back to article Google touts managed Linux, gets cosy with Dell in Chromebook Enterprise push

Google has rolled out its "first Chromebook Enterprise devices," these being a couple of Dell Latitude laptops launched at the VMWorld shindig currently under way in San Francisco. The Dell Latitude 5400 and Latitude 5300 2-in-1 will now come loaded with an enterprise version of Chrome OS – though note that Chrome Enterprise …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could this be it - Linux on the Desktop ?!

    ... no, it's Google. Shit.

    1. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      Linux

      Re: Could this be it - Linux on the Desktop ?!

      Dell is already selling laptops with Linux preinstalled. What advantage would Google's Chrome offer? Wait a second: the other option is to get Windows 10 preinstalled, which includes a Linux subsystem as well.

      1. DrBed

        Re: Could this be it - Linux on the Desktop ?!

        > What advantage would Google's Chrome offer? Wait a second: the other option is to get Windows 10 preinstalled, which includes a Linux subsystem as well.

        Not nearly close. It is not "Google's Chrome" but "Chrome OS" - it is already Linux. It means Linux kernel. So, it means virtualized, sandboxed Linux desktop apps are sharing same kernel resources as main OS - it is not overhead like running VM of other, uncompatible kernel to the main OS (Windows 10). Same stands for Android apps (if needed) - almost native support. Crossvm and termina are low-level vm, different beasts then common known vm.

        More about it here: https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromiumos/docs/+/master/containers_and_vms.md#Overview

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Could this be it - Linux on the Desktop ?!

      Does it come with Telemetry built-in ?

  2. Christopher Reeve's Horse

    The gradual and continual realisation that...

    ...running everything in a browser is awful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The gradual and continual realisation that...

      While I upvoted you, I'm going to caveat that by suggesting it didn't need to be that way.

      If browsers were simple applications which displayed and rendered content according to W3C spec things would have been OK.

      It's the ever growing addition of bloat, blast and cruft needed to support the advertising industry which has crippled that notion. Look at the current adblock wars for proof.

      That said, if you could use a browser to deliver truly rich functionality, thousands of shitty apps would never have seen the light of day ... which hints at why we are where we are .....

  3. James 51 Silver badge

    Not sure why if you're running linux applications, you wouldn't be running linux (I know Chromebooks are probably easier to lock down but would anyone want to use one?).

    1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      The ability to back up all your apps, settings and data (encrypted, of course) so that you can restore *everything* on to a new chromebook should your's get lost, stolen or die appeals to some folks.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      If you are using Linux, you are probably security conscious and don't want all your corporate data flowing over Google either.

  4. Binraider666

    Fantastic. Just one problem. How do you get this past the procurement firewall in a big corporate? Having seen the degree of MS indoctrination to O365, SharePoint, Teams, etc. that we now have it's all but impossible to get alternative desktop architectures for evaluation by procurement let alone a real purchase order. When a tender document basically says "must have feature lists compiled from O365 feature lists" then the competition is somewhat stifled.

    The only organisations that can really make the move to this kind of device are those with BYOD or SME's where users are trusted to sort their own equipment. Maybe some startups could make use of them too?

  5. JimPoak

    Better the devil you know

    Dell tried to introduce Linux to the desktop once before and failed. Only the ones that know the true value of Linux would have it. From the adverts for chrome they neglected to mention it uses the Linux kernel which is where it gets strengths from. Dell see Chromebook as a positive spin and no mention of open source, only the goodness of Google protection from those nasty viruses. To misquote a phrase from a film "Where is the Microsoft air force". I'm sure Microsoft will dish it out shortly. I'll stick with Linux. To quote a collage "Better the devil you know".

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Two words

    "Google", "managed". Either of those would be enough to put me off. Combined leaves me running for the hills.

    1. Scotthva5

      Re: Two words

      My thoughts exactly.

    2. Oneman2Many

      Re: Two words

      And yet the majority of your kids data is now being managed via Google.

    3. bobsmith2016

      Re: Two words

      You're probably right. But for the sake of fairness, Microsoft snaffles your data as well.

  7. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Devil

    Think of the money we'll save...

    All the problems with limited solutions, plus total surveillance of every bit that goes through that server...

    Pass.

  8. Jove Bronze badge

    When they use "managed Linux environments" ...

    ... as a primary marketing tag, that means end-use choice is not a consideration.

    I suspect that a lot of the scripting-sweatshops could find these devices beneficial.

  9. sabroni Silver badge

    enterprise Chromebook?

    When do Google stop the security updates? Has the timer started?

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/08/22/buying_a_chromebook_dont_forget_to_check_when_it_expires/

  10. Criminny Rickets

    Cloud

    Yet they haven't yet been able to manage a native Linux app for running Google Drive.

  11. Lorribot

    Sounds oddly familiar

    The part of our business that has bought in to all that Google stuff in a big way are oddly also into Macs in a big way and i can't see them giving them up any time soon. The Windows users have to put up with crappy Lenovo kit (ThinkShite) so ironically may be keener to move as it is universally loathed.

    However Chrome books is a big step as you are walking in to a vendor lock in situation with your eyes wide open this time (unlike when MS took over your world) and the exit strategy, if it all went wrong, would be hugely expensive as you would have to replace all the hardware too.

    Also it is Google and they will use all your company's IP for advertising purposes and anything stored on its servers belongs to them and not you, so you forfeit your copyright and patents to it all.

    Isn't this why everyone hates Microsoft or had we all forgotten?

    1. DrBed

      Re: Sounds oddly familiar

      "However Chrome books is a big step as you are walking in to a vendor lock in situation with your eyes wide open this time"

      ...like, Macs and Windows you mentioned before is not "a vendor lock in situation"???

      > "the exit strategy, if it all went wrong"

      ...but Chromebooks are exit strategy - kind of - because most of it went wrong already. It is all about diversification. You are arguing about diversification as essentially wrong move, and recalling back to the old vendor locked in situation, because of... "it could be hugely expensive as you would have to replace all the hardware too (IF it all went wrong)"???

      Btw, regarding your "exit strategy", I bet you're Brittish. Brexit strategy indeed. "Sovereignty".

      > "Also it is Google and they will use all your company's IP for advertising purposes and anything stored on its servers belongs to them and not you, so you forfeit your copyright and patents to it all." - Bollocks. Redmond FUD. It is called "Chrome Enterprise" - no advertising there. So, basicaly, what you said is that you pay for Enterprise edition so that your data belongs to Google. Utterly stupid.

      Obviously, as said above: "Better the devil you know" ...(although) "But for the sake of fairness, Microsoft snaffles your data as well."

      All of that reminds me of this joke: A fish and a crab were playing with a ball. Then the crab wouldn't toss the ball back to the fish. The fish cried, "You're shellfish!"

  12. tallenglish

    Seriously, who uses Google spyware/crapware these days.

    With the exception of Android (which needs some google apps disabling to be usable).

    Why would anyone use Linux from Google, when there are plenty of other better options without Googles spyware built in and uninstallable.

    Never understood the Chromebook concept, which has everything stored in the cloud (which I class as insecure), or some SD card and running apps in a web browser, not even as capable as Android IMHO, you might as well have a tablet, which has more features and likely supports the full Microsoft Office apps as well as the google crapware versions.

    There were going to unify ChromeOS and Android at one point - whatever happened to that.

    At this point, I avoid using Google for anything, especially Chrome.

    1. Oneman2Many

      Re: Seriously, who uses Google spyware/crapware these days.

      You probably want to to find out what the enterprise version of Chromebook does before commenting. It's specifically designed to connect to on prem infrastructure.

      As for tablets, unless you want to paying 3x or 4x and have less manageability and less security then they are different classes of hardware. £250 is going to buy you a media consumption device, not a productivity tool.

      There was a plan to merge codebase for Android and Chromebook but the direction is now for Play Store to be available Chromebook. Not all apps work 100% or may have weird GUI issues or may lack hardware but generally the support is OK (ISH) and getting better.

      For non+browser apps I would suggest looking at VDI or Xen type solution rather than running them locally defeating the point of Chromebook. One area that is missing is native CaaS support which will need to run on Linux though it's debatable if the target market for Chromebook would notice the lack of CaaS support.

  13. ishitha5

    Running everything in a browser looks great.

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