Google brings legacy support extension support to Chrome, adds cloud-based admin tools for businesses

Google brings legacy support extension support to Chrome, adds cloud-based admin tools for businesses ...

Google has announced new features to its Chrome for Business service that it says will help make it easier to deploy and manage the Chrome browser in a school or business. Starting today, users and IT administrators will be able to utilize cloud-based management tools to control more than 100 policies to what is available on the browser, or can use a Chrome extension to facilitate a dual-browser environment.

Cyrus Mistry, Google’s Senior Product Manager handing Chrome for Business and Education, said in a post that workers are increasingly demanding access to more useful information, while also staying connected with people and even using Web apps.

In the enterprise space, there’s a concept that has become even popular called “consumerization of IT” and also BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device. These two ideas highlight the fact that employees are fed up with what the technology the company gives them — they are more comfortable and perhaps more productive with devices that they’re familiar with, such as an iPad, iPhone or Android smartphone, and even with the browser that they use at home.

Snap 2013-04-16 at 09.59.21

To make the work environment more appealing to everyone, one of the first features being unveiled today involves Legacy Browser Support whereby companies can use the Chrome browser, but also rely on custom Web apps that are built for older browsers (two or more versions old). If you’ve ever been in an office setting, corporate IT are often slow to update browsers and once they do, it offers no opportunity to upgrade extensions as well, resulting in some that no longer function.

With Chrome’s new legacy support feature, IT managers can define which sites should launch from Chrome into an alternative browser and then implement this policy for all employees. Google says that while Chrome will help developers build apps for older browser, Legacy Browser Support will let IT admins “embrace the modern web.”

Another feature implemented today involves the use of Cloud-based management tools within Chrome. According to Google, no matter whether employees are working from their company-issued computer or their own personal laptop, Google Chrome now lets them access default applications, custom themes, or even a curated app Web store after they’ve signed into Chrome using their work account. With this tool, IT managers can completely customize more than 100 Chrome policies and preferences for their employees from just a single dashboard.

Photo credit: GLENN CHAPMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Read next: Flixster arrives for Xbox Live in the US: Buy or rent standard and HD movies, check movie listings, and more