Citrix has worked with Google to create Receiver for Chrome, an app that aims to bring more enterprise functionality to Chromebooks.
The new app builds upon Citrix’s Receiver for HTML, which enables the use of virtual apps and desktops on PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets.
Receiver for Chrome allows Citrix’s XenDesktop and XenApp to better work with the native functions found on Chrome OS, such as Google Cloud Print, along with providing access to a Chromebook’s systems, including audio and video playback.
Rajen Sheth, a product director at Google, hinted that Citrix has helped to improve the appeal of Chromebooks to the enterprise sector. “Chromebooks continue to do well in business, whether customers are already fully in the cloud or they need a little help from our friends at Citrix,” said Sheth.
In theory, Receiver for Chrome could enable Windows apps to be used on Chromebooks via the virtualisation provided by Citrix’s services. This potentially opens up the functionality of the normally locked-down Chrome OS.
Google has positioned its Chromebooks as affordable options for businesses to give their employees access to online applications and virtualised desktops.
However, the reliance on a web-based operating system and the inability to install software locally, has limited the Chromebook’s enterprise appeal over machines running Windows or Mac operating systems.
Despite this cool reception, predictions by Gartner forecast that Chromebooks will grow in appeal over the next few years, hitting 14 million sales by 2017.
Clive Longbottom, principal analyst at Ovum, told V3 that Chromebooks have evolved from the web-based laptops they once were when first launched in 2011.
“The Chromebook has improved massively since it came out. What was just going to be a thin shim of a machine that was totally dependent on internet access and in-cloud apps has morphed into what is, in essence, a functional laptop,” explained Longbottom.
With Receiver for Chrome targeted at improving the functionality of Chromebooks and improvements to the pseudo-laptop over recent years, Google, along with its hardware partners, may now have a product that could garner more interest from enterprises.