Google’s beefed up Chrome Enterprise, its US$50-a-year management service for Chrome OS devices.
Launched in August 2017, the service introduced integrations with Active Directory, VMware’s Workspace One and printer management, among other features designed to make the idea of running a corporate fleet of Chrome OS devices palatable.
Google’s now added links to four more enterprise mobility management tools: Cisco Meraki, Citrix XenMobile, IBM MaaS360 with Watson and ManageEngine Mobile Device Manager Plus.
It’s also now possible to authenticate to local resources using Kerberos and NTLMv2 endpoints from within Chrome OS. Admins may also enjoy the prospect of blacklisting Chrome extensions based on the permissions they require, which would enable blocking of anything that requires microphone access.
Another addition is “automatic forced re-enrollment” that Google said “will now allow a Chrome device that has been wiped or recovered to re-enroll into the corporate domain without requiring administrator credentials.” Apparently this “will help ensure corporate devices remain enrolled without requiring any admin intervention” and that’s a good thing rather than offer a way for folk who wipe Chrome OS devices to sneak into an organisation.
Chrome OS is generally held to have about one per cent market share, while Chromebooks now account for around five per cent of laptop sales or about ten million units a year. Google’s targeted ChromeOS at the education market, where $50 a year is palatable. In the enterprise market, $50 is a pleasing sum, but with Chrome Enterprise being rather less mature than the many PC-management tools organisations have accreted over the years Google can’t expect to win on price alone.
The Register therefore expects more additions to Chrome Enterprise will emerge as 2018 unfurls, so that Google can make a serious run at PC fleets. ®