Google has announced a new Chromebook designed specifically for enterprise that will be built by Dell.
Hailing from the Google for Work team, the new product is designed to cater for enterprise use and will be configured with all of Google’s consumer software products in mind. As with anything corporate, the company will be focusing heavily on information security and the sturdiness of the product.
The new 13-inch Chromebook will feature integration with VPN services, virtualisation of other products such as Microsoft Office, use of the user’s own file system, Chrome management enhancements, PLUS identity networking at certificates, and extended printing support.
The Director of Product Management at Android and Chrome for Work, Rajen Sheth, said: “We believe that Chromebooks are now ready for work.”
It’s a question that will be asked by an already packed marketplace. Many companies use Microsoft and have done so for years or even decades. Google were rightly pleased when the likes of Netflix and Starbucks started to adopt Chrome OS, seeing the deals as forerunners of future success. Chromebooks are also popular in the education sector, and Google will be hoping its track record will help opens doors.
One of the key issues that might put companies off is the need to re-write legacy apps that older companies with less advanced systems will need in order to make the switch. The problem is less pronounced for a company like Netflix, but it might not be an efficient use of time or money for thousands of small and medium-sized businesses
A generously configured Dell Chromebook starts at a reasonable $399 per unit, ranging up to $899 for a more highly specified model. The product will be available from mid-September.
Google recognizes that its pricing structure equals if not undercuts its rivals, but it is banking on the unrivalled global management that can be achieved with a workforce using Chrome.