of for them when hardware gets old. You can swap the hardware out easily since everything is remotely stored. Google sells their product, and works with hardware partners on new devices while having integrators that go out and do business deployments.
But this isn’t to say that the company might flirt with this model in the consumer marketplace. The real question there is who is going to shoulder the upfront cost for expensive hardware to be produced and put into retail environments? Google, or their hardware partners? Yet enterprise cases are different. By signing up businesses with Apps it locks a business into the Chrome ecosystem for a long term period. Individual users may have more of an incentive to switch computers over time, making a pay as you model model there a dicey proposition.
The current way that hardware is sold may very well be an outdated model in the world of thin clients, but it’s worked well for manufacturers and Microsoft that there never was any reason to change course. Now people rely less on native software applications, and while it’s true that for some things people might always need a Windows machine or a Mac, there is space in the industry for a lightweight PC operating system that is easy to use and leverages the power of the web as a platform.
Google announced during the December Chrome event that Citrix would be offering a product that will allow users to access legacy systems that have native-installed software called Citrix Receiver.
Last year, a Google VP of engineering named Linus Upson said that 60% of businesses could make the switch from Windows over to Chrome OS. I’m not sure if that’s Google’s specific goal, but it provides some insight into their view of Chrome OS for the enterprise.
Would you be interested in a subscription Chrome OS device for home or work?
Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot of companies are now talking about cloud operating systems? HP has one called WebOS. Motorola was reportedly working on one, and then says that they are not. Intel is working with a consortium on one. Google’s Chinese search rival Baidu is working on one. Am I missing any other companies?
Well, what about Microsoft?
It would make sense that Microsoft would try to develop their own cloud-based operating system. What’s the risk? They could just ship it with their own Windows product as a way to continue to reap licensing fees from it as a packaged whole. That actually sounds like a pretty smart idea.
The company is supposedly working on a project dubbed ServiceOS, which will make its debut after Windows 8. This actually sounds a lot like the strategy HP has been plotting whereby every machine the company sells with an HP logo will come with WebOS. Microsoft would be able to add their ServiceOS (formerly known as the Gazelle project) to pretty much every other manufacturer’s Windows-based device.
It’s been pretty slow adoption for businesses deploying Chrome. Google quietly released an MSI a while ago, and they also put on the web some administrative policy templates for use with Active Directory, which is what networks control Windows-based systems with. As of today Google has added more administrative support in hopes of further speeding up Chrome’s adoption in the enterprise.
They’re now talking up support tools for Mac and Linux administration, and are of course reminding people about Chrome Frame, which can be installed on Internet Explorer.
A recent New York Times article referenced VP of Chrome Engineering Linus Upson saying that 60% of business machines could be replaced with Chrome OS. This recieved a bit of negative press, and that was warranted. Who in their right mind would switch from Windows to an unproven operating system made by Google?
Yet some chief information officers have taken notice of Google’s efforts. The ability to reduce IT costs is a very clear goal for the enterprise. Remember, to executive management IT costs are very expensive, and do not directly contribute to a company’s bottom line in most cases. It’s sometimes difficult to justify many corporate expenses in technology, and there is a lot of motivation to eliminate unneccesary overhead.
Recently, a New York Times article had Google’s VP of Engineering for Chrome quoted as saying that 60% of businesses could easily switch to Chrome OS over Windows. But what does that really mean for businesses? Here are some of the key points that companies need to know about using Chrome OS in the enterprise.
Just a reminder, it has been reported that Chrome OS for business will be launched in 2011, surely some time after a consumer launch. So can 60% of businesses really make the switch? Decide for yourself after these points.
Although recent comments from Google CEO Eric Schmidt have raised speculation Chrome OS will be limited to just netbooks, it appears that won’t be the case.
We’re starting to see increased Chrome OS information coming out directly from Google employees. One nice but of reporting was a feature in the New York Times that quoted VP of engineering Linus Upson about hardware we will see the operating system on.
ITA Software really is a good product. I had said in the past that Google would be keen to buy it, and they finally did for $700 million. The reason that ITA fits with Google is because of its innovative search engine for finding flights at the cheapest prices. Although the cheapest flights sometimes have wacky routes, it offers a deep look (click “login as a guest”) into how the complex airline industry works.
That’s why Google bought it – another great algorithm, and something to go up against Bing’s travel engine, which has slowly gained popularity for its valuable features as well as its uniqueness. Also, having ITA in the fold better strengthens Google Travel, because up until this point, there really has been no real travel service from Mountain View.
One interesting thing is ITA’s enterprise cachet – while regular users can access ITA for free, large airlines pay them for their advance algorithms. Not only could Chrome OS work well with a possible ITA Software flight search app offered for free there could also be a potential benefit for companies with an enterprise version of the OS using a more complex one that helps business travelers get where they are going – fast.
The idea of Chromoting as a way to bridge the gap between the web-enabled environments of the future over to the old model of installed applications on Windows, Mac and Linux seems to fit with the overall theme of Chrome OS. That theme is to get away from natively installed applications, though many of us still will rely on these “legacy” apps to some degree.
In the smartphone realm, the use of remote desktop is possible to go into our computer at home or at work to do things. Chromoting will be no different than that, installed as an extension on a Chrome OS device with another application on whatever other machine you need to remote into.
As cloud computing in ramps up from an operating system standpoint, there is going to be some software that simply will not be available in the cloud. Although it is true when Google says that most major applications are coming out today arrive web-based, there are still some resource-heavy tasks that require a traditional computer. Chromoting thus offers power users the ability to possibly use virtualization on servers to harness both Chrome OS and whatever applications they may need directly through the cloud.
I can see a variety of uses for Chromoting, and not just as a stopgap solution for legacy purposes but also as a path to allow Chrome OS to act as a window to more process-intensive computing capabilities. One would not only be able to use it to access powerful software tools on a thin client Chrome OS device, but the enterprise would benefit as well. I could see IT support analysts, salespeople and health professionals utilizing Chromoting on a tablet or netbook to access resources in a safe and controlled way that perhaps other devices would be unable to.
What other intriguing purposes could Chromoting provide for that I have missed?
When Chrome OS does finally make it to market, it is obvious that it will highlight the vast array of Google’s service offerings.
You can see from the screenshots that the folks over at TechCrunch recently found that not only will Chrome OS feature browser functionality, but perhaps also another type of window that is being called Panels. Many of them will likely house services such as Google Chat, Voice and Gmail among others. There really is no way around it: one of the reasons that Google is doing this is to increase its visibility with all of the applications and services that have been developed.
I can now see why Google also want to have a business version of their operating system as well. The Google Apps Marketplace would fit nicely into this, allowing for more productivity capabilities than Microsoft on its own is able to offer. Plus, nothing has to be downloaded or configured. It just works, which will save corporate IT departments time and money that could be better allocated to other resources.
The interface design that we are seeing in these screenshots are different from what the current Chrome OS builds have. So while it needs to be polished up a bit, I suspect that some of these Apple-like design concepts will be added on to the final commercial product. At the same time, Chromium project builds will continue to focus only on make sure that the system works, has the right security elements and is compatible with certain hardware standards.