If you're a Chromebook fan, Google just made it easier and more convenient for you to use the cloud-based laptop for your entire staff.
The company released this week several software updates and enhancements that will allow you to better manage Chromebook users and seamlessly transform your business into a Chrome-powered office.
These new business features all focus on improving five core aspects of business computing: identity, manageability, virtualization, performance and pricing. Here's how Google is making it easier for you to adopt and manage Chromebooks for your small business. [Best Chromebooks for Business]
Chromebooks are no-fuss devices that let you quickly sign in using your Google account. Chromebook's new single-sign-on feature offers that same convenience to business users, letting users sign in to their Chromebooks with the same username and password they use elsewhere in your business. The feature works with major identity providers such as CA SiteMinder, SecureAuth, Microsoft AD FS and others.
Additionally, Chromebooks also now support a multiple sign-in function to make it easier to switch between work and personal accounts. This is particularly useful for bring-your-own-device programs, where employees use one device for business and home, but can't compromise business security or blur the lines between work and play.
Take the headache out of managing and configuring Chromebooks for your office. IT can now easily prepare new employees or contractors for onboarding straight from the Admin Console. This includes pushing bookmarks, pre-existing settings, sign-in information and other configurations across all platforms, including mobile devices. Preconfigurations in the Admin Console and improved certificates also make it easier and faster to connect Chromebooks to 802.1X EAP-TLS wireless networks and Transport Layer Security (TLS) Web resources. This technology is supported by major secure wireless providers like Aruba Networks, Cloudpath Networks and Aerohive Networks.
New integrated virtualization options make Chromebooks more powerful than ever. Google has partnered with virtualization companies like Citrix and VMware, letting businesses seamlessly run virtualization applications specifically for the Chromebook and increase security throughout the organization.
With all these new features, Chromebooks will require better performance. Google announced that it has partnered with Nvidia and VMware to implement new rich-graphics software to support and speed up graphics-heavy virtualization apps, including 3D modeling and simulation applications.
One of the best things about Chromebooks is that they're super-affordable for small businesses on tight budgets. Google extends the same principle to these Chromebook enhancements — businesses can purchase all of the new updates for $50 per year. The purchase also grants businesses licensing portability in case devices are lost or replaced.
Originally published on Business News Daily.