Google has introduced new controls for its Chrome browser that will enable IT administrators to configure, customize and deploy the company's latest release in the enterprise space. The goal is to help businesses take advantage of Chrome's increased security, speed and enhanced capabilities, such as HTML5, while meeting each organization's specific business requirements.
For example, Google now offers an MSI installer that will enable IT administrators to use standard deployment tools to install Chrome for all managed users, noted Google Product Manager Glenn Wilson and Google software engineer Daniel Clifford. "And we're working hard on polishing the next set of policies that will make Google Chrome even more customizable and useful to users in the future," they wrote in a blog.
Policies and Templates
Over the past few months, Google has been testing Chrome with IT administrators in large organizations, from Vanguard and Boise State University to Proctor & Gamble and Google itself. "We have already successfully deployed Chrome to thousands of users," Wilson and Clifford wrote. "They've provided us with excellent feedback, and we're continuing to work on the next set of features that they've requested."
What's more, the Internet search giant is providing enterprises with Chrome policy templates showing which registry keys can be set to configure the browser, and what the acceptable values would be. According to Google, Chrome relies on the values set in these registry keys to determine how to act.
Additionally, Google is encouraging businesses to check out the Chrome browser as a preview of what they can expect from the Google Chrome OS, which is slated to become available in the first half of next year. "Since Google Chrome is the same as the browser on Chrome OS, admins considering Chrome OS for their organizations can start testing their mission-critical web applications by deploying the Google Chrome browser," Wilson and Clifford wrote.
Prepping for Chrome OS
Earlier this month, Google and Citrix Systems explained how business professionals will be able to remotely access enterprise data and applications via the cloud, beginning in the first half of 2011.
"The best thing about this partnership is that it was absolutely customer-driven," said Citrix Senior Vice President Gordon Payne. "These are CIOs and organizations where Google has been out talking with the organizations and they suggested that we should partner together."
Their goal is to help corporations save money even as they secure sensitive business data by running all of an enterprise's applications behind a firewall in the data center. To enable this, laptops running Chrome OS will function as remote clients and the cloud will be the delivery platform.
"The way they get access to these applications is through the use of something called Citrix Receiver, which works on PCs, Macs, on just about every tablet, and every smartphone," Payne said. "So we have been working with Google engineers to make Citrix Receiver work very well with Chrome."
Citrix has approximately 250,000 customers around the world centralizing and delivering applications within their organizations from banks, retail outlets, and hospitals, to governments and manufacturing centers, Payne observed. Once Chrome OS launches, business users will be able to enjoy the same fast, secure and responsive experience no matter which Chrome-enabled client device they may be using at any given moment, he added.