Google's Chromebook launched with much fanfare at Google I/O this May, and since we've seen mixed reviews. But with Google announcing better support for integration conscious and Windows-dependent buyers will Chromebooks now pique the interest of enterprise IT? Let's have a look.

Consumers and enterprise users that deal with documents offline earlier found that offline Google Docs support made Chromebooks more functional without an Internet connection. But businesses that use virtualization will find Chromebooks' support for Citrix Receiver an interesting piece of news.

Chromebooks Now Virtualization Enabled

Rajen Sheth, product manager of Chrome for Business writes that the latest stable build of Chrome OS now has better enterprise-friendly features, particualrly VPN support, secure Wi-Fi and access to virtualized desktops via Citrix Receiver tech preview.

With the technology preview release of Citrix Receiver for Chrome OS, Citrix customers can now access virtualized versions of their desktop applications, like Adobe Photoshop, using a Chromebook.

Citrix' Arun Bhattacharya blogs that the Chromebook Citrix Receiver tech preview is actually the company's first "no client" client, meaning that Chromebooks won't actually run a Citrix client, but rather these will run off the cloud, utilizing Delivery Services 1.0 and a web-based Receiver running via HTML5.

The Tech Preview version of Receiver for Chrome OS, available from Google's Chrome Web Store enables Chromebook users to get access to their corporate data, applications and desktops from their virtualized XenApp and XenDesktop environments. This version is compatible with virtualized environments running XenApp 5.x and XenDesktop 5.x versions. In keeping with the vision of ensuring a consistent user experience across all devices, Receiver for Chrome OS has an UI that is coherent with the latest versions of the all Receivers available today.

Chromebooks Getting Sexier for the Enterprise

Aside from virtualization, the latest Chrome OS build brings in features that will make Chromebooks an ideal choice for road warriors:

  • Better support for Google Cloud Print, which includes Print to Docs;
  • Netflix video streaming;
  • Kindle Cloud Reader, which supports offline reading of e-books;
  • Faster bootup and resume-from-sleep -- at least 32% faster than the previous stable build.

If you're a Chromebook user, the system updates have likely been pushed to your notebook. Most other application updates are done on the cloud, so it's a worry-free proposition for Chrome OS users.

That's not the clincher. You might have heard about Google's leasing plans for the Samsung Series 5 and Acer AC700 targeted at the enterprise and educational markets. Google is offering Chromebooks for as low as $20 monthly for consumers and $28 monthly for enterprise users. This lets businesses move their computer costs from capital expenditure to operational expenses, which can be a good thing, accounting-wise.

The tech preview of the HTML5 Citrix Receiver is available as a free download. Chrome OS users can install it for free from the Chrome Web Store.