Google Chromebooks Now Showing Netflix

An update to Chrome OS provides the foundation for Netflix streaming on Chromebooks.

Thomas Claburn, Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

August 10, 2011

2 Min Read

Samsung Chromebook: Hands-On Visual Tour

Samsung Chromebook: Hands-On Visual Tour

Slideshow: Samsung Chromebook: Hands-On Visual Tour (click image for larger view and for slideshow)

Google Chromebooks can now stream videos from Netflix, through the Netflix browser extension available in the Chrome Web Store.

Google had hoped to include support for Netflix when it launched the Chromebook on June 15, but it was not to be. Then last Thursday, Google released Chrome 13 on the Stable Channel for Chromebooks, which covers the Acer AC700, the Samsung Series 5, and Google's own Cr-48. The update provided support for the Netflix extension, which was released this week.

Chromebooks launched with support for the playback of movie files from SD cards.

Google claims that last week's update also allows Chromebooks to resume 32% faster than before. This may or may not be noticeable, given that Chromebooks already woke from sleep in a matter of seconds.

Whether there are many businesses using Chromebooks remains an open question. Google isn't ready to disclose sales figures: "Our partners have only just launched their Chromebook devices into the market so it's early days, but we're excited by the positive responses we've received from consumers, businesses and schools so far," a company spokesperson said in an email.

Research firm Gartner suggests that Chromebooks won't affect Microsoft's hold on desktop PCs in large companies, even as the rise of Web applications helps Chrome OS and Android gain market share among consumers.

However, for businesses investing in Chromebooks that also use Citrix to host desktop applications, the Chromebook update enables the use of Citrix Receiver Tech Preview. This Chrome OS extension allows users to access Windows applications on their PCs through their Chromebooks without storing any data locally.

The Chrome OS update also adds support for VPN and secure Wi-Fi (802.1X).

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About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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