Google starts enterprise support for Chrome, including top SaaS apps

Lobs deployment tools at sysadmins, complete with Silverlight and ActiveX support

Google is trying to give businesses a reason to ditch Internet Explorer by giving sysadmins a new set of tools for mass deployment of its own Chrome browser.

The new “Chrome enterprise bundle” offers an MSI installer and ADMX templates that let sysadmins apply policies determined in Microsoft's Group Policy Object Editor. The idea is to give sysadmins the tools to create cuts of Chrome that meet their employers' policies, then send appropriate versions to users.

Google's even cooked a “Legacy Browser Support extension” that can run Silverlight and ActiveX, for those who can't free themselves from those ancient plug-ins but do want to reduce their reliance on Internet Explorer.

The Alphabet subsidiary has also announced it now offers paid enterprise support agreements for Chrome. Importantly it will also support popular software-as-a-service apps in its browser: Office365, Salesforce, Workday, SAP Fiori, Uber Conference “and many others” get a mention in the launch material. There's also support for Citrix's XenApp, plus Windows Server with Terminal services on Chrome.

News of the bundle and alliances was released to coincide with Citrix's annual Synergy shindig. To understand why, know that Citrix and Microsoft just about joined at the hip these days, with the former now the latter's preferred source of application publishing services on-premises and in Azure.

Google's stuck its foot in that door while also moving to make Chrome more appealing to enterprise users. Whether they'll be happy to have Google support a browser and Microsoft do the rest of the desktop remains to be seen. But Google clearly thinks it can turn a quid with this plan. And if it thinks it can do so while supporting ActiveX, good luck to it! ®


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