Google releases Chrome IT deployment tools

Google just announced availability of IT deployment tools for Chrome in a blog post (I also received email from the PR team). The deployment tools step up Google's assault on Internet Explorer turf, earlier with Chrome Frame.

"We've created an MSI installer that enables businesses who use standard deployment tools to install Chrome for all their managed users," according to the blog post. "We've also added support for managed group policy with a list of policies and a set of templates that allow administrators to easily customize browser settings to manage security and privacy."

Google's IT pitch is threefold. For starters, easy and customizable installation and availability of a modern, HTML5-supporting browser for Windows XP. Rationale for the second: Internet Explorer 9, which is beta testing, only runs on Windows 7 and Vista, while the majority of the enterprise install base is still on XP. Google also touts Chrome as means of enterprises certifying Web apps that could later be deployed on Chrome OS.

"By deploying Google Chrome, organizations can take advantage of improved security and web application performance without needing to upgrade other expensive software licenses or buy new hardware," according to the blog post. That's a polite way of saying IT organizations can keep running Windows XP longer. More:

Deploying Google Chrome also gives users access to productivity-enhancing HTML5 web applications. Since Google Chrome is the same as the browser on Chrome OS, admins considering Chrome OS for their organizations can start testing their mission-critical web applications by deploying the Google Chrome browser.

The Chrome test is a polite way of saying "for you IT managers not lucky enough to get one of the Cr-48 Chrome OS test laptops." I'm on Day 2.5 using one. I posted about Day 1 "first impressions" yesterday.

The administration tools are part of Google Apps for Business, which isn't surprising. Google's clear development priority are Web applications over those resident on the computer. Chrome is the gateway. While any browser conceptually will do, Chrome assures support for standards like HTML5. Enterprise adoption is crucially important for Google Apps deployment and building up the ecosystem of Web-based applications from Google Apps Marketplace.

Google claims there are 120 million Chrome users.

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