Smartphones like Motorola Atrix can replace corporate desktops

AT&T's Ralph de la Vega says he is heartened by the early enterprise interest in Motorola's Atrix phone, which doubles as a laptop. Larry Dignan discusses why de la Vega's argument is notable.

This is a guest post from Larry Dignan of TechRepublic sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on the ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Motorola's Atrix may be viewed as a PC replacement for select enterprises, according to Ralph de la Vega, AT&T's president and CEO of mobility and consumer markets.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications conference, de la Vega said he was heartened by the early enterprise interest in Motorola's Atrix phone, which doubles as a laptop.

De la Vega said:

The Atrix is a great model to highlight how we can take something to market getting customer input. I took that device to our CIO Forum several months before it was ready for prime time. And our team showed at the CIOs and asked CIOs, what do you want for this device to replace your desktop PC? So these are CIOs whose eyes lit up as soon as they saw the device, the price, and the fact they only had to buy one smart device, not two, for their workforce.

One of the things they said that absolutely they needed to have, which was a surprise to us, was they wanted a Citrix client on the device. The Atrix from the outset has a Citrix client built in. So what that allows a CIO is to replicate a Windows or emulate a Windows 7 PC desktop on the Atrix, which no smartphone has ever done in its history.

The Atrix solve(s) a real, legitimate business problem that many enterprises have. And so far, the reception has been unbelievable. And so we are getting great reception on the enterprise space.

That argument is notable because de la Vega seems to think that dual core smartphones can be desktop replacements for some businesses. "I think the capability to take these smartphones and become a replacement for the desktop in some cases is very real," he said.

Now we've heard the argument that tablets are desktop replacements, but the market will really get interesting if smartphones do the same.



BS. The Citrix client has been available for several platforms. WM6.x and others. Did you research your story or just repeat marketing babble?


I had the impression the sentence meant that this was the first time that the Citrix client had been shipped with a smartphone device, but it does sound like they implied no Citrix clients had been released for mobile platforms before which - as you said - is untrue. I haven't been able to find prior instances where Citrix had released clients that were distributed directly on the device, besides computers / corporate tablets.


This is a great Android phone that docks to a dumb workstation. How does it replace a laptop? It would seem that the same smartphone that has Win7 would be the right choice to replace a laptop. Or am I missing something else? Most people I know do more than internet surfing on their work computers.


I would venture that some, like me, can see this as a potential thin client for quick Citrix or RDP connections, where there is no need for local data storage. The one drawback I can see right now is printing, if one does not have access to networked printers. As for the rest, there's a general consensus that even if this is not *THE* device to cover all your basic "Net Needs" (cloud, Internet, corporate network access), it's definitely innovative in the way it presents remote computing as the smartphone (or in this case superphone) centric option being viable, competing with tablets or netbooks. I'm hoping to get mine in a week, when they're launched in Canada. The multimedia dock and docking laptop accessories are overpriced IMO for what they offer, so I'll wait until there's a price drop before even considering purchasing them.

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