Running Windows Applications on Chromebooks

MENDY NEWMAN on June 15, 2016 | 3664

For many, the jury on Chromebooks is still out; that is, unless you're a school district.

Starting with a little definition: Chromebooks are laptop or tablets that run Google's Chrome OS instead of Windows or Mac operating systems. They rely heavily on the Internet, with most applications and documents living primarily in the cloud.
Chromebooks in Education have grown significantly popular over the past 4 years; in fact, an early Summer 2015 survey released by the global retail research group, NPD, showed that Chromebook sales topped Windows notebook sales (in Education) passing the 50 percent market share threshold. However, regarding other industry sectors, only very recently have Chromebooks begun to attract attention as a possible alternative to desktops / laptops in the business sector.

Why the budding interest?  Because startup companies and SMBs that do not have the resources to invest extensively in IT infrastructure are considering the benefits of the Chromebook's pricing, and exceptional battery life. These machines are seen by some, if not many, as valid choices for companies that seek to provide simple, secure, low-cost and easy-to-manage access to company’s resources for their employees.  

Access to Windows
Unfortunately, because Chromebooks run only Chrome OS, Google's operating system (and the Chrome browser) popular Windows-based software applications, such as Adobe Photoshop and the Microsoft Office suite, can't run directly on these devices. Fortunately, there is Ericom and its Windows remote desktop solution for Chromebooks, Windows, Mac, iOS and any other user device, including locked down workstation.

Ericom HTML5 solution offers the flexibility to use a browser to run Windows programs on Chromebooks and Java-based applications that are not installed on the Chromebook device. The applications are published to a remote server and using Ericom HTML5 via Chrome the user can browse and work using these apps. The combined Google Chromebooks and AccessNow (HTML5 RDP Client), solution provides users with browser-based access to Windows virtual applications and desktops including VMware View virtual desktops, from Chromebooks, Chromeboxes and any other device running HTML5-compatible browsers. 

How can you access Windows programs from Chromebooks?

1. Navigate to AccessNow URL to start the connection 

2. You will be connected to AccessNow Server using WebSockets – Access Now Server usually installed on RDP host itself

3. AccessNow Server translates WebSocket communication to/from RDP

4. Remote Windows desktop/application interface is displayed inside the browser window. 

Since Ericom AccessNow is an HTML5 RDP client that runs wholly inside the browser; no browser plug-ins or add-ons are required releasing IT of the burden of managing desktop programs and browser plug-ins. 

In early 2016, Ericom Software announced its partnership with the global technology leader, ASUS, to bundle AccessNow software with many of ASUS’ enterprise solutions available on Chromebooks, laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices.


Learn more about our Chromebook RDP solution
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Author | 130 Blog Posts

Mendy Newman

Mendy is the VP Product Management at Ericom for all its products. Mendy's team focuses on delivering implementation and architecture solutions to our customers worldwide. | Ericom Software

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