Virtual Desktop services

Updated: April 05, 2019

2019. Microsoft launched own Windows Virtual Desktop service

Virtual desktop services have been long provided by Microsoft's numerous cloud partners, and now the company has realized that it can do it alone. The new Windows Virtual Desktop service (which is now available for companies on Microsoft Azure cloud platform) allows to install Windows, Office and other software licenses on the cloud, but not on employees' computers. And employees will be able to work with their software via a virtual desktop. What is the sense of this? First, it allows even an old Win7 computer to work fast, and provide Windows 10. Second, it is more convenient for the administrator to create new workplaces, maintain them and ensure security. The service itself is free. You only pay for the additional Azure resources (memory, CPU time) that you consume. ***

2015. Virtual desktop service Workspot raised $5 million

Workspot, the virtual desktop startup, is planning to improve its tech and expand its enterprise sales team after raising $5 million in new funding. Workspot also plans to add more users at its existing clients, which include mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies. While other SaaS companies also make virtual desktop software, which allow workers to access their employers’ apps and documents from their personal computers, Workspot says it differentiates by allowing clients to run its platform without having to install new servers or cloud infrastructure. On the other hand, Amazon WorkSpaces, one of its largest competitors, runs on Amazon Web Services and requires IT departments to move their software and data into the AWS cloud.

2014. VMware's virtual desktops and cartoons for dummies are better than Amazon's

Last November Amazon launched the virtual desktop service Amazon WorkSpaces and created cartoon video for dummies about why companies need virtual desktops. Today the virtualization giant VMware has delivered its response - VMware Horizon Desktop-as-a-Service with cartoon video for dummies about the benefits of virtual desktops. After reviewing both videos - it's easy to notice that VMware's cartoon is more nice. But VMware also claims that their service is much more powerful and safer, while costs the same money (from $35/month for one virtual computer). Besides they say, that four months after launch, AWS WorkSpaces is still in limited preview while VMware's service is already working. VMware Horizon is available either directly from VMware or via its partners - service providers.

2013. Amazon to sell virtual desktops

Virtual desktop - is a service that allows you to quickly setup workstations (with Windows, browser, Office, PDF-reader , etc.). Such services have been already available for a long time, but now the cloud monster Amazon is entering the market with its Amazon WorkSpaces. However, Amazon didn't revolutionize the space at this time. It's prices are the same as of its competitors. For example, virtual workplace with Windows 7, Office 2010, add-on software, 1 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 50GB hard drive costs $50/month. If you want to install own additional applications you need to pay extra $15/month. As you can see, such pricing doesn't allow to save on buying software. Then who needs such a service? First of all, such services are demanded by big companies that are very concerned about the data security. Because with this model, the data doesn't reach employees' computers and mobile devices. It's stored and processed in the cloud under the supervision of IT administrator. For administrators this model - is like a dream: to create a new workspace for a new employee they just need to make a few clicks. Second, this virtual desktop model is beneficial to companies with lots of mobile workers. Because virtual desktop works not only on office computers, but also on the road: on iPad or Android-tablets (you just need Internet connection). Third, it's good to companies with periodic (seasonal) waves of new employees. For example, if you hire 100 employees for summer - it's cheaper to pay for virtual desktops than to buy software. But take into account that Amazon WorkSpaces works not via browser, but via installable agent that supports Windows, Mac, Android, iOS. It means that you still need to have own Windows licenses.

2007. Peepel: Free office applications in a virtual desktop

Peepel is a new Web-based office suite that"s managed entirely within one browser window to emulate the feel of a desktop workspace. Included is a word processor, a spreadsheet application, and a calculator. Multiple instances of each application can be run at the same time, and all share the same tool bar (which takes design cues from the ribbon in Office 2007). The idea is to emulate the desktop experience, which is aided with the equivalent of a central start button to launch the applications. To help you work within the confines of your browser, there are a few handy tools, like a workspace "save" feature that lets you organize and save a group of files, so you can open and save them as a group. The function is similar to Adobe Photoshop"s custom workspace feature. There"s also a button to cascade and group together applications according to their type. Files are saved in the OpenDocument format, which will work with OpenOffice (but not Microsoft"s Word or Excel applications). Each file is limited to 2MB, and files can be saved to your hard drive or to a virtual drive on the service. (We couldn"t track down information on the storage limit. ) If you"re crafty, you can also save as a PDF file by using the print function. The one thing missing from the otherwise slick interface is the capability to collaborate with others--one of the benefits and standard features of major Web based word processors and spreadsheet tools like Zoho, and Google Docs and Spreadsheets. According to the site"s FAQ, sharing will be enabled later.