Last year, Google’s Gary Kacmarcik revealed Chromoting, a feature of the company’s Chrome operating system that would allow “legacy PC applications” to be accessed through the included web browser. Kacmarcik didn’t provide many details on Chromoting at the time, but he did confirm it was “something like” Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection, which allows Windows PCs to be controlled remotely.
We haven’t heard much about Chromoting since, but the technology behind it appears to have migrated from ChromeOS to Google’s standalone web browser. Say hello to Chrome Remote Desktop, a new browser extension that offers RDC-like functionality between systems running Chrome on any operating system, including Windows, OS X, Linux, and ChromeOS. As one might expect, Chrome Remote Desktop is currently in beta. The extension already has a 4.5-star rating and over 67,000 users, though.
Unlike with Remote Desktop Connection, Chrome’s remote-access implementation can’t currently be used to connect to systems without someone on the other end. An access code is required to initiate the connection, and it only pops up in the remote system’s web browser. It’s unclear whether this limitation will be removed in future versions of the extension.
I just fired up Chrome Remote Desktop and used it to connect to my home-theater PC. The process took all of a couple of minutes and was incredible easy, making the extension particularly appealing for remotely troubleshooting the PC problems encountered by friends, family, and anyone else who has your phone number filed under “tech support.”