Windows users now have more reason to opt for Chromebooks: Google announced that it will bring Windows apps to the Chrome OS in partnership with VMWare, reports The Verge. This move comes barely two months before Microsoft plans to drop support for Windows XP. Google’s decision to offer Windows users the ability to enjoy their favorite apps on its own platform is strategic; the search giant hopes more consumers will choose the Chromebook after Windows drops XP support in April.

From Windows XP to Chrome OS

The new offering brings with it desktop features that were previously only available to stand-alone operating systems. What was once only accessible on operating systems on individual machines will now be accessible via the cloud while offering the same level of security, application compatibility, and stability.

The new offering may be attractive to many enterprises that cannot afford, or are not willing, to pay for continued XP support. According to Google’s Official Enterprise Blog, Chromebooks made up 21 percent of total commercial laptop sales in the U.S. in 2013. The reasons for this impressive take-up of Chromebooks include the low total cost of ownership, lack of a need for additional security, and a web-management console.

Chromebooks come with Google products built in, like Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube. They are ultra-thin, at only 0.7 inches, and only weigh 2.4 pounds. They offer up to 6.5 hours of battery life and come with an 11.6-inch display of 1366 by 768 pixels.

The Google-VMWare Partnership

To make the migration of legacy applications easier, Google partnered with industry expert VMWare to bring its Desktop as a Service (DaaS) platform to the Chrome OS. The platform delivers the Windows desktop and its applications on any device with an Internet connection.

The DaaS features add-on offerings that help users incrementally migrate to other cloud services naturally. This is likely what Google needs to attract the many ex-Windows XP users stranded without an affordable and scalable platform to build their business.

According to a VMWare news release, “With today’s announcement, service providers, system integrators, resellers, and channel partners looking to take advantage of the growing demand for ultramobile devices such as Google Chromebook now have an enterprise-ready solution to bring to their customers that can help redefine the corporate desktop.”

According to NaviSite General Manager Sumeet Sabharwal, the combination of Chromebooks and VMWare DaaS will become a powerful business tool that is both cost effective and provides a level of mobility today’s users want. The technology will be available as a Chrome Web Store application soon.

Do you think Windows XP users will move to Chrome OS?

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



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