Google today announced a slew of Chrome Enterprise updates, including a faster Google Admin console and managed Linux environments. The company also unveiled the first Chromebook Enterprise laptops: Dell’s Latitude 5300 for $819 and Latitude 5400 for $699.
In August 2017, Google launched Chrome Enterprise for $50 per managed Chromebook per year. The subscription gives Chromebooks enterprise features like advanced security protections and fleet management. Today’s updates are Google’s latest push to bring Chrome OS to more businesses.
Chromebook Enterprise and Chrome Enterprise Upgrade
Chromebook Enterprise devices give businesses “trusted” hardware and Chrome Enterprise right out of the box. Dell aside, other OEMs will be announcing Chromebook Enterprise devices soon. We asked Chrome OS Commercial product manager Eve Philipps for more details about Chromebook Enterprise devices and Chrome Enterprise updates.
Chrome Enterprise is enabled through the cloud and has the same hardware requirements as Chrome OS. If your business is already using Chromebooks, you can add the same enterprise capabilities via the Chrome Enterprise Upgrade. It’s the same price as Chrome Enterprise: $50 per managed Chromebook per year.
“Chrome Enterprise Upgrade can be purchased for any Chromebook, and the updates can be applied over the air so that any Chrome device can have access to the enterprise capabilities,” Philipps explained. “Chrome OS updates happen automatically through Chrome Enterprise, without user intervention, improving the user experience while keeping devices updated. The default cadence is every six weeks, but IT admins can determine the appropriate release cadence for their organizations.”
Dell Latitude Chromebook Enterprise
The first Chromebook Enterprise devices are the 13-inch Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise and the 14-inch Dell Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise. You can manage them from Chrome Enterprise, but they also include unified endpoint management via Dell Technologies’ Unified Workspace.
Dell Latitude Chromebook Enterprise devices include:
- Security by design: Chrome Enterprise’s multi-layered security means end users are better protected against threats. IT admins can easily provision, monitor, and lock down all devices while ensuring regular and controlled OS updates.
- Global availability and support: Dell Latitude Chromebook Enterprise devices are available in 50 countries with LTE. They include 24/7 year-round Dell ProSupport alongside Chrome Enterprise support.
- IT-trusted hardware: Scalable design, high performance, and powerful battery life. Both can be configured with up to 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, and are the first Chromebooks to offer up to 32GB memory and 1TB PCI-E NVMe SSD storage. They also have LTE options and USB Type-C docking.
- Cloud-native apps: Dell Technologies will resell G Suite — including Docs, Sheets, Slides — and Drive Enterprise.
“The core of our business is to help customers digitally transform, and our enterprise customers have asked for more choice in how they do that,” Rahul Tikoo, a Dell vice president, said in a statement. “Partnering with Google to launch the first Dell Latitude Chromebook Enterprise offers customers that choice, plus the speed, security, and ease-of-use that enterprises need.”
Both laptops go on sale tomorrow (August 27). The Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise starts at $819, and the Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise starts at $699.
Google Admin console and managed Linux environments
The Google Admin console for Chrome OS lets businesses manage Chromebook deployments from one place. Google has “massively revamped” the Admin console with an updated material design, search on every page, and redesigned workflows. The company even claims “up to 10 times faster load times” than the previous version.
“We rewrote the Admin console from the ground up with major performance improvements across the product, from new caching infrastructure and pre-rendering down to the level of individual functions in the code,” Phillips told VentureBeat. “Admins will feel the speed improvements whether they manage 100 or 100,000 devices.”
In May 2018, Google announced Chrome OS is getting Linux app support, including Android Studio and other integrated development environments (IDEs). Now businesses can enable managed Linux environments on Chromebooks (in beta). This means tools to determine who has access at the organizational unit level, VPN support for internal files, and containers for maximum protection.