Enterprise Chromebooks can now run full Windows apps through Parallels partnership


Posts: 2,699   +566
Staff member
In brief: Google's Chromebooks have always been geared toward users who want a more basic computing experience -- perhaps for education or productivity tasks. However, they're becoming a bit more powerful today, thanks to a new partnership between Google and Parallels.

Enterprise Chromebooks can now effectively run a full-fat version of Windows 10 within Chrome OS, using Parallels' "RAS Chromebook Remote Desktop Client" technology. It's not a perfect solution, for reasons we'll get into in a moment, but it's a great way to get the benefits of Windows -- its many useful apps -- without a full Windows PC.

Fortunately, this functionality works even if your device is offline, and it supports drag-and-drop file transfers, copying and pasting text or graphics, "frustration-free printing," and much more.

As we said before, though, the integration is not ideal: to run Windows apps, you need to open a full Windows instance, you can't run individual Windows apps within Chrome OS. You also can't attach quick-launch shortcuts for these apps anywhere in the Chrome OS interface, which might be a bit of a hassle.

This also isn't native functionality, so it won't be available to ordinary Chrome OS users yet. It's geared toward enterprise customers, and its $69-per-user fee makes that evident.

Still, enterprise-exclusive or not, this is exciting tech at work here, and we hope to see Google and Parallels open it up to regular users, even as a paid (ideally cheaper) extra.

Masthead credit: Vantage_DS

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Posts: 147   +111
It will need windows license, which is not free.
Rather than using parallel, google should deliver it using native linux kvm


Posts: 578   +702
TechSpot Elite
I've read the linked marketing page and I still can't figure out exactly what this is. It does not appear to be a traditional local virtual machine. The link says "all corporate data and applications reside on the centralized servers in the corporate datacenter" and "Users can access their virtual workspaces on Chrome OS using the native Parallels RAS Chrome OS client or with universal HTML5 web client."

Given that description, which sounds not unlike the traditional remote desktop terminal in use for a (couple?) decades now, I'm not sure how those square with "this functionality works even if your device is offline", what is included for the $69 fee (I hope that includes the Windows license), and what Google/Parallels are actually bringing to the table vs. existing technologies?


Posts: 55   +59
Sounds like just a guy with ESXi server and some basic Win10 VMs can accomplish already, given the "Enterprise" use case here probably very cheaply too: Think about how many such VMs a single epyc chip can run concurrently, 128 probably.


Posts: 3,897   +1,796
An extra $69, could have just paid $69 extra for a laptop with Windows already on it...