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Google today announced it has expanded Windows support on the Google Cloud Platform. New additions include Microsoft License Mobility, support for Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition, and the Chrome RDP app available for free.

Microsoft License Mobility for Google Cloud Platform means Google’s customers can move their existing Microsoft server application software licenses (SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange Server, and so on) from on-premises to Google Cloud Platform without any additional Microsoft software licensing fees. This makes the transition to Google’s cloud easier, and it also lets customers who prefer to purchase perpetual licenses to continue to do so.

There is an asterisk worth noting: Google says use of Microsoft products on Google Compute Engine is subject to additional terms and conditions. Before you dive in to use this new functionality, check out the Google Cloud Platform service terms.

Next up, Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition is now available to all Google Cloud Platform customers in beta on Google Compute Engine. Google explains the addition by saying it knows its customers “run some of their key workloads on Windows and want rapid deployment, high performance and the ability to stretch their datacenters to the cloud.”


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Why not just use Microsoft Azure? The company naturally believes its Google Cloud Platform is “the best place to run your Windows workloads” thanks to features like Local SSD and multiple ways to connect your datacenter to the cloud.

Google also said it is working on support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. The company didn’t give a date for these releases, nor for when Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition support would come out of beta.

Finally, Google has made the Chrome RDP app, built by Fusion Labs for Google Cloud Platform, available for free so its customers can use it with Windows. In short, you can use Chrome to create remote desktop sessions to your Windows instances in Google Compute Engine without the need for additional software.

All you need to do is click the RDP button in the Google Developer Console; there’s no need to manage unique user IDs and passwords for each Windows instance. You can download the app now from the Chrome Web Store.

These enhancements to Google Compute Engine are aimed to help Google’s customers run highly-performant Windows-based workloads at scale. By themselves they won’t win anyone over to Google’s cloud, but existing Google Cloud Platform customers will certainly enjoy them.

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