There is no shortage of voices that claim Chromebooks are basically useless. For power use, at least. These affordable laptops do not have the necessary array of productivity applications.
And that is without getting into the debate that you need to be connected to the Internet to use them, although Google has improved offline functionality of Chrome OS a lot in the recent past. Still, with the destined arrival of budget Windows laptops, Chromebooks are feeling the heat.
The search engine giant is trying to work through these limitations, though.
Citrix Receiver for Chrome OS has recently been announced, bringing Windows applications and functionality to Chromebooks — well not in the truest sense of the word, but close enough:
“Although HTML5-based solutions, such as Citrix Receiver for HTML5, will work on Chrome OS and offer browser-based access to virtual apps and desktops without any download or installation of client software, the receiver for Chrome provides direct integration to functionality specific to Chromebooks.”
Basically, this native application grants full access to system resources in areas like printing, audio and video. The apparent shortcomings of the Chrome OS platform. The devices will still be marketed as cloud enabled laptops, but running Windows apps on Chromebook is now possible.
In virtualized form, as and when needed.
Although this effort is geared towards the enterprise sector, with its heavy emphasis on security levels and all that cool stuff. And this is a functionality that business users will appreciate the most.
With Chromebooks having gained a foothold in the educational market, a move into the business sector only makes sense for Google. Just how successful this might be? Time will be the judge.