Google introduces Chromebook-control-freaking-as-a-service

Fifty bucks a year buys you management tools and support

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Google's launched management-as-a-service for Chromebooks, as part of its ongoing efforts to make the browser-centric computers more attractive to business.

Google's announcement of the new service blends a few new items and a few previously-announced business tools. Perhaps most useful among the new bits is a single sign-on (SSO) feature that lets Chromebook users authenticate with existing SSO tools like CA SiteMinder, Microsoft AD FS, Okta, Ping Identity, SecureAuth, and SimpleSAMLphp. It's also possible to sign in with work and personal Ids.

Another addition is control freakery allowing sysadmins to push certificates to Chromebooks, so that access to wireless networks and web resources is more secure.

Google's also reminding us all of its virtualisation arrangements with Citrix and VMware, plus the latter virtualiser's tie-up with NVIDIA to pump graphics-rich apps into Chromebooks.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the new service is its license, because it is transferable. With Chromebooks not being famed for physical robustness, that'll come in handy. Pricing is also interesting: at US$50 a year and US$150 in perpetuity, Google's sending interesting signals about the expected life of Chromebooks and Chromeboxes. ®


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