Google today added a new feature to Google Apps for Business that could make its Chrome browser significantly more palatable for businesses. The company’s new cloud-based management tool for Google Apps for Business and Education customers now gives IT administrators the ability to customize more than 100 Chrome policies and preferences for their users right from the standard Google Admin panel or through Windows Group Policies for managed devices.
In addition, Google launched a new Chrome extension today that allows businesses to automatically switch to a legacy browser for sites that still need to run in an older browser. IT managers can define these sites. While Chrome Frame allows users to use the Chrome rendering engine in an older browser, Google notes, “Legacy Browser Support lets IT admins of organizations embrace the modern web.”
The new cloud-based management system for Chrome for Business is now automatically enabled for all Google Apps for Business and Education users, and the policies will be automatically enforced for Chrome users who sign in to Chrome with their business accounts on Windows, Mac and Linux.
These policies allow IT to decide which web applications, extensions, startup URLs and themes are automatically set up for the company’s users, no matter where they use Chrome. Besides these basic settings, however, IT managers can also dive a bit deeper and decide whether they want users to be able to see WebGL content, share their location, turn on Safe Browsing mode, turn on Incognito Mode or even if their users can see images. Admins can also use the tool to manage a URL blacklist.
“The web and browser have come a long way in the last 20 years,” Google says in today’s announcement. “As Chrome continues to push the boundary of what’s possible on the modern web, these innovations should be available for everyone, everywhere — especially at work.”