An upcoming Chrome OS update will add support for SMB shares, meaning Chromebooks will have access to files shared from Windows, macOS, and Linux computers.
The feature is part of Chrome OS Canary right now, and will come to most Chromebooks with Chrome OS 70 on October 23. A screenshot of the feature in action, seen above, was posted by Google Employee François Beaufort on Google+ yesterday.
SMB is the local file sharing protocol used by Windows and macOS by default, and most Linux distros also support the protocol. You could add SMB support to Chromebooks before, but you needed to set up extensions and it was kind of a pain.
This is a one-way system: Chromebooks can access SMB shares but cannot host them. Still, it’s a step toward using Chromebooks inside traditional local networks. Local file sharing is about as far from the cloud as you can get, so it’s nice to see Google embracing official support in Chrome OS. “It’s just a browser” becomes less true every month.