Apple's iPad has been given a boost in credibility as an enterprise client with the release of a Citrix Receiver for the tablet device, along with a version of the firm's GoToMeeting collaboration tool
Introduced today to coincide with the US availability of the iPad, the new Citrix Receiver enables users to access Windows applications running in a virtual desktop or inside a traditional Citrix server-hosted session.
Meanwhile, the GoToMeeting client allows iPad users to collaborate in web conference meetings with colleagues using a PC or Mac. Both applications are available for download now from Apple's App Store.
"We see the iPad as a device that users can just carry around with them for collaboration," said Harry Labana, chief technology officer for Citrix's desktop group.
The device, first announced in January, has a 9.7in touch-screen and weighs less than 1Kg. It runs an operating system very similar to that of the iPhone, and ships in versions with Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and 3G broadband capability.
Citrix has "done things to make the user interface gesture-friendly", according to Labana, so that iPad users can navigate Windows applications using the touch-sensitive screen.
"We're seeing an unusual amount of interest for Receiver on this device," said Labana, adding that people may be drawn to interact with it more because of the gesture-driven interface.
Labana also said that the National Health Service is interested in the iPad because of its long battery life (quoted as up to 10 hours by Apple), and because accessing applications via Citrix Receiver provides greater security as sensitive data is not stored on the unit itself.
Citrix is "very excited" about the new Receiver release, according to Labana. He said that the software makes the iPad a complementary device to the smartphone and laptop in the client choices available to organisations.
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