The biggest complaint for many regarding Google’s Chrome OS platform has been app support, but that’s apparently changing in the near future. Thanks to an official partnership between Google and Parallels, full apps from Windows are coming to Chrome OS.

Starting “this Fall,” Parallels will start making fully-fledged Windows applications such as Microsoft Office available to Chrome OS users. The catch? This functionality will only be available to Chrome OS Enterprise users, not the general public.

Still, there’s a lot to get excited about here. With Windows apps on Chrome OS, Chromebooks immediately become much more attractive to companies looking for solutions to remote work that rely on Windows software. Parallels explains in a blog post:

Remote work is a new reality, making efficiency, connectivity, speed, reliability, security and undisrupted access essential elements of a successful organization. At this key moment, our two organizations have formed a landmark partnership to equip enterprises with solutions that optimize their businesses and teams to meet the evolving challenges of modern work environments.

Parallels brings more than a decade of cross-platform solutions experience, seamlessly integrating operating systems and features, to its partnership with Google. Parallels’ award-winning software solutions make it simple for enterprises, businesses, organizations and individuals to access and use the applications and files they need on any device or operating system.

Currently, there’s still no official word as to what Chrome OS will look like with Windows apps running under this Parallels partnership, but the company explains that it will be “seamless.” On one webpage, Parallels details a workflow that enables Windows apps on Chromebooks using a Remote Application Service (pictured below), but it’s unclear if that will be used here.

Update: Google has apparently confirmed that this Parallels implementation will be running locally on machine.

parallels remote application server chrome os

In any case, this is a huge deal for Google’s platform.

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Ben Schoon

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