Citrix for Chrome: An Overview and an Alternative Option

Offering flexible working environments to employees can allow businesses to increase productivity, boost staff morale, and minimize costs. As such, many organizations have turned to Chromebooks as one of the go-to endpoint technologies for achieving flexible working styles. This is because Chromebooks are cost-effective, secure, and easy to manage.

However, many employees still want to run Windows applications that Chromebooks don’t provide, despite their appeal. Citrix for Chrome can improve the usability of Chromebooks by allowing employees access to Windows applications and desktops without requiring a full Windows OS-based virtual machine (VM).

Reasons for Switching to Chrome OS

For many years, all annual reports on desktop OS market share have had the same two top contenders: Microsoft’s Windows at number one and Apple macOS at a distant second. However, in 2020, Chrome OS displaced macOS to claim a spot as the second-most popular operating system.

According to the IDC report:

Chrome OS is becoming increasingly popular with users and businesses because of these features

Citrix Workspace for Chrome OS can make Chromebooks even more attractive in organizations because users can use Windows applications and files without having to buy expensive laptops.

Definition of Citrix Workspace for Chrome

Citrix Workspace (previously known as Citrix Receiver) for Chrome is a native, Chrome OS-based application that users can leverage to access virtual applications and desktops on their Chromebooks. Users can install Citrix Workspace for Chrome from the Chrome Web Store.

Once installed, they can use it as a client application for accessing applications and desktops published via Citrix Virtual Apps (previously called Citrix XenApp) and Citrix Virtual Desktops (formerly known as Citrix XenDesktop). Some features that Citrix Workspace for Chrome provides include:

Besides Citrix Workspace for Chrome, users can also use the Citrix Workspace application for HTML5, a purely web-based client that works for Chrome OS, Windows, and macOS platforms. However, Citrix Workspace for Chrome has more capabilities than the Citrix Workspace application for HTML5 because its application programming interface (API) is available within the Chrome OS ecosystem.

For example, Citrix Workspace for Chrome has automatic updates on the client side, web camera redirection, and centralized management of configurations. Citrix Workspace application for HTML5 doesn’t support these features.

Requirements before Installing Citrix for Chrome OS

Below are some minimum requirements for users to leverage Citrix Workspace for Chrome on their endpoints:

Benefits and Limitations of Using Citrix for Chrome OS

Organizations can derive two main benefits with Citrix Workspace for Chrome. First, they can deploy any Windows-based resource, allowing employees to access such applications and desktops on Chromebooks at any location and time. This can help to foster productivity.

Second, Citrix Workspace for Chrome can also deliver unique flexibility and centralized management for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid workloads. This can address the IT management complexities that continue to bedevil most organizations.

Notwithstanding these benefits, Citrix Workspace for Chrome has some shortcomings. While the platform is native to Chrome OS, it doesn’t have full access to the underlying operating system, limiting some advanced features.

Unlike its counterparts (Citrix Workspace for Windows and Citrix Workspace for Mac), the Chrome OS version doesn’t work with Enlightened Data Transport (EDT) protocol that delivers a better user experience via user datagram protocol (UDP). In addition, Citrix Workspace for Chrome does not support content and web redirection, limiting its user experience capabilities compared to Citrix Workspace for Windows or Citrix Workspace for Mac.

Access Windows Applications and Desktops Easily on Chromebook with Parallels RAS Chrome Client

Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS) is a cost-effective virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution that organizations can use as an alternative to Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops. Parallels RAS simplifies the administration and management of Windows applications and desktops via a centralized console that is easy to use.

Parallels RAS supports Chrome OS fully, and organizations can easily provision Windows applications and desktops that remote employees can access on their Chromebooks via Parallels Client for Chrome OS. Using Parallels Client for Chrome OS allows employees to access Windows-based resources on their Chromebooks easily while on the go.

This enhances employee productivity because Parallels Client for Chrome OS delivers a seamless, high-performing, and consistent user experience.

Test-drive Parallels RAS with a 30-day trial!