Google and Parallels Bring Windows App Support to Enterprise Chromebooks

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Earlier this year, Google announced a partnership with Parallels that would bring full Windows app support to Chromebooks. These efforts are now being implemented today, with enterprise customers being able to purchase the solution for $69.99 per year per user.

As we explained earlier this year, Parallels is natively integrated into Chrome OS with full offline support. This means that the Parallels integration will not just be a Windows virtual machine running on the cloud, but will instead launch a full copy of Windows. This will allow Windows apps to sit side by side with Chrome OS, Android, and Linux apps.

Users will be able to run multiple Windows applications inside the offline Parallels Desktop virtualization machine, and there will be a shared clipboard, user profiles, and custom folders. Web links clicked in the Windows instance can also be opened in Chrome OS. However, you won’t be able to pin Windows apps to the Chrome OS shelf, though deeper integration may come in a future update.

“Chrome OS is increasingly the choice of modern businesses, whether for remote, hybrid or desktop work,” said John Solomon, vice president of Chrome OS at Google, “We are delighted to partner to Parallels to bring legacy functionality and full Windows app support, through Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise, to help businesses easily transition to cloud-first devices and workflows.

Windows running on Chrome OS with Parallels

Parallels said the printers will work on Windows, which is good news for enterprise users. However, USB devices and webcams are not yet supported. Meanwhile, Parallels for Chromebook Enterprise only supports the most powerful Chromebooks, including those with Intel Core i5 or Core I7 processors, 16GB of RAM or more, and 128GB or more SSD. Your Chromebook will need to be running Chrome OS version 85 or later, and you’ll also need a Windows 10 license, but enterprise customers can use their existing Windows license.

For good measure, there’s a “preferred devices” list, which covers many more modern Chromebook versions:

  • HP:
    • HP Elite c1030 Chromebook Enterprise (recommended)
    • HP Pro c640 Chromebook Enterprise
  • Google:
    • Google Pixelbook
    • Google Pixelbook Go
  • Acer:
    • Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-2W)
    • Acer Chromebook Spin 13 (CP713-1WN)
  • Dell:
    • Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Enterprise Chromebook
    • Dell Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise
  • Lenovo:
    • Lenovo Yoga C630 Chromebook
  • ASUS:
    • ASUS Chromebook Flip C436FA

Parallels will integrate with Google Admin Console, so administrators can enable and disable Parallels Desktop for selected users, deploy an enterprise Windows image, and more.

If you’re not familiar with Parallels, it’s a company that develops virtualization software. In addition to Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise, the company is also bringing full Windows app support to Apple’s macOS. Today’s release is huge because it opens up a lot of possibilities for Chromebook users, albeit in the corporate environment.

Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise is available now for $69.99 per year per user. You can learn more and register here.


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