Following their success in schools, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is making a push to make Chromebooks more attractive to businesses. Google will partner with Citrix Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) to bring its Receiver product suite to the company’s low-cost laptops, the companies announced Thursday.
The partnership marks Google’s first major attempt to capture the computer networks of large-scale or enterprise operations, which traditionally have been served by Microsoft Corp.’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows and Office products.
Citrix Receiver is a product suite that allows employees to access their office computers from other devices. Large corporations often use it to enable workers to work on internal computers from afar, while minimizing the security risk of allowing outside devices access to their systems.
Florida hospice provider Chapters Health Systems allowed nurses and doctors away from its offices to use Chromebooks running Citrix’s software to access its networks. The company’s IT director, Chris Williams, said the HP Chromebook 14 was favored by more than 65 percent of employees compared to “traditional Windows laptops” and Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad.
“Our investment in HP Chromebooks combined with XenApp and Citrix Receiver give caregivers simple, secure access to the virtual clinical and business apps they need, when they need it,” said Chris Williams, Chapters Health Systems IT director, in a press release. “By keeping the technology simple and easy to use, we’re giving them the freedom to put patients first.”
Citrix’s software creates a virtual version of distant computers on a potentially less powerful machine, such as a Chromebook or smartphone. Receiver allows Chromebooks to access the computers’ printing, audio and video capabilities.
Microsoft has unveiled its own under-$200 laptop in an effort that is widely seen as a response to the threat of Google’s Chrome OS. Its answer to Chromebooks will run Windows 8.1, is made by Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and costs $199.