Google targets enterprise with Chrome MSI

Last time I wrote about the difficulties we had experienced with the standalone Google Chrome installer that is supposed to install for all users. Although I was not able to get support in the Chrome forum, I have discovered today that Google is producing Chrome in an enterprise edition. As the article I was reading noted, Firefox has traditionally been quite weak in this area. When we deployed Windows 7 to our suite PCs, we put the beta FF4 onto them. It wasn’t long before users let us know that they couldn’t get out to the internet with FF – for what reason I don’t know, but we quickly ditched the image and loaded a new one with Chrome instead. The standalone installer worked on that occasion but on numerous others since I haven’t been able to get it to do a full install. So the Chrome MSI and other enterprise offerings look as though they will address this problem.

The main other part of the enterprise package is Group Policy templates which let sysadmins preconfigure settings for users and computers on the network. Overall I would say this looks like a much better outcome than Chrome was looking like so far; Google has certainly put some effort into beating IE at its own game.

Google has also addressed the operation of Google Update in an enterprise environment with a policy template. Of course, if you prefer not to use Group Policy, you can directly enter settings into the registry for the keys specified.

Google Sketchup is an application that doesn’t use Google Update to control its update settings. However, these settings can be controlled directly using the following registry keys:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareGoogleSketchUp7Preferences – change the value of CheckForUpdates to 0 to disable the check.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareGoogleSketchUp7WelcomeDialog – change ShowOnStartup to 0 to stop the welcome message (which often says “Update to the next edition”).
  • One of the reasons you get a welcome message is to get the user to select a template. You can set the path for the default template by writing the DefaultTemplate value in HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareGoogleSketchUp7Preferences. If you are using a login script or Group Policy Preferences to automate this, you will need to determine in some way where the templates directory is, since this will vary across 32 and 64 bit systems, and for different editions of Sketchup. Unfortunately there is not an easy way of reading the location from the Registry, just as there is not a way of determining which editions of Sketchup are installed on a local computer.