Google also announced this week a tech preview of the previously promised Citrix Receiver for Chrome OS, which would address users who need to run existing applications not suited for a traditional browser -- so that is getting closer to reality. I'm convinced that a Citrix client is more of a checkbox feature versus something Google truly expects to see broadly adopted. After all, the Citrix Receiver tech preview counts only 38 users on the Chrome Web Store. But with Citrix Receiver available on or promised for every mobile OS, Google needed to have it on Chrome OS to soothe worried IT managers' fears, even if they don't actually use it.
Chromebook customer traction is encouraging
Although the pace of feature additions to Chrome OS in encouraging, Google's client references for Chromebook users are even more impressive.
For example, IT departments have to contend with the challenge of supporting branch locations. As Google rightly points out, onsite IT support at some branch locations can be expensive and impractical. It's a real affirmation that Google now counts the likes of American Airlines, Ruby Tuesday, and Jason's Deli as enterprise clients using Chromebooks to reduce the cost of IT at branch locations.
Another key target user group for Chromebooks is specialized workers. Virtually every business has a set of users whose IT needs don't expand beyond email and access to intranet- and Web-based applications. These users are perfect trial groups for rolling out Chromebooks at your company. Salesforce.com, Groupon, Logitech, and Intercontinental Hotels Group are key enterprise clients using Chromebooks to meet the needs of these specialized workers.
Finally, Virgin America, National Geographic, the city of Orlando, and Konica Minolta are among reference clients distributing Chromebooks to mobile employees. I find it interesting that these organizations adopted Chromebooks for mobile users before VPN and secure Wi-Fi capabilities were added to Chrome OS.
Your organization could very likely find mobile users, specialized users, and branch office deployments that could benefit from Chromebook adoption. Considering the strong list of client references Google has already collected, what are you waiting for?
I should state: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions."
This article, "Despite critics, Chromebooks prove their business mettle," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Savio Rodrigues's Open Sources blog and follow the latest developments in open source at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.