Google Chrome Remote Desktop Extension Goes Live

Google's Chrome team launches Chrome Remote Desktop beta to let users test remote management of Chromebooks, Windows, Linux and Mac computers.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has launched a remote desktop software extension that will let users access another computer through the company's Chrome Web browser from afar.

Available for free download from Google's Chrome Web Store, Chrome Remote Desktop Beta enables users access another computer (or share their own computer with others) using a single authentication code. The tool, demonstrated by Google operating system, is designed so that access is given only to the specific person the user identifies for one time only.

"The helpdesk can use the Chrome Remote Desktop BETA to help another user, while conversely a user can receive help by setting up a sharing session without leaving their desk," Google explained in its release notes.

Google said one practical use for Remote Desktop is the classic remote IT help desk scenario, where an employee having computer trouble can file a help ticket and have his or her computer accessed, inspected and fixed remotely by an IT administrator.

Think of the tool as a Web-based, lightweight take on software from Dell Kace, CA (NYSE:CA), LogMeIn (NASDAQ:LOGM), BMC Software (NYSE:BMC) and other vendors.

The search engine provider isn't storming the castle walls built by those remote desktop application providers just yet. The company said its goal with Chrome Remote Desktop BETA -- beta is officially part of the extension name for a reason -- is to show off its Chrome Remoting software and get feedback from users.

Chrome Remote Desktop will enable users to connect any two computers that have a Chrome browser. That includes Windows, Linux, Mac and Chromebooks. The company said it will eventually allow users access their own computer remotely soon.

EWEEK expects Chrome Remote Desktop will ultimately serve as one component in a management software suite intended for Chromebooks, which are low-cost notebooks based on Google's Chrome Operating system.

These machines are equipped with minimal Flash storage and let consumers and businesses download and consume Web applications.

Businesses rent Chromebooks for $28 per user, per month for three years, enjoying support and hardware upgrades as needed. Schools are eligible for the same deal but for $20 per user, per month.

As workplace adoption for these computers grows, it will make sense for Google to add remote computer management capabilities for its Chromebook for education and business user to keep IT management costs down.