It’s not too often that I get excited by the release of a new product. I’ve certainly never waited outside a store to be one of the first people to have a new device, and, in fact, I almost always wait a few months until the bugs are worked out before I commit to buying something. When I got an invitation from Google a few weeks ago to be part of their Chromebook pre-release, however, I jumped on the opportunity about as quickly as I could.
Chrome OS, which officially launches on June 15th, is Google’s much-anticipated entry into the operating system space. At first glance, it looks like little more than a Chrome browser window. At second glance, you realize that it really is just a browser on steroids. This makes perfect sense, because the OS is centered around Google’s (lofty) assertion that the applications we use day to day on our current machines are “legacy” apps, and that the future of computing lies in web-based applications. While I fully agree with the second part of that statement and am continually impressed by what web apps are able to do these days, many Enterprise applications are far from being web app ready. That’s where the Citrix Receiver comes into play. Citrix’s XenApp platform has long been utilized to access published applications on non-Windows operating system, and Citrix’s announced support for Chrome OS opens up a whole world of possibilities for the new operating system. Unfortunately, as of this afternoon, the Receiver continues to be missing-in-action from the Chrome Web Store.
What excites me about Google’s new operating system is how vastly different it is than the competition. They set out to redefine how we think about personal computing in a web-centric world, and that in turn requires users to change some of their behavior. I don’t expect Chromebooks to be springing up in large numbers in the legal sector any time soon (despite Google’s compelling Enterprise offers), but they are perfectly suited for mobile users and it won’t be long before people start asking about them for remote access. I’ll be keeping an eye out of the Citrix Receiver and plan on reporting back on how it handles the XenApp environment once I have it up and running.