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Google Fires a Dell-Sized Shot Across Microsoft’s Bows

Chromebooks for business: will they take off?

By CBR Staff Writer

Google and Dell have teamed up to launch a range of enterprise Chromebooks.

The Latitude 5300 starts at $819.00 and the Latitude 5400 at $699.00.

Both enterprise Chromebooks are available now in an unexpected tie-up that sees Google making a concerted effort to take a piece of the Windows enterprise pie.

The two are touting strong security features, easy updates and comprehensive IT admin capabilities as part of the USP.

These include access to the Google Admin console for Chrome OS, which helps businesses manage Chromebook deployments from one centralised location. The admin console now loads 10 times faster, Google added.

Gartner analyst Mika Kitagawa told Computer Business Review: “Dell is usually very conservative about getting into new markets; this is great news for Google.”

See also: Update Chrome “Right This Minute” Warns Google

The Chromebooks will also let enterprises enable managed Linux environments on Chromebooks, in beta, with tools to determine who has access, VPN support for internal files, and containers for maximum protection.

That follows the release of Linux for Chromebooks late last year: this allows developers to use their favourite editors and command-line tools by adding support for Linux apps.

As Winthrop Chan, Technical Program  Manager, Chrome Enterprise, put it at the time: “By turning on Linux in Settings, you can get a Terminal app in your launcher and install any apps or packages from there.

“The apps will be securely sandboxed inside a virtual machine. By default, enrolled devices have virtual machines disabled, so Linux for Chromebooks is currently only supported on a select range of unenrolled devices. Policy support to enable this on enrolled devices will be coming in the future.”

Dell said this week: “Enterprises can deploy the same system consistently, wherever they need it, to offer a secure, manageable and reliable experience to their workforce. IT administrators can easily select and purchase various Latitude Chromebook Enterprise configurations to meet user needs.

“They can service and upgrade memory, storage and batteries, and operate the same support model across their entire fleet, even across operating systems. The devices are the first Chrome Enterprise devices to offer pre-OS hardware diagnostics, and Dell ProSupport Suite customers have access to SupportAssist technology, which predicts and proactively identifies user issues.”

Read this: Latest Chrome Enterprise Release Dangles Fresh Carrots for Business Users


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