Exploring the Google Chromebook Ecosystem

Your business is looking for a new technology solution that will meet basic user demands. Perhaps you’re looking to minimize employee devices or investigate alternatives to company tablet and laptops. Maybe your organization is an early adopter and already operating in the Google ecosystem. Regardless, your search has led you to the Chromebook and now you’re trying to determine your next steps.

The fundamentals of the Chromebook equate to a commitment to an alternative online-first computing model. And a commitment to the Google ecosystem of apps and services can be a bit daunting. Moreover, with an array of models on the market, it can be difficult to decipher if the Chromebook would prove a viable solution to your business. This blog aims to clarify the Chromebook’s role within the Google ecosystem as well as whether it will be the right fit for you and your enterprise. The more informed you are about the product, the more you’ll understand about whether this low cost, browser centric device is a good option for your business users.

-IT Peer Network Administrator

Google has built an ecosystem that aims to change the way you think about personal computers and computing. This blog is your map of the Google landscape. It will help you understand the differences between Google™ Chrome OS™, the Google™ Chrome™browser, Chrome apps, and the Google™Chrome Web Store™ marketplace. Chromebooks are the focal component of a large Google ecosystem, but it is helpful to see all the pieces together. After reading, you will understand how those components all come together and hopefully, this insight will help you make better decisions about the suitability of Chromebooks for your organization’s needs.

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Google Chrome OS

Google Chrome OS does for Chromebooks what Windows® does for PCs. It provides a familiar, window-based interface including a customizable desktop, shortcut icons, and a system and task tray. However, Chrome OS differs from Microsoft® Windows® by being heavily centered in the browser. This approach makes sense within Google’s alternative computing paradigm, which assumes that the reason for turning the computer on is to get online as quickly as possible. This assumption is built into Chrome OS.

                                                          

Google Chrome browser

You’re probably already familiar with the Chrome browser, often referred to simply as Chrome. Like Internet Explorer® and other browsers, Chrome runs as a standalone application on various operating systems. Chrome also supports browser-based applications that you can install and run within the browser. On a Chromebook, the Chrome browser is the launch platform for nearly all applications. When you start an app on a Chromebook, the app usually opens in a Chrome tab or window, and Chrome requests functionality that is delivered through the browser interface, typically over the Internet.

Google Chrome apps & the Google Chrome Web Store

Traditional software to which you might be accustomed is not supported by Chromebooks. To address the need for supported applications, Google has developed an ecosystem of apps designed and optimized specifically for the Chromebook environment, sold entirely through the Chrome Web Store. Most Chrome apps are designed to run within the browser window. Hosted apps often have limited functionality when the Chromebook is not connected to the Internet.

                                                                      

These various components of the Google ecosystem are all somewhat abstract when considered individually. But Chromebooks are a visible and tactile point of convergence. Keep this overview of the Google landscape in mind as you consider your Chromebook options. It is important to remember that a Chromebook purchase represents a commitment to an alternate online-first computing model and to the Google ecosystem of apps and services.

For a more information on Chromebooks and how they can work for your business, visit  Google™ Chromebook™ and the Google™ Chrome™ Ecosystem: A Map of the Landscape

Also, check out our previous blog on the performance aspects of the Chromebook.

In the comments section or on Twitter, tell us how you see  Chromebooks transforming your business.

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