Google teams up with Parallels to allow Chromebooks to run Windows apps
Initially derided as a limited modern take on netbooks, Chromebooks have gathered loyal followers over the years as app support grows. In addition to web apps, there is also support for Android and Linux apps, but Chromebook owners have long dreamed of the day they can run Windows software.
Thanks to a partnership between Google and virtualization specialist Parallels it will not be too long before Windows apps in Chrome OS becomes a reality. The bad news is that there is a slight caveat.
While on the face of things the ability to run Windows apps on Chromebooks is great news, it's not great news for everyone. The partnership between the two companies is an attempt to improve remote working, and the plan is to only bring Windows app support to Chrome Enterprise.
Google points out that while remote working has gradually been increasing, the coronavirus crisis "has proven to be a tipping point". The company also says that the partnership will see Microsoft Office desktop apps landing on Chromebooks. In a separate blog post, Parallels notes:
Remote work is a new reality, making efficiency, connectivity, speed, reliability, security and undisrupted access essential elements of a successful organization. At this key moment, our two organizations have formed a landmark partnership to equip enterprises with solutions that optimize their businesses and teams to meet the evolving challenges of modern work environments.
The company says that it wants to bring enterprises and cloud workers full-featured Windows applications to Chrome Enterprise this fall, but no specific timetable has been set out just yet.
Google says that more details will be provided "over the coming months". But talking to Android Police, the company provided a little more information, explaining that a version of Parallels Desktop will be integrated into Chrome OS and there will be offline support.