Google may have explicitly declared that their Chromebooks will not allow a user to install anything to the local storage, much less replace the stock Chrome OS operating system with an alternative OS such as Windows 7 or a Linux distribution. However, the good news is that Chromebook owners who simply cannot do without Windows for their daily computing needs now have a workaround of sorts to get Windows on their machines, and it comes in the form of Citrix's new technical preview for its Receiver virtualization tool.
When Google first released its Chromebooks, there was excitement all around over what was potentially a serious competitor to Windows and OS X. Unfortunately, much of that excitement died when it was revealed that the notebooks were shipped with an extremely locked-down BIOS which disables access to most of the machine's hardware, making it impossible for a user to install anything onto a Chromebook, much less a new operating system such as Windows 7 or a Linux distro. However, if you simply need to run Windows on a Chromebook, the good news is that there now exists a workaround of sorts to do so, thanks to the introduction of Citrix's new technical preview for its Citrix Receiver virtualization tool.
According to a blog post made by Chrome's technical program manager Alberto Martin, businesses who already have access to a working Cytrix infrastructure can now make use of the technical preview of Citrix Receiver for Chrome OS to “access desktop software such as Adobe Photoshop” directly from the Chromebook itself, as shown in the screenshot below. Citrix has also pointed out that the Receiver app for Chrome OS will not only allow users to access their Windows-based desktop and applications, but also to keep their information stored on their provider's secure servers, and to move seamlessly from desktop to tablet smartphones.
Needless to say, Citrix's new app for Chrome OS will have a huge impact in making Google's online operating system more attractive to certain business users, if only because Receiver will help to ensure that the IT department does not have to worry about answering phone calls on how to get their Windows apps working on a Chromebook. This also means that the excuse of not being able to get any serious work done on a Chromebook due to the inability to access Photoshop or Microsoft Office is no longer valid. However, there is a major loophole for you to exploit if you are really feeling lazy; Receiver relies very heaviliy on network connectivity, so all you have to do is to get yourself to an area that is completely void of any form of Internet connectivity, and your excuse might still work.
Of course, we are assuming that you still have a job to go to tomorrow if you attempt to pull this one off.
Latest HeadlinesAdrian Fonseca | December 12, 2013
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