Back in June, news came out that Google and Parallels were partnering to bring a Windows desktop environment to Chrome OS. For the average consumer, this probably isn’t exciting news. However, for companies trying to make the move to Google’s cloud-based services and hardware, accessing legacy Windows applications is a must to keep things moving forward.
Today, HP has officially announced the first iteration of the Parallels for Chrome OS solution. According to an internal survey from HP’s enterprise arm, “75% of companies are exploring the expansion of their Chrome Enterprise footprint over the next two years, not surprising since 73% of IT decision-makers agree that Chrome OS devices appeal to end-users.” That’s a massive percentage and I would suspect that it represents the global market as a whole. In the official statement, HP’s Maulik Pandya had this to share.
While desiring the cost savings, enhanced security, and user experience of Chrome OS devices, IT admins have been restricted from broader expansion by the burden of legacy, business-critical applications. Macros and features not found on web versions of Office applications, as well as the need to use established, Windows-only line-of business-applications have restricted broader use. HP has partnered closely with Google and Corel to deliver a solution that tackles these issues head on and enables Chrome OS devices to run almost any Windows application.Maulik Pandya, VP and GM of Cloud Client Group, HP Inc.
Windows on Chrome OS will come in the form of a full installation inside a virtual machine. Like the container that runs Linux on Chrome OS, the Parallels VM will be a local environment which means users will have access to the Windows desktop even when they are disconnected from the internet. The partnership will provide close system integration so that users will be able to quickly move files back and forth between Chrome OS and Windows as well as access shared folders and printers.
Parallels Desktop for HP Chrome Enterprise:
- Simple to use Windows Apps on your Chrome Enterprise device. Harness the combination of Chrome and Windows, featuring quick and easy deployment of a virtual machine installed on your Chrome Enterprise devices. Seamlessly switch between environments or run both side-byside and use Windows apps with or without internet.
- Simple and speedy licensing, deployment, and manageability. Easily administer, license, and manage this desktop solution, addressing specific needs across your organization the Google Admin console.
- Chrome Enterprise security and manageability. Aligned with Chrome Enterprise security standards, you can run your essential Windows apps safely within Chrome OS sandboxes.
For users wanting to give the Windows on Chrome OS experience a try, HP is offering a 1-month free trial that includes licenses for five devices. As you’d expect, HP is marketing Parallels with its own Chromebook C640 for Enterprise and the HP Chromebox G3 for Enterprise but I presume the company will offer the licenses to any Chrome Enterprise client with an eligible device. Parallels does state that the Windows desktop is designed for Intel Core devices and HP recommends a Core i5 or i7 CPU, 8GB or RAM and 128GB of storage as you will need space for the entire Windows OS. An individual license for the Parallels on Chrome OS platform will run $69.95 per year, per device which is significantly cheaper than going out and buying more Windows laptops to simply access one or two applications needed by their users. You can learn more and sign up for the free trial by heading over to HP Chrome Enterprise at the link below.