By Seth Weintraub
December 8, 2010

ChromeOS is weaponized for business with Citrix, and encrypted storage.

Last week, Google (GOOG) Engineer Linus Upson made a stir when he said that ChromeOS computers could replace 60% of corporate Windows desktops out there at launch.  The assertion at the time may have sounded pretty outlandish. But Google has a few secret weapons at its disposal.

Today, Citrix (CTSX) got on board with Google’s ChromeOS.  When Notebooks running ChomeOS launch in the middle of next year, Citrix Receiver™ will be available as a Web App in the Chrome Web Store for free.  Citrix is used by 230,000 businesses to run virtualized Windows OS applications on devices including iOS and Mac devices from Apple, Windows, Linux.

Microsoft (MSFT) Windows is the lion’s share of Citrix clients and will be the majority of installations targeted by Google. It is interesting that Citrix never created its own thin clients running on a thin version of Android.  Citrix thin clients like those made by Wyse may also be impacted by ChromeOS laptops.

In a statement, Sundar Pichai, Vice President of Product Management for Google said, “The web has become an incredibly powerful platform for innovation, allowing users to do much more online than ever before. We’re happy to work with Citrix to give Chrome notebook business users a way to enjoy all the benefits of the web, while still having the flexibility to access important business applications in their work environments.”

Google also touted ChromeOS’s encrypted local storage as a boon for enterprises worried about the security of a lost laptop.  Most Windows laptops can be compromised if physical access to the machine is granted.

Google’s Cloud print may also make it easier for businesses to set up and use printers.

All in all a pretty impressive offer, if Chrome can do what Google says it can. If I am an enterprise CIO, I’m signing up for a demo.

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