Will Enterprises Be Next to Warm Up to Chromebooks?
Chromebooks--portable computers that run Google's Chrome OS platform--are seeing rapid adoption in many niche markets, including the education market, but the holy grail for Google is to get them in the hands of enterprise users. To achieve that goal, there needs to be a solution that bridges the world of Windows applications with Chrome OS. And, Google and others are working on exactly that challenge.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, Citrix is now working with Google to deliver business-critical Windows apps to Google Chromebooks. The story noted:
"Chromebooks for Business, combined with Citrix XenApp virtual app delivery solution and Citrix Receiver for HTML5, enable customers to deliver all types of Windows apps with the high-definition user experience of Citrix HDX technology, and operational scalability for the largest organizations. In addition to secure app delivery, Citrix adds support for collaboration with the recently announced GoToMeeting Free, a web-based app that gives users quick and simple video conferencing for Chromebook users, further enhancing a mobile workspace solution within the Chrome environment."
Of course, if it's not immediately apparent users of Windows applications will have to accept the performance compromises that come with application virtualization with this kind of solution. However, it's still significant that Chromebooks will start to facilitate Windows applications at all. Google itself has steadily been building bridges between the Chrome browser and Windows applications, including features that allow Chrome users to work with Word and Excel files.
For the past couple of years, market research news has been basically dreary for PCs and PC equipment makers. But, as sales of PCs slip, sales of new-generation devices are rising. Chromebooks have been one of the bright spots in the hardware market.
From the start, Google has steadily focused on security with Chromebooks, and security matters a lot to enterprise users. Furthermore, Chrome OS is a squarely cloud-centric operating system, and many enteprises are increasing their focus on the cloud and applications running there. Last but not least, Chromebooks are inexpensive and could save businesses money as they equip users with mobile hardware solutions. In short, there are a lot of reasons why Chromebooks may make more and more sense in the enterprise--and that could be good news for Google.