Chromebooks in business

by Volker Weber

HP Chromebook13 G1

Photo HP

There is an interesting development in education, where schools start to rely on Chromebooks for their students. The biggest advantage is that these devices are easily replaceable. Grab any Chromebook, log in with your Google credentials and you are ready to go. There is no admin overhead for machines. You still need to work on your directory and your apps, but the machines itself don't carry anything but a cache.

You can have many Google IDs. A business ID, a private ID, a travel ID, and they can all log into the same machine, while keeping things separate. And you can wipe previously used IDs from the machine. This is an opportunity to keep data safe from border searches. Wipe all IDs from the machine and log into your travel ID. Once you crossed the border, log into your business ID.

Of course there is a bigger question here: whom do you trust? If you trust your business to Google, then this seems like a good idea. Even if you don't trust Google with your data, it still works for you, if you keep that data in your own shop and make it accessible through the web. Google has pretty strong authentication going, including two factor auth with hardware tokens.


I love the Chromebook concept. It's sad that there is no alternative implementation and only Google offering this service.

Hanno Zulla, 2017-02-17 11:37

Yep; at University we're starting to see the ocean of white fruit logos on desks being supplanted (very slowly) by Chromebooks. Even with the very good pricing that students and their departments get on Apple equipment, it makes sense to save some money and get something with far lower overheads, financial and administrative.

Nick Daisley, 2017-02-17 13:28

Are you seeing any Surface?

Volker Weber, 2017-02-17 13:58

Seeing as Google are on the wrong side of the border search you allude to, how do we know that our data is secure. Is there a public commitment there?

Andy Mell, 2017-02-17 15:23

That is what I mean with the bigger question.

Volker Weber, 2017-02-17 15:25

More tablets of various kinds, certainly, and MAC addresses suggest some 'Surfaces': I ought to do a proper survey around here to find out, because it is genuinely useful information when it comes to catering to peoples' needs.

Nick Daisley, 2017-02-18 10:22

I find Chromebooks most attractive where they are owned by an organization and handed out to their employees or students for that matter. As you sole computer they seem somewhat limited beyond "office" use. I understand that most students collaborate through Google Docs so it is perfect there. Of course you can also keep notes, browser the web and use other ressources surfaced through a browser.

I was asking about Surface because it is more than a Macbook, not less. It gives you tablet and ink on a level not even supported on iPad Pro. And Chromebooks are adding a simple stylus this year for taking notes and doing math.

Volker Weber, 2017-02-18 15:38

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