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Amazon expands cloud offerings with 'WorkSpaces' news
14 November 2013

Amazon with its dominating presence in the cloud computing market is looking to keep it that way by constantly expanding into new cloud areas.

The company announced two new cloud services yesterday.

The one called "WorkSpaces" would stream a PC desktop from the cloud, which meant one used any PC, tablet or Mac to login to the service and it delivered a window that looked like a PC and that ran the software of one's company. That window might even look like a Windows 7 desktop, but the software was not installed on one's PC, rather it was running over the internet.

The idea has been around for a time, it is called "desktop as a service" (DaaS). Citrix Systems was best known for the technology but VMware is also a big player too. There were others too like Dell and Parallels, and a number of start-ups, offer DaaS.

DaaS has not had a very successful run with enterprises as it does not always work as fast or as reliably as a real PC running software the old fashioned way. Also it does not always cost less, either, thanks to the way big software companies like Microsoft charged for their software licences.

However, commentators say, now that a big player like Amzaon was pushing the technology, companies big and small might start using it.

The second service, which was announced today, is called Amazon AppStream meant for mobile developers. It allows the streaming of graphics-heavy games and apps from the cloud. The user needs to install only a tiny bit of software on their device and the rest of the app runs from the cloud.

According to senior vice president Andy Jassy, Amazon WorkSpaces was half the price of on-premise VDI solutions offered by traditional providers.

The pricing came in two different versions, with a standard package offered with one virtual CPU and 50GB of storage, while a performance package has two virtual CPUs and 100 GB of storage. The standard package costs $35 per month per user while the performance package was on offer for $60 per month per user. Licensing fees are another $15 for customers that want to move existing licenses into the VDI environment.

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Amazon expands cloud offerings with 'WorkSpaces'