Google has confirmed that Microsoft Office and other Windows apps will be coming to the Chrome OS platform, which powers the company’s Chromebooks.
Google is partnering with Parallels to bring native Microsoft Office applications and other legacy enterprise Windows applications to Chromebooks. In a blog post, Google revealed the new partnership looking at the future of Chrome OS for enterprises.
While Chrome OS has long supported Windows desktop apps that are streamed via the cloud through a Parallels Remote Application Server, this new partnership means the apps will run virtualized on Chromebooks instead. The new feature is set to be available this fall for Chrome Enterprise customers.
Parallels Desktop will be integrated natively into Chrome OS, improving performance and enabling offline access for these applications on Chromebooks. It’s a surprising but welcomed move that will mean Chrome OS will be able to support both Android and Windows apps in the future.
Chromebooks to support Windows apps in the near future
This move will give businesses an opportunity to seriously consider Chromebooks as Windows alternatives for certain employees, which would mean that they don’t have to make huge investments on business apps to a Chrome OS.
At the moment, Google is not providing a lot of information regarding their partnership with Parallels and said that “more to come on this over the coming months.”
The question of whether the features will be available to consumers or just Chromebook Enterprise devices remains to be seen, but the initiative will certainly make it much easier for businesses to adopt Chrome OS instead of traditional Microsoft Windows.
Right now, Chromebook users can access the Android versions of Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from the Google Play Store. It’s also possible to access Office Online via the Google Chrome browser too, so it’s far from a barren wasteland when it comes to Microsoft apps.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.