Watch out, Windows. Here's Chromebooks for kiosks

Chromebook's new Managed Public Sessions hopes to challenge Windows' supremacy as the ubiquitous public computer.

Google's new management console for Chromebooks and Chromeboxes gives businesses the ability to customize and control Chrome OS as it would a Windows computer. Google

If you've got a brick-and-mortar business with a reason to have public computers, Google's got a Chromebook for you and it's not the high-end Pixel.

Google extended the new Chrome management console to Chrome OS on Tuesday in the hopes will make businesses think again about the expending some capital on the browser-based operating system.

The Chromebook management console will let businesses configure as many as "thousands" of Chrome OS-devices simultaneously, tweaking features such as setting default Web sites and Web apps, customized homepage branding, group policy creation, blacklisting sites and apps, configuring device inputs and outputs such as printing options and webcam use, configuring network access, and enforcing timed log-out sessions.

Public session data is cleared on logout, too, ensuring that no data is retained on the local machine. But that also means that you'll get all the benefits of logging into Chromebook kiosks with your Google login, as opposed to using Incognito's history- and cookie-free sessions, and not have to worry about leaving tracks behind.

Google's not kidding with the low-cost push, either. On the official Chromebook for businesses site, it's only pushing two options, the $249 Samsung Chromebook Series 3 and the Samsung Chromebook 550 which starts at $449. In theory, though, since all Chromebooks are running nearly identical versions of Chrome OS, they should all be able to work with the management console.

 

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