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RIM Debuts Citrix Receiver For PlayBook

Citrix Receiver brings new functionality to RIM's PlayBook tablet by allowing mobile professionals to remotely access virtual desktops.
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardown
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Slideshow: RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Teardownr
Research In Motion on Tuesday made Citrix Receiver available for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The software can be downloaded from RIM's beta labs in non-final form for testing. Citrix Receiver is an enterprise software tool can be used to extend the power of the desktop far beyond the walls of the business.

Using Citrix Receiver, PlayBook users will be able to tunnel in through the corporate firewall and access enterprise applications (such as Microsoft Office and other productivity suites), virtual applications, Web-based applications, and virtual desktops.

The core offering includes support for multitasking, single sign-on access, IT controls, security management, and HD peripherals.

The multitasking powers allow the PlayBook to run multiple apps within the Citrix Receiver app, so to speak. RIM explained in a blog post, "From a user perspective, this is similar to the multitab browsing experience on the BlackBerry PlayBook browser." The idea is to give PlayBook users a more desktop-like work experience even when out of the office. How well that will translate to the PlayBook's small, 7-inch display is hard to say.

Another time- and headache-saving feature is the single sign-on access to enterprise data. This means that when users tunnel in and are granted access, they won't have to sign into each and every separate app or service they need to use when working remotely. One username and password is all they need to reach their work via Receiver.

Using a single sign-on doesn't mean that Citrix Receiver lacks management features. IT has plenty of control over what users can access from the app. IT can host an app server and allow end users to select apps to use via the Citrix Receiver from this server. It also has rich security built in thanks to the PlayBook's FIPS certification for encryption.

Last, Citrix Receiver for the PlayBook includes support for peripherals. This means remote employees can take advantage of helpful tools such as a Bluetooth keyboard, Bluetooth mouse, and an HDTV to create a more effective remote work station (and one with a much bigger screen for getting work done). Of course, if you're going to go to the trouble of bringing a separate keyboard and mouse in order to more effectively use your tablet, perhaps you're missing the point and should stick to a laptop.

The test software is available starting Tuesday.

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