It has been nearly a year since Google announced its partnership with Parallels that would bring the full Windows Desktop experience to Enterprise Chrome OS users. While the use-case is narrow and only reserved for the small percentage of enterprise users that still need legacy apps while embracing the cloud, Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS is a very important piece of a much larger puzzle. Other pieces include upcoming features like the Borealis container that will use similar VM tech to run Steam games on Chrome OS.
Bringing Windows to Chrome OS requires a few prerequisites and at the time of initial launch, only the beefiest of hardware was “officially” supported by Parallels. Granted, and one with a Chrome Enterprise Upgrade and a Parallels license could probably get the Windows Desktop up and running on a mid-range device if they so desired. Apart from giving employees access to much-needed legacy Windows applications, Parallels is fast and easy to deploy as it can be integrated directly from the Google Admin Console. Chrome OS devices can be prevision and configured with all the apps and tools they need and then, sent directly to employees who simply have to log in with their company credentials. Streamlining at its finest.
When used with the proper hardware, Parallels on Chrome OS is a very viable solution to serve as a stop-gap for companies still making the transition to a cloud-based infrastructure. I haven’t seen any numbers on how many users have adopted Parallels on Chrome OS but the latest announcement leads me to believe that the platform could be taking off in the enterprise market. In an announcement this morning, Parallels has rolled out an updated list of officially support devices and that list includes support for the latest AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors used in the Chrome OS platform. This includes devices like the HP Pro C645, Lenovo C13 Yoga, and ASUS Flip CM5.
In addition to AMD support, Parallels has added quite a few Intel-based Chromebooks to the list. Older Core I devices like the Lenovo Yoga C630 have even made the cut. Below, you can see the updated list of officially support Chromebooks from the Parallels blog post.
Official Parallels Chrome OS Device list
- Acer Chromebook 13*
- Acer Chromebook 714*
- Acer Chromebook 715*
- Acer Chromebook Spin 13
- Acer Chromebook Spin 514 AMD *
- Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-2W)
- Acer Chromebox CXI4*
- ASUS Chromebook Flip C436FA
- ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5*
- ASUS Chromebox 4*
- ASUS Fanless Chromebox*
- *Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook
- *Dell Latitude 5400 Chromebook
- *Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook
- Google Pixelbook
- Google Pixelbook Go
- HP Elite c1030 Chromebook
- HP Chromebox G3
- HP Pro c645 Chromebook*
- HP Pro c640 Chromebook
- Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook*
- Lenovo Yoga C630 Chromebook
Another very important update to Parallels for Chrome OS is the addition of a camera and microphone access. This will allow users to access important video conferencing tools from the Windows desktop. This is ironic to me because the in-build Linux container on Chrome OS still lacks proper camera support. Still, it is a must-have for enterprise users. Parallels still recommends that your Chrome OS device have at least 8GB of RAM and 128GB of PCIe storage with an Intel Core i5/i7 or an AMD Ryzen 5/7. For maximum performance, the company’s websites suggest 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. If you have a Chrome Enterprise Upgrade and you want to try out Parallels, you can grab a free 30-day trial with an eligible Chrome Enterprise Account. If you’re looking to go all-in with Parallels, Corel is running a promotion for the next couple of months that can actually score you a one-year Parallels license for your eligible Chrome OS device. Here are the details and a link to sign up.
If you purchase qualifying Chromebook Enterprise, Chromebox Enterprise, or Chromebase Enterprise devices, or Chrome Enterprise or Education Upgrade licenses together with qualifying Chrome OS devices between now and June 30, 2021, you may be eligible to receive an equal number of FREE Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS licenses (a $69.95 per license value) up to 50 free licenses, good for one year of usage from date of delivery.