Google and virtualization provider VMWare announced a partnership that would allow Chromebooks to run Windows apps via the cloud.

Using VMWare’s Horizon Desktop-as-a-Service solution, users will be able to run regular Windows applications such as Office from a remote server. This service is clearly targeted at enterprise users who want to move away from costly, hard to maintain, and sometimes obsolete Windows installations, to more flexible cloud-based solutions, without having to give up any software that’s crucial to their business.

Individual users can already use Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop app to connect to Windows desktops, but VMWare’s solution is better suited for the needs of companies. And it’s not just apps – VMWare can stream full desktops from the cloud, making it easy for users accustomed to Windows to work on Chromebooks.

Google’s move comes as Microsoft readies to kill support for Windows XP this April, which could potentially leave thousands of customers without security patches on aging systems. Some of these users, especially smaller ones, may be tempted to replace their old Windows systems with Chromebooks rather than go through the trouble of migrating to newer versions.

With more and more of our digital lives finding a home in the cloud, services such as this one could make Chrome OS a viable alternative to traditional PCs, even in the enterprise sector, which has been so far firmly attached to Microsoft’s applications and services.

Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.
  • Ben Jowett

    Finally! A chrome is device is goods!

  • Jusephe

    So the chrome book lost its last unique feature. And where they want to instal these windows apps ? On the cloud ? And on what they want to run them ? On a Celeron ? This is just an desperate attempt by Google to counter Microsoft’s attempt to run android Apps on windows but unlike a chrome book there won’t be any problems running phone apps on a computer compared to running computer apps on a platform with less power and memory than many phones.

    • dogulas

      It’s called having options, but not being required to use them.

    • Guest123

      lol. . .
      Since your device is acting as a thin client it’s irrelevant what chip you have as all the heavy work is being done on the server end. . . and since Chrombooks are always connected devices, again, it’s irrelevant if they run VMed Windows apps or web apps — just as long as you can get done what you need.

      And they are certainly easier to maintain than a Windows machine.

    • Arturo Raygoza

      I agree with you, chromebooks are stupid plain and simple and this is stupid

  • mr Dave

    I would like to see how this runs on a Chromebook is it responsive or slow. I am very interested in Chromebooks but disappointed that most come with 2gb some max out at 2gb also!

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    Take this Microsoft! Now you can’t tell anyone that a Chromebook is a piece of junk, because it will be running the same applications as your platform does!

  • Mike Dennison

    Still have my CR-48 and still luvin it.

  • Chromebooks now will actually be useful!

  • Bomj

    Earlier: “Microsoft is weighing the possibility of adding Android app support to Windows and Windows Phone” and this. Ahh… Can you feel the harmony?

  • The moment I can use adobe illustrator and eclipse, i’m all in for chromebook.

  • EC

    who needs M$? converted to linux, chromebook, open office and google docs a year ago and never going back