Citrix updates mobility, app delivery tools: Makes tablets more laptop-ish

Citrix updated its product line at its flagship conference with a focus on making enterprise apps more accessible on tablets and mobile devices.


Citrix on Tuesday will roll out a bevy of updates to its product line, hone its enterprise mobility, virtual desktop and app delivery products and aim to turn tablets essentially into laptops in many cases.

The big question is whether enterprises may be better off simply using notebooks, which are slimming down to weigh just a bit more than tablets anyway.

Citrix is rolling out its product updates at its Synergy conference in Orlando. At a high level, Citrix is launching the following:

  • Introducing Linux virtual desktops.
  • Updating XenApp, XenMobile and XenDesktop.
  • Launching a new Receiver that will unify the user experience across mobile and desktop as well as Citrix's productivity apps.
  • Preview Windows 10 support.
  • Preview Citrix's workspace cloud.

If you couple the Synergy announcements with the roll out of Citrix's mouse for the iPad and Android tablets I can't help but come away thinking that enterprise vendors are doing a lot of work to turn tablets into laptops. Sure, secure access to enterprise apps is critical, but mousifying the iPad screams buy a MacBook Air.

"We've been surprised by how much interest there has been in the mouse," said Dave Moxey, senior vice president of corporate solutions marketing at Citrix. "Customers want a touch experience for existing apps, but it's not as good as you'd expect it to be."

If you're accessing corporate apps on a touch-only device, you may face a "fat finger interface" that's clunky, noted Moxey.

And that's why folks spend time buying a tablet then lugging around a keyboard attachment and apparently a mouse too.

There's a reason 2-in-1 devices are getting some traction in the Windows ecosystem. Some folks need a laptop with an occasional tablet.

Bottom line: These developments make me wonder about the future of tablets even more. Tablets will have their use cases. They're great for sales floor work, customer interaction and mobility. For instance, restaurants chains such as Brinker have noted that tablet checkouts have increased table turnover and improved the customer experience.

But for a lot of work tablets aren't going to cut it. So that means enterprise vendors are doing the work to make tablets more like laptops. The most efficient route to enterprise nirvana may be to simply procure light laptops or potentially a 2-in-1.

Related: Tim Cook's thoughts to investors on iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch