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HPChromebook11_StackedGoogle wants to help businesses replace their old Windows XP machines with shiny new Chromebooks … that run Windows.

The company announced today that it’s partnering with VMWare to bring Windows to Chrome OS with VMWare’s Horizon Desktop as a Service program. The partnership will allow businesses to set users up with a virtual Windows desktop that they can access from a Chromebook to use Windows-only apps without having to buy a Windows PC. Google is hoping that will cause businesses to start heavily considering its cheaper portables.

“Google Chromebooks can save businesses about $5,000 per computer when compared to traditional PCs,” Amit Singh, the President of Google Enterprise, said in a press release. “Chromebooks are designed for the way people use computers today and are a secure, easy and cost-effective solution to help organizations embrace a new way of doing business. Through our partnership with VMware, businesses can now capitalize on these advantages with access to legacy applications, data and desktops they need to keep employees productive.”

The news is a potential problem for Microsoft, which is counting on its enterprise business to keep the company moving. Windows 8 hasn’t been the major hit with customers that the company has been hoping for, while Google’s platform has seen a surge in popularity, making up 21 percent of commercial channel notebook sales last year, according to NPD.

While Microsoft has taken aim at Chrome OS with a number of critical advertisements, Google is forging ahead. Computer manufacturers have turned to making Chromebooks as a way to try and bolster flagging PC sales, while consumers made them some of Amazon’s best-selling products during the holidays.

One of the major drawbacks to Chrome OS in a business setting has been an inability to run Windows-only programs. While setting up a virtual desktop system has its own challenges, it means that Chrome has cleared a hurdle to enterprise adoption.

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