Google is making it easier to run your Windows apps on Chromebooks

Got old enterprise Windows apps but want to move to Chromebooks? Now Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS gets much broader support.

If your organization is stuck with Windows because of legacy business apps, an update to Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS opens the door to introducing a greater range of Chromebooks with all of Google's management features. 

Parallels uses a virtual machine to allow Windows 10 to run on macOS systems, including Apple's new Arm-based M1 processors, but the software has also been in the works for Chromebooks. 

Google has been working with Corel Corporation to bring Parallels Desktop to Chrome OS for the past year and has announced several new hardware support improvements that allow Window apps to run on more Chromebooks. 

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Notably, this product is only for the enterprise but it does help address the problem of legacy applications and Excel macros for organizations that want to adopt Chromebooks. 

The Parallels improvements, announced in a Google blogpost, bring official support for Chromebooks with AMD Ryzen processors, including the recently announced Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga, the 2020 HP Chromebook Enterprise c645, and Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514

Chromeboxes, Google's answer to the Apple Mac Mini, now also support Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS, including the HP Chromebox G3.

Dell's Latitude brand devices are supported too, including the Latitude 5300 convertible, 5400, and 7410 models.

Finally, Google has halved the minimum recommended memory for use with Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS from 16GB to 8GB. 

"The minimum recommended hardware specifications are Intel Core i5 and i7, AMD R5 and R7, 8GB and 16 GB Memory, and 128 GB HDD/SSD," Google says in a support page

Additionally, for hybrid work environments, Google says Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS now supports the device's camera and microphone. This update ensures users can access the Windows version of Microsoft Teams and Skype, Google notes. It also makes it easier to use Zoom, GoToMeeting, and Cisco Webex. 

Alternative methods for installing Teams on Chrome OS include the web version of Teams and the Android version of Teams. But the camera and microphone support also helps users run the Windows version of Audacity and the Camtasia video editor.  

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Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS now also supports USB devices, such as flash drives and USB hubs.

Intel-based Chromebooks that are supported include Acer Chromebook 714, Acer Chromebook 715, Acer Chromebox CXI4, Asus Chromebook Flip CM5, Asus Fanless Chromebox, and Asus Chromebox 4.