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Google adds Windows desktop access to Chromebooks

Google Chromebook owners can now access Windows desktop, data and applications via the Chrome OS following a deal that Google signed with VMware.

Related: HP Chromebook 11 review

The agreement, geared towards enterprise customers, will let anyone that owns one of the low cost machines use the VMWare Horizon DaaS [database-as-a-service] platform to give secure access to all aspects of Windows in the cloud.

There’s good news for Chrome OS users with a partnership between Google and VMware allowing Chromebook users, among others, to manage Windows desktop, data and applications via the OS.

"Google Chromebooks can save businesses about $5,000 [£3,000] per computer when compared to traditional PCs," said Amit Singh, president of Google Enterprise. "Chromebooks are designed for the way people use computers today and are a secure, easy and cost-effective solution to help organizations embrace a new way of doing business. Through our partnership with VMware, businesses can now capitalize on these advantages with access to legacy applications, data and desktops they need to keep employees productive."

Access to Windows apps, data and the desktop will be through VMWare’s Blast HTML5 technology from a web-based catalogue on the Google Chromebook machine. The VMware Horizon DaaS will also provide enterprises with either a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure [VDI] or Remote Desktop Service [RDS] connection depending on each enterprise’s requirements.

Google offering access to Windows on its Chromebooks comes just before Microsoft Windows XP reaches its end of life cycle in April and some companies could choose to move over to the Chrome OS on primary devices when this happens.

Related: Google throws weight behind struggling Chromebook

VMware Horizon View 5.3 currently works as an on-premise service on Chromebooks with an application available “soon” via the Chrome Web Store with no exact date yet given as to when it will be released.