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Google and VMware today announced that they are working together to make it easier for Chromebook users in the enterprise to access Windows apps and the Windows desktop on their machines. Using VMware’s Horizon desktop as a service (DaaS), which uses VMware‘s HTML5 Blast protocol, it will now be easier for Chromebook users to connect to a traditional Windows experience. Remote access to a Windows machine on Chrome OS is nothing new. Google offers its own Remote Desktop app for this, and there are a number of third-party options that offer the same kind of service. For the most part, though, these solutions don’t offer the kind of security features that enterprises look for in a remote access tool. According to the companies, today’s launch will bring an enterprise-ready solution to the growing number of businesses that have deployed Chrome OS devices. Using VMware’s Horizon Chromebook-optimized DaaS, Google says, enables “customers to centralize other desktop environments and manage these as a cloud service.” Right now, this service is only available as a fully managed, subscription-based offering by VMWare and its partners, both in the cloud and within hybrid deployments. VMware says users will be able to use the service to access their Windows applications, data and desktops from a web-based application catalog on their Chromebooks. Soon, Chromebook users (or their IT admins) will also be able to install the service from the Chrome Web Store. Given that Google is now also putting more emphasis on its Chromeboxes, the company is clearly positioning Chrome OS as an alternative to Windows. Indeed, in its announcement today, Google stressed that it believes that “as the countdown to Windows XP end of life continues, deploying Chromebooks and taking advantage of a DaaS environment ensures that security vulnerabilities, application compatibility and migration budgets will be a thing of the past.” Besides the obvious marketing-speak here, there are security issues with still running Windows XP, though Google is clearly going after a bigger market, too. It sees Chrome OS as an alternative to any traditional desktop operating system.


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