For a few years of my life, a Chromebook was my solely laptop computer. And as a lot as I completely adore Chrome OS, there have been occasions after I simply wanted Home windows software program. And now, because of Parallels, the longer term I longed for can turn into a actuality. For some, at the very least.
At the moment, Parallels is launching on Chrome OS, bringing a totally virtualized Home windows surroundings to Chromebooks. However right here’s the catch: It’s just for Enterprise customers. So except you may have a Chromebook by your employer, you most likely gained’t get to expertise this. That doesn’t imply it’s not an thrilling revolution for Chrome OS customers on the entire, although, because the very existence of Parallels on Chrome OS might imply massive issues for the patron platform, too.
You could be questioning why that is solely out there for Enterprise customers. I used to be additionally interested in this, however after seeing a demo of it immediately from Parallels, it instantly grew to become extra clear. Parallels for Chrome OS is presently managed solely from the G Suite Admin console, so it needs to be enabled for every person by the admin. From there, firms share the Home windows picture that customers can obtain.
It Runs Regionally for Full Offline Compatibility
As soon as the picture has been downloaded, nevertheless, this virtualized Home windows surroundings runs regionally. Which means it’s absolutely out there offline and all adjustments made throughout the OS are saved on to the system. Home windows may even droop and resume immediately when the window is closed.
Whereas Home windows will run side-by-side with Chrome OS in a resizable and scalable window, it’s not solely seamless. For instance, when you’ve ever used Parallels on macOS, then you definately’re most likely conversant in Coherence—the function that permits customers to run Home windows apps immediately in macOS as in the event that they had been native. Parallels on Chrome OS doesn’t get that granular—it’s Home windows or Chrome OS. However you possibly can’t mix the 2 that intimately.
You possibly can, nevertheless, run Home windows fullscreen on a digital desktop so you possibly can simply change between Chrome OS and Home windows with a four-finger swipe on the touchpad. That’s about as seamless as you’ll get between the 2, however actually, it’s fairly rattling slick.
Information, Folders, and the Clipboard Are All Shared
Home windows additionally immediately integrates with the Chrome OS file system. You possibly can share folders from Chrome OS with Home windows immediately from Chrome OS’s file supervisor. Equally, a brand new entry can be created with Home windows folders—Docs, Footage, Desktop, and so forth.—throughout the Chrome OS file supervisor. It’s fairly seamless and makes your folders and recordsdata available to both OS at any time.
Past that, the clipboard can be shared between the 2 working techniques, so you possibly can copy one thing in Chrome OS and share it with Home windows or vice versa. It’s little touches like this that stretch the usefulness of Parallels on Chrome OS past what I initially anticipated, and I’m blissful to see it.
However wait! It will get higher. You possibly can configure hyperlinks in Home windows to open natively in Chrome OS. So when you’re in a spreadsheet or Phrase doc with a hyperlink however don’t need it to open in Edge, the system can deal with that. Equally, you may as well configure particular kinds of recordsdata—like xlsx recordsdata, for instance—to all the time open in Home windows, even when clicked from the Chrome OS file supervisor.
The mouse and keyboard additionally movement seamlessly between the 2 working techniques.
It’s Helpful, however the Price of Entry Is Steep
This all sounds nice, proper? Yep. However there’s a catch (apart from the Enterprise-only factor): The necessities are brutal. Parallels recommends at the very least an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 128 GB SSD or larger, and a whopping 16 GB of RAM to get one of the best expertise.
I most likely don’t must let you know this, however that’s a tall request for many Chromebooks—hell, I can solely suppose of some off the highest of my head that include 16 GB of RAM. They usually’re all at the very least $1000.
And that’s on prime of the $69.99 per person license from Parallels itself. Oh, and the Home windows 10 licenses. At that time, I’ve to marvel what kind of enterprise is deploying $1,000+ Chromebooks as an alternative of simply shopping for Home windows machines outright. However perhaps I’m simply being cynical.
In the end, I’ve to marvel what’s actually in it for enterprise firms right here. However that’s a distinct query for a distinct day, and one which I’m maybe not even one of the best to reply as a result of I don’t handle an enterprise that has to deploy dozens (or extra!) computer systems to staff.
What I can say is that this, nevertheless: Parallels on Chrome OS is all the pieces I might’ve wished. And in that regard, I’d be blissful to pay $69.99 for the software program and no matter a Home windows license goes for today—if I might solely get this for myself.
Alas, right here’s to hoping. That’s the longer term I need.