With an eye to encouraging more businesses to use its browser, Google is rolling out two new features. First, Chrome now has “legacy browser support,” which can open older Web apps in versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as far back as IE6. Chrome also now has some cloud-based management features for organizations that use Google Apps for Business and Education.
Todd R. Weiss with eWeek reported, “Google is bumping up the enterprise management tools for its Chrome Web browser as part of an effort to drive Chrome’s increased adoption by businesses around the world. The upgrades were unveiled in an April 16 post by Cyrus Mistry, the senior product manager for Chrome for Business and Education, on the Google Chrome Blog. ‘You probably use a browser throughout the day to access useful information, stay connected with people and run Web apps—at work, at home and on the go,’ wrote Mistry. ‘However, browser choice at the office may be determined by your company’s IT team. Today we’re making it easier for companies everywhere to choose Chrome for Business.'”
PCPro’s Shona Ghosh explained, “Google has unveiled a Chrome extension for businesses that lets them revert to an older browser for any custom apps that won’t run on newer browsers. The move appears to be a dig at Microsoft, with Google targeting the update not just at the aging Internet Explorer 6, but any version up to IE10, though users are reporting trouble installing the extension in Windows 8. The update allows IT managers to list any sites that are only compatible with ‘legacy’ browsers and add them to an exclusion list. These sites will automatically launch into an alternate browser, specifically Internet Explorer, when accessed by employees. The rest of the time, staff can use Chrome.”
ZDNet’s Liam Tung added, “Google also released new cloud-based management tools for Google Apps for Business admins to set desktop policies via Chrome on user devices on Wednesday. ‘Now, whether employees are working from the company’s desktop or their personal laptop, they will be able to access default applications, custom themes, or a curated app web store when they sign-in to Chrome with their work account. With cloud-based management, IT administrators can customize more than 100 Chrome policies and preferences for their employees from the Google Admin panel,’ said Mistry.”
InformationWeek’s Thomas Claburn observed, “Google’s pitch to businesses continues to convince. On Tuesday, Dan Beecham, CIO of Australia’s Woolworths Limited, said that his company has decided to shift to Google Apps and Chrome. ‘Changing to a cloud based suite of tools is a key part of our strategy to use technology to promote greater collaboration, productivity and effectiveness,’ he said in a blog post. ‘Over the next 12 months we will be rolling out Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Talk to the 26,000 staff in our national and state offices.'”