Amazon Launches WorkSpaces, A Virtual Desktop Service On AWS

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AWS launched Amazon WorkSpaces, a virtual workspace that the company says is half the price of traditional offerings.

Announced today at AWS re:Invent, the service, available today, allows access from any device, be it a laptop, smartphone or tablet. It is synchronized so a customer gets persistent sessions so a customer can end one session on a laptop and start another on a smartphone. The virtual desktop itself is essentially a reskinned version of Windows Server that is made to look like Windows 7.

According to Senior Vice President Andy Jassy, Amazon WorkSpaces is half the price of on-premise VDI solutions offered by traditional providers.

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The pricing comes in two different versions. A standard package comes with one virtual CPU and 50 gigabytes of storage. A performance package has two virtual CPUs and 100 GB of storage. The standard package costs $35 per month per user while the performance offering is $60 per month per user. It is another $15 in licensing fees for customers that want to move existing licenses into the VDI environment.

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The news plays into the company’s effort to take more business from enterprise providers by providing customer-centric services with security that is sufficient for companies with significant operations at a lesser cost. Here’s their summary:

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Earlier in the keynote, Jassy, appealing to the enterprise audience here at the event, went through the basics of cloud computing. But largely until this point, the services have been largely about offering infrastructure for application development and management using its different offerings. The new virtual desktop service is an effort to go beyond by becoming a provider, through IT, for the millions of office workers in the world who are on the go but still need to be connected to work.