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VMware and Google Expand Partnership to Boost Chromebook Sales

Google’s Rajen Sheth
Google's Rajen Sheth

VMware and Google have expanded their partnership to focus on accelerating Chromebook adoption. Using VMware’s Workspace ONE, organizations deploying Chromebooks will have access to one-click secure authentication and management of cloud, web and virtual applications, the companies announced this week at Dell EMC World.

Workspace ONE, a platform that helps companies move away from siloed application and device management, will allow enterprises to streamline access control, set use policies and oversee identity management all in one place.

Rajen Sheth, director of product management for Chrome OS, said in a statement the partnership will allow customers to more easily and securely deploy applications - from Windows to web to mobile apps - on Chrome OS devices.

Partnership 2.0

VMware and Google first partnered in 2015 to bring access to Windows apps, data and desktops to Chromebooks. Through its acquisition of AirWatch, VMware already manages millions of Android devices across dozens of manufacturers.

The relationship between Google and AirWatch has been credited with significantly increasing Android penetration in businesses of all sizes.

"VMware has been working with Google since 2015 to offer secure Android devices and applications, most recently with advanced support for Android Enterprise," Sumit Dhawan, senior vice president and general manager of end-user computing at VMware, said in a statement. "This partnership shows our commitment to giving customers the flexibility to pick the device of their choice and enabling the delivery of any application on any device to end users."

Additional Security

Workspace ONE with VMware AirWatch and Horizon support for Chromebook is available immediately.

With Workspace ONE on Chromebooks, IT administrators will have additional security capabilities to help deploy, configure and secure web and SaaS applications, the companies said.

Windows applications can be delivered through VMware Horizon 7 and Horizon Cloud virtual applications and desktops, and end users will have a single sign-on to a digital workspace that includes the business productivity apps they need.

Palo Alto-based VMware and Google are also collaborating on advancements to unify native Android apps.

Chromebook, marketed as a faster, simpler and more cost-effective laptop, was initially dismissed by critics as too bare bones. However, Chromebooks eventually began to take off, first and most prominently in the education market. Sales grew 38 percent in 2016 despite an overall declining PC market.

Consulting firm IDC predicts that Chromebook shipments will grow in double-digit percentages over the next few years.