The big picture: Google is joining forces with one of Microsoft's biggest partners to help lure business customers away from Windows-based laptops. Chromebooks have found success in the education sector but their adoption on the enterprise side has been hindered by the overwhelming success of Windows. Is that destined to change?
Google and Dell on Monday unveiled the first Chromebook Enterprise devices in the Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise and the Dell Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise. The 13- and 14-inch systems are configurable with up to 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, 32GB of RAM and up to 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD storage but really, the bigger story is the software and support side.
Google said the new systems offer multi-layered security to protect against threats and allow IT admins to easily provision, monitor and lock down devices while ensuring regular and controlled updates with Dell Technologies Unified Workspace. Dell will also become a reseller of G Suite and Drive Enterprise so teams can easily manage files both on and offline.
A global push, the new Dell Latitude Chromebooks are configurable with 10 localized language keyboards in 50 countries and come backed by 24/7 year-round Dell ProSupport alongside Chrome Enterprise support.
And just because Google is now throwing its name into the hat doesn't necessarily mean success will come overnight. "Enterprise is more of a marathon than a sprint," said John Solomon, vice president of Chrome OS at Google, in an interview with The Verge.
Dell is the first OEM to partner with Google on the Chromebook Enterprise initiative but others will eventually join the fray. "This is not an exclusive with Dell," Solomon noted.
The new Dell Latitude Chromebook Enterprise devices go on sale August 27 starting at $699 for the Latitude 5400 and $819 for the Latitude 5300.