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October 9, 2014

Google lures enterprise with improved Chromebook management

Raft of updates includes massive price drop for management as a service.

By Ben Sullivan

Google has rolled out updates to its Chromebook manageability service in a push to attract more businesses to the platform.

Most significantly, a popular customer request for single sign-on (SSO) has been acknowledged, letting users log in with the same credentials and identity providers that they use for the rest of their work life. The feature uses the universal SAML standard and works with some of the identity big players such as CA SiteMinder, Microsoft AS FS and Ping Identity.

Multiple sign-in is also being added which allows users to switch between work and personal accounts on your Chromebook.

In a blog post announcing the changes, Google said: "Today, we’re taking a big step toward making it even easier for companies to select Chromebooks as their device of choice by announcing features specifically focused on improving identity, manageability, virtualisation, performance and pricing.

"These new features and options reflect our commitment to making Chromebooks an everyday business tool that both IT admins and users can rely on over the years to come."

The price of the new management and support has been set at $50 (£30) per device per year, available first in the US and Canada initially before rolling out to other regions. Google’s also adding licensing portability, which means if you lose or replace a Chromebook you can easily apply your existing license to a new device.

Expanded Chrome management options for any device has been added allowing admins to push a list of bookmarks and many other settings to signed-in workers on all platforms including mobile devices.

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