Google has announced that Windows support for Chromebook users has finally arrived, courtesy of a partnership with Parallels. The collaboration, which was first announced earlier this year, enables a full version of Windows to be launched within a virtual machine running on a Chrome OS (opens in new tab) device.
The news will come as a big relief to Windows fans, knowing that all their favourite apps can now be accessed on their Chromebook. It also provides another alternative for anyone that has been getting by with Office365 or Google Docs.
Disappointingly for consumers, Parallels Desktop will only be available for Chromebook Enterprise customers, with businesses set to pay $69.99 per user.
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The type of Chromebook that you have will also be important. Although most modern Chromebooks should be fine, Parallels Desktop will require a device with either an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor, as well as 8GB of RAM for Chromebooks with a fan and 16GB for fanless devices.
Changing with the times
Although the move towards remote working has been taking place for a while now, the coronavirus pandemic has certainly catalyzed the process. Google admits (opens in new tab) the decision to bring Microsoft Office desktop apps to Chromebook has been brought forward by workplace shifts.
For remote workers keen to make the most of Google’s new Parallels partnership, it’s worth remembering that these are early days and teething problems are to be expected. Although shared clipboards, user profiles and customer folders are available, USB devices are not supported by the Parallels Windows instance.
Deeper integration is on the way, however, with Parallels committed to delivering more Chromebook Enterprise features with future product updates. Chromebooks, which have proved extremely popular with consumers, may soon start becoming a serious option for business users as well.
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Via The Verge (opens in new tab)