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AWS Brings Virtual Desktop Solution Amazon WorkSpaces to General Availability

Months after introducing its cloud-based desktop computing environment, Amazon WorkSpaces, in the fall at AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services has announced that WorkSpaces has gone from being a Limited Preview to being fully available to all AWS customers.

According to an AWS blog post by Jeff Bullas, WorkSpaces was tested with companies of various sizes ranging from corporate desktops to engineering workstations. The desktop client runs on PCs and Macs, and requires Internet connectivity and an Amazon account. A mobile version of the WorkSpaces client is available on iPad, Kindle Fire HDX, and Android tablets. Pricing ranges from $35 to $75 per WorkSpace per month.

WorkSpaces allows IT to provision secure Windows 7 user environments that have persistent storage, utilities and productivity applications, and access to files and other resources on the corporate intranet.

As part of the WorkSpaces wide release, AWS is also launching Amazon WorkSpaces Sync, a client that continuously backs up documents created or edited in a WorkSpace to Amazon S3 cloud storage.

Historically, users of virtual desktops have dealt with unresponsive or slow experiences. However, early WorkSpaces users have reported that responsive experiences and high-performance clients. These companies have reported that WorkSpaces has helped them reduce costs, and make desktops available from different locations while maintaining security.

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There is increasing evidence that virtual desktops or Desktop-as-a-Service offerings are shedding their reputation for being laggy and unreliable and are becoming a growing market. Cisco recently launched a subscription-based DaaS solution, which will undoubtedly be helped by the acquisition of Collaborate.com, a company that provides tools for mobile collaboration. Additionally, earlier this month VMware launched a new DaaS solution service running on its VMware vCloud Hybrid Service called VMware Horizon DaaS.

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About the Author

David Hamilton is an Associate Editor of the WHIR. The Toronto-based technology journalist has written for the National Post and other news outlets. He has covered the hosting industry internationally for the WHIR with particular attention to innovative hosting solutions and the issues facing the industry. David is a graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber College School of Media Studies.

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