Parallels, the virtualization company behind Parallels Desktop for Mac, is launching Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise today. As its name suggests it, this new offering is only for enterprise Chromebooks, and it will work on existing models with good enough specs to run full-featured Windows apps. These virtualized Windows apps will use your Chrome OS network connection, but they will also work offline or in low-bandwidth scenarios.
Parallels has worked with Google to integrate Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise with Chrome OS and the Google Admin Console for IT admins, and the solution will allow customers to copy and paste text and graphics between Chrome OS and the Windows 10 VM, print from Windows apps, and save Windows files anywhere. Users will also be able to use the Windows 10 VM in windowed mode on their Chromebook or in a separate virtual desktop accessible with a simple swipe.
Chromebooks have become increasingly popular in the US Education market, though they still suffer from a perception issue resulting from an original focus on web apps. By getting support for offline web apps, Android apps, and even Linux apps, Chromebooks have become better productivity machines over the years, and the addition of Windows apps including Microsoft Office should make them even more versatile.
“Chrome OS is increasingly being chosen by modern enterprises, either for remote work, hybrid, or in the office,” said John Solomon, Vice President of Chrome OS at Google. “We are thrilled to partner with Parallels to bring legacy and full-featured Windows applications support, through Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise, to help businesses easily transition to cloud-first devices and workflows.”
Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise is available today for $69.99/year per user, and Parallels is also offering free one-month trials with five user licenses on its website. The company has listed a selection of preferred Chromebooks from Google, HP, Acer, Dell, Lenovo, and Asus, and the company generally recommends models with an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Parallels is just getting started with Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise, and the company plans to bring camera, microphone, and USB device support in future updates. Parallels currently has one of the best solutions for running Windows apps on a Mac, and it will be interesting to see the company apply its virtualization expertise to the rising Chrome OS platform.