May 18, 2022
  • May 18, 2022

Windows apps now work on Chromebooks with Parallels Desktop

By on October 20, 2020 0


Google is now bringing Windows application support to Chromebooks through a partnership with Parallels. First announced this year, Chrome OS will now boot a full version of Windows in a virtual machine to access existing desktop apps. It’s designed for businesses, which means only business customers will be able to purchase the app for $ 69.99 per user.

Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise will launch a full copy of Windows, allowing Microsoft’s operating system to work side-by-side with Chrome OS and Android applications. Chrome OS even redirects some types of Windows files directly to the Parallels instance to make it easier to launch files that you would typically use a desktop application for.

The integration is not as seamless as the Coherence mode typically found in Parallels Desktop, which allows you to pin Windows applications to the macOS dock and run them without seeing the Windows desktop and taskbar. complete. This is an initial version 1.0, and some of that deeper integration of Chrome OS and Windows apps will come over time.

Full Microsoft Office apps running on Chrome OS.
Image: Parallels

However, you will be able to run several full Windows applications in this Parallels Desktop virtual machine while you are offline. Parallels and Google have both worked together to enable features like a shared clipboard, shared user profiles, and custom folders. This allows you to share files between Windows instance and Chrome OS and even allow web links in Windows instance to open Chrome browser which is the main part of Chrome OS.

Printers supported by Chrome OS will also be available on Windows, but webcams, microphones, and any other USB devices will not yet be supported on Windows. Parallels is working to enable USB devices and webcams in a future update.

Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise will be limited to what Google calls “power consumption” Chromebooks. These usually come with Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors and 8 GB of RAM for devices with a fan or 16 GB of RAM for models without a fan. However, most modern Chromebooks will support Parallels.

IT administrators will be able to use the Google Admin Console to activate Parallels on compatible devices and will need a Windows 10 license to configure the devices. Google is also improving the way businesses can deploy Chromebooks, making it possible to buy devices from a reseller and deliver them directly to an employee. These Chromebooks will be automatically and securely configured to join a domain when the user connects to Wi-Fi.


Managing Chrome OS windows.

Along with the addition of Parallels, Google recently made some improvements to the way you use Chrome OS. The Chrome OS Virtual Desktops feature has been updated to make it easier to move individual apps and windows to virtual desktops that you can switch between. The split screen view, very similar to Windows 10, also lets you organize apps side by side or move them between external screens now.

Google is now preparing for its Chrome Dev Summit in December, and in particular the Chrome OS Demo Day on December 3. So expect to know more about the upcoming features of Chrome OS and Chrome browser.

Update, October 20, 1:50 p.m. ET: Article updated with details of the Chrome OS demo day.

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