Google and VMware offer Chromebooks access to Windows apps

Microsoft has been running TV ads recently that show Chromebooks can't access apps such as Office or other major Windows-based programs. Now Google is trying to show that the inexpensive Chromebooks can offer some owners access to the Windows desktop and its programs via a new remote service that is being offered by another Microsoft rival, VMWare.

In joint announcements, Google and VMWare revealed plans to give business and enterprise users a way to access Windows-based apps from Chromebooks via VMWare's Horizon Desktop as a Service program. The subscription-based service is already available for businesses that own Chromebooks by accessing VMWare's VMware Horizon View 5.3. Google will also release support for the service via an app from the Chrome App Store.

In its blog post, Google made note of the fact that many businesses have yet to upgrade their PCs beyond Windows XP, which will stop receiving support and updates from Microsoft in less than two months. The blog states, "As the countdown to Windows XP end of life continues, deploying Chromebooks and taking advantage of a DaaS environment ensures that security vulnerabilities, application compatibility and migration budgets will be a thing of the past." NPD recently reported that sales of Chromebooks to commercial customers in the U.S. took up 21 percent of all laptop sales in much of 2013.

While connecting Chromebooks to Windows desktop and apps is certainly possible, it remains to be seen if VMWare's solution will allow these budget notebooks to run these applications efficiently in a virtual environment. There's also the fact that businesses will have to pay extra to access the service in the first place.

Source: Google and VMWare | Image via Google

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TheCyberKnight said,
Microsoft should be worried about this deal.

Chromebooks battle on the price point to lure customers in. By adding the possibility to run Windows software, they make their offer more attractive to buyers with non-technical knowledge.

I still believe Chromebooks and its OS are trash but who cares about my opinion. When it fits the customer needs, it is a success, whatever the technology.


I agree that its trash too. The only people I know who have these so far have been students and I make sure they see the scroogled video everytime I see one of these come into our office for support. I tell them anything beyond getting wifi is unsupport and that they need to get a real pc that is the minimum standard the school has already put in place.

TheCyberKnight said,
Microsoft should be worried about this deal.

Chromebooks battle on the price point to lure customers in. By adding the possibility to run Windows software, they make their offer more attractive to buyers with non-technical knowledge.

I still believe Chromebooks and its OS are trash but who cares about my opinion. When it fits the customer needs, it is a success, whatever the technology.


But won't VMWare have to license Windows from MS? And its a sub, so in the long run won't it ultimately be more expensive?

TheCyberKnight said,
Microsoft should be worried about this deal.

Chromebooks battle on the price point to lure customers in. By adding the possibility to run Windows software, they make their offer more attractive to buyers with non-technical knowledge.

I still believe Chromebooks and its OS are trash but who cares about my opinion. When it fits the customer needs, it is a success, whatever the technology.


Using Microsoft apps and OS's still requires someone, end user or VMWare, to purchase Microsoft licenses.. So Microsoft still makes money. Why again should they worry? They're not a hardware manufacturer in the PC space..

if you're talking about something like an ERP system correct. But let's say you want to run a local app win32 which doesn't need a constant internet connection, well, you get scroogled.

LMAO, if you want to run Windows Apps, buy a real laptop or a Microsoft Surface Pro if you want it in tablet form. Google thinks organizations will buy their crappy Chromebooks to do VDI. Essentially RDP to a server containing VMWare based VMs with a licensed Windows desktop OS like Windows 7 or Windows 8 installed in the VM.

VDI solutions already exist, and Microsoft already kicks butt in that domain. Plus VMWare is hurting bad these days and their days are numbered. The future is the cloud and VMWare can't compete with the likes of Windows Azure.

But hey, that set aside, do enterprise customers really want to buy into something that will be closed down at random after Google decides it's not making enough money in that market segment, like all the other services Google closes on what seems to be a weekly basis.

Nice. Said it before, Chromebooks can really explode this year especially with more and more being added to them. Keep the same price point or close to it.

I dont understand the hate and why people are scared of them other than it being a Google device. Dont like the devices and dont want them, dont buy them. However, many can and will find a use for them.

techbeck said,
Nice. Said it before, Chromebooks can really explode this year especially with more and more being added to them. Keep the same price point or close to it.

I dont understand the hate and why people are scared of them other than it being a Google device. Dont like the devices and dont want them, dont buy them. However, many can and will find a use for them.


People aren't scared of them. They just don't want a device that's pretending to be something that its not. Only the truly ignorant non-tech savy people buy these things because they don't know any better.

Gotenks98 said,

People aren't scared of them. They just don't want a device that's pretending to be something that its not.

How is it pretending? It is stated all over the place the purpose/usage for these devices and what is required. it is more Google hate than anything and people who do not see/have a use for these devices and because of it, they think it is crap or useless.

Ignorance comes in to play when someone buys something and doesnt do their research to make it is the correct device for them.

Gotenks98 said,

People aren't scared of them. They just don't want a device that's pretending to be something that its not. Only the truly ignorant non-tech savy people buy these things because they don't know any better.

Sorry, but only those who are totally blinkered can't understand that there are use cases for technology beyond what they need. Seems to be the fashion around here to trash ChromeBooks, mostly by the died-in-the-wool Microsoft "hardcore" but if you guys can't see the potential and usefulness of a laptop like the Chromebook you're extremely short sighted.

With so much moving into the cloud now, and the dependence on traditional 'fat' operating systems such as Windows steadily eroding, does it not seem entirely plausible that people can simply exist on a lightweight machine with a tiny operating system? Assuming you're one of these folks who only ever work in place where there's WiFi and only depend on cloud apps, do you see no benefit in having a tighter, lighter, secure operating system on your computer that requires less patching, and can be updated or restored in seconds, and has far lighter hardware requirements than something like Windows?

Yes - they're not for everyone, nor do they pretend to be. But they're certainly quite acceptable for the light home user, and I can see ChromeOS gaining wider adoption in the enterprise especially since VMware View / Horizon client recently became available for ChromeOS.

Come on guys. Wake up.

I guess if you already have the infrastructure in place it sorta makes sense. Thin clients cost 3-400 as well. If you don't it really does not make sense.

Silly. If you're going to do this get a cheap RT device and use RemoteAPP. Own your own server, install all your business apps (not just what Google and VMware offer) and keep your information private. You get a LOT more functionality, like your business applications show as icons or tiles, open directly, and you have the option to save locally and still use Word, Excel, Powerpoint & Outlook locally.

No comparison.

A lot of people are missing the point of this. That is understandable because most folks miss the point of Chromebooks to begin with.

Chromebooks are just an endpoint. Their purpose is to provide a practical delivery mechanism for SaaS. The only problem is that MS doesn't offer the full Office suite in SaaS form. You can get limited versions of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint through Skydrive but not the fully featured office suite. That is where VMware/Desktone DaaS comes in. It is just there to offer the apps that MS doesn't push on their SaaS. It bridges the gaps. Also, there is no need for a VDA license because this DaaS service isn't offering up full Win7 desktops. Instead they are pushing Windows 2008 Servers that are reskinned to look like Win7 desktops. No VDA license needed.

But Microsoft can kill that in an instant. Just offer the full office suite through a SaaS delivery model. IMO that is going to happen fairly soon. The fact that MS put their top cloud guy in as the new CEO means everything is going to cloud. The only reason MS hasn't done this is to preserve revenues from Windows. Win8 and Surface are partly meant to protect that revenue stream but it hasn't been nearly as successful as they had hoped. IMO Windows will evolve into an application platform for SaaS on both public and private clouds but I can also see it going into other directions. We will just have to see what the new CEO decides on the future direction of the company.

Interesting times..

I love my chromebook. It's great for web browsing, email, video streaming, remote desktop, and also works great with Citrix! For the price it's been awesome. Got mine used for $100!

Chikairo said,

It's a product aimed at large businesses and enterprises where the cost savings have been already well documented. It's an awesome technology too and works on just about any device you can imagine. Even the mobile client (to access a VM using say an iPhone) works far better than I would have expected.

I think it's only inertia, fear of the unknown, and a little bit of just 'this is how we've always done it' that prevents more companies from looking into it as a solution. But I also think with more companies, including VMware themselves, offering Desktop as a Service, it'll start to gain some more traction in the next couple of years.

I'm hoping we start to push it more where I work. For the majority of office workers, a thin client and a Horizon desktop is a really decent offering. Means you can just resume your desktop on any device in any location. And we already have solid VMware experience as we've been doing ESX/ESXi for about 6-7 years.

Bah.... Screw that I'll stick with "Chrubuntu" with "wine" on my celeron bases chrome book, I know you'll ask "why get it if you just ran Linux, why bit buy a windows laptop?" Well this acer chrome book was a freebie I got while I was working at a local computer shop, the laptop was a quarter if the pay I got.

Even if it's not a freebie I have a lot more respect for people intelligent enough to buy Chromebooks and install Linux on them. Far better than a stupid browser any day. No comparison.

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