Chrome OS gets enterprise overhaul in 10th anniversary update

Google is celebrating its desktop operating system turning 10 with a bunch of new features for IT admins

Chrome OS on the lid of a laptop

Google has announced a number of new features for Chrome OS to mark the operating system's 10th birthday, including some new ones for enterprise users. 

Starting today, businesses can download the Chrome OS Readiness Tool to help them identify which Windows devices in their organisation are ready to switch fully to Chrome OS and which need support from VDI or Parallels Desktop.

This is a free, completely private and customisable tool that allows enterprises to see if apps are compatible or whether they are cloud-ready or not.

Organisations can also now configure over 500 policies in the Google Admin console. New policies have been added over the past year including those affecting new security, updates, accessibility, network file sharing and more. Importantly, all policies default to a Google recommended setting ensuring that users only have to set up the ones they need.

Moreover, to help enterprises configure their policies at scale, Chrome is launching the Chrome Policy API. This allows user and printer settings to be managed via an API and enables users to configure settings through a script or command line. Chrome is looking to expand this in the future so it also applies to apps, extensions and device settings too.

These new additions come on top of other features announced including the Phone Hub, where users can respond to their phone messages, check its battery life and even locate it from their Chromebook.

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In the coming months, the company plans to release “Nearby share”, a feature that allows users to securely share files between a Chromebook and other Chrome OS or Android devices without needing to share contact details.

These new features come after Google announced in December it was teaming up with other tech giants such as Intel and Dell to form the Modern Computing Alliance. The group hopes to foster greater collaboration and integration between their different systems.

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