back to article Google slaps a suit on beefed up Chrome OS, offers Enterprise version for business

Google is making a push for its Chrome OS in the business space with a new Enterprise edition of the cloud-centric operating system. The paid service will allow companies to manage multiple devices running Chrome, and includes support for Microsoft Active Directory and VMware Workspace One, as well as managed or custom …

  1. Youngone Silver badge

    Competition

    I'm all for some new players in the corporate IT area, but I'm not sure this is it.

    Where does control lie here? When my user's stuff is in the "cloud" I have no idea where it all is and who has access to it.

    It is all very well saying AD 'integration" but what does that actually mean it terms of packets moving into and out of my network?

    The beancounters will love it however at $50 per year and presumably running on cheaper hardware.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Competition

      "When my user's stuff is in the "cloud" I have no idea where it all is and who has access to it."

      I really hope you don't make IT decisions, as a actually the complete opposite is true here.

      A cloud document is a single document that can only be accessed by those given access to it. How many uncontrolled untraceable copies of word documents are currently floating around by email on your network and beyond???

      With a corporate cloud protected by multi factor access, and access control centrally managed, you are MORE in control. Fred blogs leaves, those documents are still currently in his email (or worse still home still home email), with corporate cloud, you revoke his access and he stops getting access there and then.

      You might want to think and try before running away scared by the cloud word, as current reality is WAY WAY worse... Google for business can be locked down way more than Gmail and gdocs

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: Competition

        Sorry A/C, that's not how any of this works.

        Yes, I make IT decisions, and have for long, long time.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Competition

          Seems like you have been in IT making decisions for too long. 1990s thinking has no place in modern IT.

          It must suck to work in your company, I suspect Lotus Notes is still your email and groupware and here's are still suffering locked for editing network office documents that were all the rage in 1995...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Competition

        A cloud document is a single document that can only be accessed by those given access to it. How many uncontrolled untraceable copies of word documents are currently floating around by email on your network and beyond???

        Are you saying that someone with access to a cloud document can't email it out to a client? If so it's not much use to anyone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Competition

          "Are you saying that someone with access to a cloud document can't email it out to a client? If so it's not much use to anyone."

          If it's a Google cloud document yes then that's exactly how it works! You have to mail a URL instead. And yes that's partly why Office 365 is wiping the floor with Slurp in this space. There is a reason Amazon offer books for migrating from Google Apps to O365, but not the reverse!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Competition

            "If it's a Google cloud document yes then that's exactly how it works! You have to mail a URL instead. And yes that's partly why Office 365 is wiping the floor with Slurp in this space. There is a reason Amazon offer books for migrating from Google Apps to O365, but not the reverse!"

            That is a, probably knowingly, totally incorrect set of statements. You can definitely download a Google Doc and email it to whoever. IT has the ability to turn off the ability to download docs because there is no need to do so. Much better to just share a URL link with whoever you want to send the doc to. That person clicks on the link and they are in the doc. The end. This is an infinitely better approach than download, attach and email for many reasons. 1) Everyone is working off the same doc and you don't end up with 40 slightly different versions of the doc. 2) IT has a log of who exactly has access to the doc and can revoke that access at any time so people don't share the doc with a competitor, etc. 3) It is way more storage and bandwidth efficient than constantly downloading and emailing.

            Microsoft has more Office365 users than Google G Suite because Office365 is just old Microsoft applications which people have used forever with (unreliable) Exchange and SharePoint server hosting. That is Office365. They started with far more users so Google hasn't completely overtaken them in a few years but they have been a pretty large dent.... It's not like Office365 is some completely new product which is totally different than Outlook, Office, etc that people have used for 25 years.

            There are tens of thousands of companies that have migrated from MSFT to Google. How many can you name that went back to Office365 off of Google? I'm sure there are some given the size of the install base, but very few.

            There are probably books of Amazon because Microsoft pays for there to be books on Amazon.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Competition

              "That is a, probably knowingly, totally incorrect set of statements. You can definitely download a Google Doc and email it to whoever."

              But then you have zero control over what they can do with it. Unlike a DRM controlled Office 365 document. Everything stated is correct. Your excuses as to why that might be less awful than it is don't change that!

              Microsoft also started from zero and way behind Google Apps with Office 365. They have built a better product and overtaken the competition.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Competition

                "Microsoft also started from zero and way behind Google Apps with Office 365"

                You know that isn't true. They didn't start from zero. They started with a near monopoly in office productivity.

                Most people who go to Office365 do so because they don't want anything to change. You can move an on premise MSFT user to Office365 E3 and they literally will not know that anything has changed at all. Zero changes to the end user from on prem to "cloud." Office365 = Exchange, Lync/SfB and SharePoint server hosting. That's it. So yes Office365 has a lead... but that is just another way of saying MSFT has always had a lead due to their legacy install base since the early 1990s.

                Anyone who doesn't admit that has an obvious bias and just isn't arguing honestly.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Competition

                  "You know that isn't true. They didn't start from zero. They started with a near monopoly in office productivity."

                  None of which was in the cloud. They have build and sold a new product in O365 - and done it better than Google.

                  Before Microsoft had O365, Google were taking significant customers from Microsoft. Now days very few large companies are choosing Google Apps over O365

                  When people make the decision to move to Office 365 of course they would consider alternatives as there is significant effort and investment involved. Google are now loosing that battle by a long long way. And the primary reason is that O365 is simply a far better more complete and enterprise grade solution. That it's a familiar interface and that complex documents, Macros etc. actually work with O365 of course helps but as above - when Google had a better product it was selling. Now they don't and it isn't...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Competition

          "Are you saying that someone with access to a cloud document can't email it out to a client? If so it's not much use to anyone."

          No, that's not what he is saying. Think of Google Docs like a server, because that is exactly what it is. It is an app (word or spreadsheet app) that a bunch of users can log into an work on at the same time. You can share a Doc by giving some other user access to it, as many as you want. When you share that doc or sheet or whatever, there is a log of who shared what with who, when they did it, etc. Full visibility. If the person who shared it or IT wants to revoke someone's access to that doc, they can do so at any time.

          What he is saying is that is way different than MSFT Office where everyone has a million files on their desktop and IT or security has no idea what they have or what they are doing with it.

          Think about the scenario when a person leaves your company, maybe to go work for a competitor. You can revoke access to online services, like email and corp services, almost immediately. If that user is at home with their laptop though, they can pull whatever they want off their PC and, provided they go offline and do not come back on, you can't stop them or even see that it happened. With Google G Suite, productivity apps just become like SAP or email or any other corporate service, you revoke access, people can't access docs, sheets, etc.

          Think of how crazy it would be if I said we are going to have every user download a local copy of the CRM database to their personal PC. People would go nuts. One PC gets compromised and the entire database is exposed. One bad employee can hand off that DB to whoever. Yet that is the crazy world that most people live in with MS Office... where all kinds of employees have huge Excel sheets with the equivialant of a CRM database on them.

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Competition

      The devil is always in the details with ChromeOS. With Slurp's Bloat 10 antics, the door is opening for someone to step in and give Slurp some competition. Right now, I would take this as the opening salvo at Slurp. Should be an interesting couple years ahead of us.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Competition

        Should be an interesting couple years ahead of us.

        The ancient Chinese curse at work. ☺

        "May you be doomed to live in interesting times."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Competition

      "The beancounters will love it however at $50 per year"

      Lmao when I read this, unfortunately it's not that straight forward. You've also got to include licensing for VMWare, any Guest OS (either Windows 10 VDI, or Server 2016) and infrastructure to run it on. In my experience, any VDI or VAI implementation works out substantially more expensive than just buying the tin... It sucks, as solution a like this work amazing when done right and they are more secure.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Competition

        "Lmao when I read this, unfortunately it's not that straight forward."

        Well $50 is list. You probably won't pay list. Even if you do, that is less costly than Windows when you factor in all of the stuff you need to buy to make enteprise Windows work. $50 isn't the OS. The OS is free. $50 is the management software, running in the cloud, and support. It's not like you can just buy Windows and that's it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Competition

          True, you can go download a million copies of Chrome OS for free right now. This is more comparable to system center, defender, Windows server, SCCM, SCOM, and probably a bunch of other licenses.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Competition

          "Well $50 is list. You probably won't pay list. "

          Opps sorry, I should have been clearer - I was not solely referring to the Google cost, but also for delivery of apps via VMware Workspace One (Which is effectively Virtual application and Desktop delivery) which in itself has a huge cost, then the additional costs for underlying infrastructure and applications.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Competition

      Disagree. With Chrome OS, your users will be using some online/cloud apps, like Google G Suite. You know exactly where all their data is and can control access to it, archive it, delete it, do whatever you want with the enteprise data. PCs with local storage and apps create the data loss issue. If a user creates or downloads some confidential doc on their PC, there is no way to control where that data goes and who has access to it... or no easy way which isn't intrusive and cumbersome.

      1. kryptylomese

        Re: Competition

        PGP allows you to control where documents and data go.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Competition

          "PGP allows you to control where documents and data go."

          No, no it doesn't. It just makes it secure getting from point A to point B.

          To actually control where documents go and what you can do with them you need a proper DLP solution such as Microsoft AD RMS.... This is something that Google Apps doesn't have at all. You can only control ACLs to Google's cloud and not what people can do with a document once they have a local copy...It's a very big gap in what Slurp offer in the enterprise space compared to Microsoft.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Competition

            "them you need a proper DLP solution such as Microsoft AD RMS.... This is something that Google Apps doesn't have at all."

            Google G Suite has DLP across all of their apps. Added it a year or two ago. Likewise with ATP.

            It seems that most people's arguments against G Suite are working with out of date information. Companies like Roche, PwC, Salesforce, Verizon run on G Suite... Not sure where your from, but if it worked for those companies, I bet it will meet your security requirements too.

            1. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: Competition

              "Google G Suite has DLP across all of their apps. Added it a year or two ago. Likewise with ATP."

              Nope, you can't control what someone does with a local copy of a document. Google Apps simply doesn't have that functionality. As above all you can do is set ACL controls on viewing an online copy via Googles website which is not the same thing at all.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Competition

                "Nope, you can't control what someone does with a local copy of a document. Google Apps simply doesn't have that functionality. As above all you can do is set ACL controls on viewing an online copy via Googles website which is not the same thing at all."

                Google DLP is much more than just ACL controls. You can prevent emails from being sent or files from being shared which have sensitive data types (like SSNs or bank accounts or whatever you choose). It is highly configurable and uses machine learning beyond anything in MSFT land.

                It is true that the DLP controls do not extend to the OS level files but that is because it is unnecessary for users to ever take files out of Google Drive, where there is DLP. You just share links. Admins can even turn off the ability to download locally. It just isn't the way modern applications work. It would be like saying there is no protection if you take a table out of Workday or Salesforce and move it to the local desktop.... Yeah, but why would you do that or allow it to be done by an end user? If you want to have users download local files to their C drive, which again is not a good practice, and you further want that data DLP protected. You can use WIP from MSFT or Symantec or any number of other DLP services.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Competition

                  "oogle DLP is much more than just ACL controls. You can prevent emails from being sent or files from being shared which have sensitive data types (like SSNs or bank accounts or whatever you choose). It is highly configurable and uses machine learning beyond anything in MSFT land."

                  You can do all that in Microsoft land too. Including automatically categorising documents by content, etc. Also MSFT have functionality like Dynamic Access Control that is more advanced than anything Google offer

                  "It is true that the DLP controls do not extend to the OS level files"

                  Quite. And it's a massive gap.

                  "but that is because it is unnecessary for users to ever take files out of Google Drive, where there is DLP"

                  Many use cases / users would disagree with that.

                  "You can use WIP from MSFT or Symantec or any number of other DLP services."

                  Quite - so why would you choose Google if you have to go elsewhere for a proper DLP solution?

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Competition

      Where does control lie here? When my user's stuff is in the "cloud" I have no idea where it all is and who has access to it.

      A worthwhile concern but I suspect the target market for this includes companies who've already bought into Google Docs & Google Mail for business or Microsoft 365 and are quite happy with someone else hosting their data because it means they don't have to any data centres of their own. For many clerical companies this might seem preferable to running their own kit, as long as it complies with any regulatory requirements.

      Personally, while I've no doubt that both Google and Microsoft are able to demonstrate that they can host company data securely. The real risk is whether you will ever be able to get it all back if circumstances change.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Competition

      "Chrome Enterprise"

      Well I suppose it might have a use running managed VDI endpoints to access a full Windows OS. I can't see anyone else much using Chrome itself. Slurp really doesn't cut it in the enterprise imo.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The devil IS always in the details

    Does it still insist on sending every print job to the cloud so it can be downloaded to the printer on the other side of the users desk? Where in the cloud is it? Which governments have which levels of access to it's various parts? What peripherals does it support? How often are the drivers updated? How are patches deployed? How long are old versions supported?

    Does it require me to rebuild all of my users applications from scratch? Does it have full hardware support for full Android apps? ALL the Aps? How are they managed? Can I issue and recall company owned licences? How does onboarding and decomissioning work?

    What is the business case or plan for the companies making or supporting the hardware, because if they are expected to design, make, advertise and distribute profitless or low margin hardware while Google skims 50$ a year off of nearly pure profit, they may decide to stop wasting their time. This will leave me up a creek.

    If Google decides to bury ChromeOS behind the shed with the corpses of Google Labs, what will I do? Because so far ChromeOS isn't keeping up with Android, and eventually most companies pick the winner by market share and bury the loser.

    Does coming up with a complete and well reasoned response to all of these concerns and risks even make sense in my planning process in the age of 400$ laptop/tablets?

    The only answer I really care about is what I should do with old Chrome Books? The last three Chromebooks at my site are all sitting on a shelf with drained batteries. They will probably stay that way unless I can hack together network drivers for them and install Linux.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: The devil IS always in the details

      I am not convinced that Chrome 'Enterprise' is truly ready for prime time at this point. However there is an opening with Slurp's antics for someone to get in the door. What will determine how well Chrome does is dependent on both Chocolate Factory efforts and whether Slurp realizes that this could poise a real threat to Bloat. Only time will tell.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The devil IS always in the details

      "Does it still insist on sending every print job to the cloud so it can be downloaded to the printer on the other side of the users desk?"

      No

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The devil IS always in the details

      "Does it require me to rebuild all of my users applications from scratch?"

      Only if they were written in the pre-internet era. If so, about time.

      "Does it have full hardware support for full Android apps?"

      Does Windows?

      1. sebbb

        Re: The devil IS always in the details

        - "Does it require me to rebuild all of my users applications from scratch?"

        -- Only if they were written in the pre-internet era. If so, about time.

        Oh, how I wish it would be possible in the NHS... No, I have instead to force users on IE11 cause of that Java crapware and a shitload of Windows-only applications. So for me either, it's "keep buying those £300 Dells and join them to the domain"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The devil IS always in the details

          It is strange that there is a real fear of cloud within IT Ops, as though cloud will come in and there will nothing for IT Ops to do. Then you go into any large enterprise and there are nothing but modernization projects, most everything needs work. A decade of modernization projects which historically IT has said they were too busy to work on. Now they will have time to actually continuously improve things. The issue is that most IT Ops employees are conservative, don't like change, want a check list of daily activities which is predictable... their whole job historically was preventing bad things from happening, like a server crashing, as opposed to making good things happen. So a bit of a cultural overhaul needs to take place, but plenty of work that needs to be done.

  3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    "slaps a suit on"

    The headline made me think that someone copied Chrome OS and got sued. Apparently that wasn't the meaning?

  4. TheElder

    Armour

    The idea of making the system stronger is the same as a human wearing Armour.The human needs to see, breath, eat, piss and shit. Those are all vulnerabilities. Then in most cases they also like to fuck. That is when they can really get screwed.

  5. rmason Silver badge

    We will definitely be giving one of these a good testing.

    We are currently spending £silly on lenovo Yogas purely because we have a role here that 'requires' touchscreen and small devices. We are currently buying Yogas over surface devices, but the reality is these would tick every box for those users, at a massive price reduction on both HW and SW.

    By the time we've equipped a user with a yoga and all the relevant software we must be approaching 1.7-2k per unit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just beware not all the Chromebooks have a touch screen, especially the cheaper ones. ChromeOS wasn't designed as a touch OS...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "ChromeOS wasn't designed as a touch OS..."

        It is pretty good though. The new Samsung Pro and Plus Chromebooks are pretty slick as touch devices. I'm sure that Chrome OS will continue to get better and better with touch now that Android apps on available. Google moves really fast on dev cycles. Chrome OS revs every four to six weeks. If you have had a Chromebook for a year or more, you can almost see it getting better and more functionality in real time.

  6. HausWolf

    You guys realize that while win10 slurps a lot of your data, that Google has been and probably will be far worse.

    Yes, MS needs some stiff competition, but this might be a case of them finding out just how far they can go.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " MS needs some stiff competition"

      Agree, a real competition will be good for customers. It is an area in need of some shaking up.

  7. handleoclast

    Now with added management speak

    Who needs something that does its job well when you can slather it in management speak?

  8. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    RemoteApp

    Chromebooks would be a great RemoteApp solution, if only Google would build in support. I could dish one out to a user, the device management could set the homepage to RDWeb and say thanks very much have a great day.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019