VMware and Google Announce Expanded Chromebook Partnership

By Jeff McGrath, Senior Director of Product Marketing, VMware AirWatch

Through its acquisition of AirWatch, VMware has enjoyed a long standing relationship with Google. VMware AirWatch manages millions of Android devices today, across dozens of manufacturers, multiple “flavors” of Android OS, and hundreds of distinct Android devices being supported. Plus, AirWatch offers the most comprehensive support for latest Android security and management capabilities for businesses, enabling advanced Android security and separation of personal and work apps and data to meet the needs of even the most security conscious organizations. This close relationship between Google and AirWatch has contributed significantly to the penetration of Android in the businesses of all sizes.

It’s only natural that VMware and Google should extend their relationship now to their rapidly growing Chromebooks. Today at Dell EMC World, VMware and Google announced an expanded partnership focused on accelerating Chromebook adoption. This expansion includes VMware Workspace ONE support for Chromebooks, enabling secure identity-based single sign-on (SSO) to any app on Chromebooks, including cloud services, internal web apps, and virtual Windows apps and desktops. We’re also collaborating on advancements to unify native Android applications.

Google Chromebook

Chromebook growth has exploded over the past two years. According to an article published last week by PC World, Chromebook shipments surged from 6.8 to 9.4 million, or 39%, from 2015 to 2016. This growth is even more impressive when contrasted with the overall PC market which declined by over 6% during the same period according to Gartner. With Google stating that all new Chromebooks in 2017 will add support for Android applications, this growth is likely to be buoyed given Android’s commanding mobile device market share.

The same PC World article maintained that Chromebook prospects for the future are likely to be buoyed by interest in the new vertical markets, quoting Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa of Gartner as saying, “There is also growing interest in Chromebooks from businesses in the finance and retail sectors. Companies are using Chromebooks as no-frills mobile thin clients, considering they are cheap to deploy and easy to manage.

Towards the goal of accelerated adoption of Chromebooks across industries, Google has added multiple layers of security, including support for Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chips specialized for encryption, verified boot to check for compromises, sandboxing for containing threats, and full disk encryption for data protection.

Adoption of Chromebooks is certainly an area where VMware can work with Google. With Workspace ONE on Chromebooks, IT administrators benefit from additional security capabilities that enable the easy deployment, configuration, and security of web, applications, and Android applications. Plus, Windows applications can also be supported through VMware Horizon 7 and VMware Horizon Cloud virtual desktops and applications, that can also be quickly provisioned, deployed, and accessed through Workspace ONE. Best of all, Workspace ONE delivers Chromebook users simple single sign-on (SSO) across all their applications, enabling a secure digital workspace to take their business applications wherever they go.

VMware Workspace ONE infographic


Workspace ONE, Horizon 7 and Horizon Cloud support Chromebook today. Look for continued integration and joint Google/VMware annoucnements and events in the future.