Business Software

Google Polishing Chrome Browser for Businesses

Google on Wednesday unveiled administrative tools designed to make its Chrome browser a compelling choice for businesses.

"Businesses don't need to wait any longer to deploy Google Chrome," wrote product manager Glenn Wilson and software engineer Daniel Clifford on a company blog. "Today, we're announcing that Chrome offers controls that enable IT administrators to easily configure and deploy the browser on Windows, Mac and Linux according to their business requirements."

Included among the search giant's new offerings are a downloadable MSI installer that allows businesses that use standard deployment tools to install Chrome for all their managed users, for example.

Google has also added support for managed group policy with a list of policies and a set of templates that allow administrators to customize browser settings with their organization's security and privacy needs in mind. Targeting companies with users who still need access to older Web applications not yet qualified for Chrome, Google added group policy support to its Chrome Frame as well.

Google Chrome Frame is an Internet Explorer plug-in that provides Chrome-quality rendering while defaulting to host rendering for any Web applications that still require Explorer.

Access to HTML5 Web Apps

Vanguard, Boise State University, and Procter & Gamble are among the organizations that have deployed Chrome for their users, Google says. Customers of Google Apps for Business can get support for the new tools by phone and email; for all others, Google has posted documentation online.

"By deploying Google Chrome, organizations can take advantage of improved security and Web application performance without needing to upgrade other expensive software licenses or buy new hardware," Wilson and Clifford wrote.

Deploying Google Chrome also gives enterprises access to "productivity-enhancing HTML5 Web applications," they pointed out.

And since Google Chrome is what's used in the new Chrome OS, it's a good way to test out mission-critical Web applications for admins considering using Chrome OS in their organizations, they suggested.

120 Million Users

Google's Chrome browser now boasts 120 million users, the company announced last week. After starting out the year with 5.22 percent of the browser market, Chrome last month had reached 9.26 percent, according to recent data from Net Applications.

Internet Explorer still dominates with 58.44 percent, followed by Mozilla Firefox in the No. 2 position with 22.76 percent. Behind Chrome are Safari, with 5.55 percent, and Opera, with 2.2 percent.

"Speed is what people love most about Chrome," noted vice president of engineering Linus Upson and vice president of product management Sundar Pichai in a blog post last week.

Toward that end, the company is working on "bringing Google Instant to the Omnibox, showing search results and loading Web pages as you type," they explained.

It has also overhauled V8, the browser's JavaScript engine, so that it runs complex JavaScript programs up to twice as fast as before. Those new features are expected to be rolled out to users soon.

Follow Katherine Noyes on Twitter: @Noyesk.

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