The PlayBook looks like it could be the ideal companion tablet for the millions of corporate Blackberry users tired of iPad envy. With built-in tethering and BES ( Blackberry Enterprise Server ) compatibility, IT won’t have the same reservations they have about the iPad ( even though there are secure iPad deployment options ) plus RIM is probably already on the company approved vendor list.
No doubt the PlayBook will do a good job with email and the browser will work well for browsing, but with the 7″ HD display, business users will also want access to all their business apps or even their full Windows 7 work environment. One way to enable that will be the Citrix Receiver for PlayBook, just as 100 million users use Citrix everyday to get virtual apps and desktops delivered to their PC, Mac, thin client or smartphone. The highly regarded Receiver for iPad for example is now one of the top app store business downloads and is used by professionals everywhere to be more productive without the chore of lugging a laptop.
Many reviewers point to the hundreds of thousands of apps available for iOS compared to the few for Playbook’s QNX, however when it comes to business apps the difference is not huge especially given that Receiver makes thousands of windows & web business apps available for both platforms. However the PlayBook will need to compete on the merits of usability, speed, battery life and other areas where the iPad excels.
The planned Citrix Receiver for PlayBook will provide a great user experience while making all the company virtual apps and desktops available on-demand anywhere. Windows apps and desktops can run securely on company servers ( or the cloud ) and the User Interface is delivered to the remote tablet display using the optimized HDX protocol. Gestures and keystrokes are sent securely to the servers and the user gets an experience as if the Windows desktop is running locally on the tablet. PlayBook users will get the freedom to get work done from anywhere with access to any business app they need.
iPad envy may soon become a thing of the past with the PlayBook and new wave of Android tablets coming on line. What do you think ? Let us know if your business will consider the PlayBook and how they would plan to use them.
Update: The Receiver for Playbook Tech Preview is in AppWorld