Review: Google Chrome Browser Gets Business Friendly
With the release of Chrome for Business, Google has made it possible for companies to build and deploy customized and locked-down versions of the Chrome Web browser.
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Google Chrome OS Promises Computing Without Pain
The Google Chrome Web browser has made significant in-roads over the last year, growing to nearly ten percent of the browser market in less than two years.
But when it comes to penetration into business markets, Chrome has traditionally had a key weakness when compared to market leaders such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Both of these products provide tools and kits to help businesses create and deploy customized and locked-down versions of the browser to employees, with IE providing the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) and Mozilla offering the Client Customization Kit.
The closest option that businesses looking to customize Chrome had was to use the open-source Chromium code. This provided near limitless customization but is realistically beyond the skill sets of most companies, who really just want to lock-down and customize basic settings of the browser, such as home page and security options.
However, in December Google finally addressed this missing capability of Chrome with the release of Chrome for Business. And after using the tool for the last few weeks, I've found it to be one of the better thought out and straightforward browser customization products that I've seen, at least for Windows versions of the browser.
On the Windows side, Chrome for Business essentially consists of two components, a stand-alone MSI installer for the browser and a set of group policy templates. The templates are probably one of the smartest decisions in Chrome for Business.
While competing tools like IEAK and CCK have their own wizard-based interfaces for customizing the browser, Chrome takes advantage of the Group Policy features of Windows itself, something that will be familiar to most Windows administrators.
This means that, in order to create a customized version of the Chrome browser, I simply had to open up the Chrome templates in the Windows Group Policy Editor and then define the settings that I wanted for the customized company version of Chrome.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?