When Google first announced their Chromebooks, there was great excitement among many as they were potentially a serious competitor to Windows and OS X. However a lot of this excitement was quickly killed when it was discovered that the notebooks would be shipped with a lock-down BIOS, which disables access to most of the machines hardware. This means that it’s pretty much impossible to install an additional OS to the machine like Windows 7 or even Linux.
As a result this put many businesses off the Chromebooks. However now there is a new work around with thanks to Citrix.
Citrix have released a new technical preview for its Citrix Receiver virtualization tool. Users can now make use of the technical preview of Citrix to access desktop software such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office and all your other favorite Windows apps.
Before Citrix Receiver was already available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Blackberry. It lets users access virtual desktops and applications from just about any computer, tablet or smartphone. Now that it’s finally available on the Chromebooks, it addresses a serious limitation in the devices and should make them more attractive to users.
To use the Citrix Receiver client on Chromebooks, businesses must have a XenApp or XenDesktop deployment in their data centers, and then install some new files which will allow the connection from the clients to their virtual desktops and applications. Citrix note that the Chromebook setup will allow users to
“Access your applications and Windows desktop at your office, home, or on the road; keep your information stored on your provider’s secure servers, not on your device; [and] move from desktop to tablet to smartphone.”
While this is a major boost for the Chrome OS, Google still have a long way to go before they can start competing with the big boys like Windows and Mac OS.