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Life With The iPad: Enterprise Ready

Apple's iPad isn't a replacement for anything -- not for an iPhone, iPod, nor a laptop PC. But as a mobile personal productivity device, or for a short business trip, it might be all you need.
Over Wi-Fi, the speed was brilliant, and I opened up PowerPoint decks and browsed the Web via Internet Explorer, including watching Flash video within the browser (just because). (I also paired my iPod Touch with the iPad using BlueTooth and used the iPod Touch as a mouse, clicking on Windows applications, and links within Internet Explorer, again, just because I could.)

Citrix offers a variety of solutions, including its XenDesktop (a virtual desktop environment) and XenApp (virtual applications), all using its FlexCast technology. Citrix Receiver supports both delivery models, and Citrix Dazzle offers an IT self-service model, so users can select the applications they want.

To do all of this on the iPad (or any endpoint), you need to be running the Citrix Merchandising Server, which the company tells me is free if you're up to date with Subscription Advantage. The Receiver Client is free. You need to get your configuration information from your network team, but as with any iPad application, it's relatively simple to set up. (Another video demonstration below.)

When I mentioned to Ballmer that I was running Windows apps on my iPad, feeling as if he would at least take some solace in that, he said: "Like I said, work hard enough and you can make anything into a PC." I eagerly await your tablet, Mr. Ballmer.

Fritz Nelson is the editorial director for InformationWeek and the Executive Producer of TechWebTV. Fritz writes about startups and established companies alike, but likes to exploit multiple forms of media in his writing.

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