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Admin templates for Google Chrome make it more enterprise-friendly

System admins generally aren't fond of rolling out new software to their users if they don't have a measure of control over what those users can and can't do with the app in question. Google knows that, and they've been working for a while now to add enterprise-friendly policy support to Chrome.

Now, Google has made policy templates available for download which provide a measure of lockdown functionality. As you can see, after importing the .ADM files into the Windows Group Policy Editor you'll be able to manage a handful of Chrome settings via a local machine policy.

A default home page and proxy settings can be configured and Chrome Sync can be blocked, but the bulk of the options are related to background communications with Google (alternate error pages, DNS prefetch, crash reporting, suggestions, etc.). There are a few things missing right now. For example, while I can choose to disable certain plug-ins, there's no switch to disallow extension installs. I'd also like to disable Chrome's autofill feature, but it, too, is missing.

Google has also provided a separate template for managing Google Update options, which provides policy-based control over which Google Apps can install via the updater.

Providing this type of application control was a key step if Google had any hopes of wresting away enterprise market share from Internet Explorer. Now that it's here, it will be interesting to see if Chrome can make inroads in the workplace.

Tags: admin, enterprise, google chrome, GoogleChrome, policy, sysadmin

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