We’re all familiar with Chromebooks for work, education, and other consumer computing needs; but what if I told you that behind the scenes, ChromeOS is being used in some very public places that you would likely never notice? From signage to interactive trivia to medical facilities, the same OS that powers your Chromebook is slowly becoming the go-to system for a lot of commercial and professional settings; and these use cases help reiterate what we’ve been saying for years now: Chromebooks are a whole lot more than “just a browser.”
As a Chromebook-focused outlet, we obviously talk about, think about, and nerd out about Chromebooks and ChromeOS all the time. Understanding all that these devices are capable of is our bread and butter, but that’s simply not the case for most normal people. Even in 2023, we’re still finding the majority of people lack a full understanding of what you can actually do on a Chromebook, Chromebox, or Chromebase.
While we aren’t here to argue which OS is best, the examples we’re going to talk about today shed light on the fact that ChromeOS is far more powerful, flexible and useful than most people give it credit for. Sure, Chromebooks make great work computers, learning tools, and media consumption devices; but the speed, simplicity and security of ChromeOS is driving more and more companies to adopt it for a variety of tasks to keep their work force focused on the work, not the tool used to do it.
Though many people still see ChromeOS as incapable, basic, and too simplistic for anything more than light web browsing, the examples we’re going to share here show that it is far more flexible and capable than most people think it is. So, let’s get into it.
First up, let’s talk about Buffalo Wild Wings. If you’ve ever been to one of their 1200+ locations, you know that there are a few things that are quite important for these folks: food, drinks and sports. Of those, the multiple screens that are used to show a wide variety of sports-related content are clearly the most attention-grabbing. And that’s where Buffalo Wild Wings uses ChromeOS to serve up a lot of customer-facing info and their fan-favorite trivia games. Between promotions, digital signage, and trivia, Buffalo Wild Wings has deployed over 2300 Chromeboxes to power it all, so the next time you are in for a beer and some wings, just know that ChromeOS is the thing delivering your trivia.
There are other restaurants like Wendy’s that are utilizing ChromeOS for digital signage as well, but let’s shift to a business category most of us don’t like to think about unless necessary: call centers. Though interacting with a company’s call center isn’t something most of us want to do in our free time, they are necessary for a lot of things, and many of those call centers are powered by – you guessed it – ChromeOS.
Take Synchrony for example. This company that handles financing for all sorts of things was able to move over 6000 employees to a remote work setup with Chromebooks and the Google Admin Console within just 3 weeks. Leveraging Citrix, Synchrony was able to get these employees up and running quickly and securely because of the flexibility and security of ChromeOS.
But ChromeOS is also expanding into healthcare as well. Hackensack Meridian Health had a multi-point challenge to consolidate and improve on their overall operations to improve their practitioners experiences. By leveraging ChromeOS, they saw a 10% reduction in login times, $6 million in savings for licensing, management and infrastructure, and an easier transition path for employees to work from home. Specifically, this is how they summed up the move to ChromeOS:
The cost savings are impressive, but the biggest impact of using ChromeOS devices along with Google Workspace and other tools is that our clinicians, nurses, and other frontline workers have fast, secure access to health records in EPIC, so they can deliver faster, better patient experiences.Hackensack Meridian Health
And these are only some of the examples of how ChromeOS is being deployed in all sorts of settings and scenarios that you may have never thought about. Seeing this gives me great hope for the future of ChromeOS on the whole, not just because it proves how capable it is, but because it also keeps pushing our favorite OS in front of people who perhaps never considered it before. The more ChromeOS grows in its capabilities, the more people that continue leveraging it on a daily basis, the more ChromeOS-specific software we’ll continue to see.
As a fan of Chromebooks, that makes me happy. And if you are a fan or even just a casual user, it should make you happy, too. ChromeOS is coming into its own, and it’s really fun to sit back and watch what is unfolding. The next time you walk into your favorite restaurant, go see the doctor, or call in to customer support, you might just be interacting with ChromeOS. Gone are the days when professional software applications require Windows at every turn. Where applicable, ChromeOS is coming for those use cases, so keep your eyes peeled.