Google has announced a new Chromebook loaner program for businesses that’s designed to get workers up and running with a temporary new machine within minutes.
The Chrome Enterprise Grab and Go initiative is actually an extension of a program Google operates in-house, with thousands of its employees around the world notching up “100,000 loans” over the past year, according to Google IT operations manager Russ White.
You may recall that last year Google launched a new Chrome Enterprise service — a $50-per-device annual subscription that leverages Chrome OS and the Chrome browser and gives IT administrators a cloud-based console for handling fleets of Chromebooks. It promises virtualized desktop applications, theft-prevention tools, and a bunch more security-focused features.
While the Chrome Enterprise setup is designed to encourage companies to sign up to Google’s gargantuan software and hardware ecosystem, it also lends itself well to machine-swapping. Employees don’t have to always use the same laptops because all their work is stored in the cloud, which they access via a single login, and they can continue seamlessly with what they were doing regardless of what machine they have. That includes retaining their own passwords, bookmarks, browsing histories, and other settings.
How it works
The general idea is this: Companies can lay out a rack of fully charged Chromebooks that are always available, and employees can just pick one up and log in and they’re good to go.
In reality, most company employees will likely have their own machines, but there are…