Citrix Makes the iPhone More of a Business Tool

Business-critical applications continue their push into the mobile world and, increasingly, that world includes the iPhone - giving the popular device more respect as a business tool, instead of just a toy, and giving IT administrators one less reason to insist on the Blackberry as a preferred handset.

Citrix Systems, which allows users to remotely log into their corporate networks, is reportedly designing virtualization software for the iPhone and will soon post it to Apple's App store for download, according to CNBC. That means virtual versions of a Windows desktop PC will soon be on an iPhone. Talk about blurring the lines between PC and Mac worlds. Citrix says the data is secure because, using virtualization applications, the data does not reside on the mobile device. Instead it remains safely encrypted in the data center.

Increasingly, mobile phones are becoming more like handheld computers powered by 3G and WiFi Internet connections. More importantly, they're powerful enough to handle complex business applications such as VPNs and online conference sessions. In a earlier blog post, I wrote about Phonetopp, which is working on a mobile application that allows users to connect in real time to a Web conference from their smartphone.

According to Phonetopp's own survey, some 37 percent of its respondents said they participate in a Web conference once a week with 20 percent participating in one daily. Their biggest complaint: Web conferences force participants to stay put - either at their desks or to a hotspot - for the duration of the conference.

Sam Diaz is a senior editor at ZDNet. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Credit: ZDNet

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