Google is bringing Microsoft Office and other Windows apps to Chromebooks

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Google is partnering with Parallels to bring native Microsoft Office applications and other legacy enterprise Windows applications to Chromebooks. Google revealed the new partnership in a blog post looking at the future of Chrome OS for enterprises.

While Chrome OS has long supported Windows desktop apps that are streamed via the cloud through a Parallels Remote Application Server, this new partnership means the apps will run virtualized on Chromebooks instead. The new feature is set to be available this fall for Chrome Enterprise customers.

Parallels Desktop will be integrated natively into Chrome OS, improving performance and enabling offline access for these applications on Chromebooks. It’s a surprising, but welcome move that will mean Chrome OS will be able to support both Android apps and Windows apps in the future.

It will also likely entice businesses to seriously consider Chromebooks as Windows laptop alternatives for certain employees, without having to invest in solutions to stream business apps to a Chromebook.

Google isn’t providing many details about the Parallels partnership just yet, but the company promises “more to come on this over the coming months.”

Update June 16th, 4:00pm: Added additional details, including the planned fall release window.

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