Virtual Desktop Infrastructure platforms

Updated: July 15, 2021
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions allow to host user desktop environments on remote server or cloud and provide users their desktop from any location, without being tied to a single client device.

2021. Microsoft launches Windows 365 - simple virtual desktop service

Microsoft today launched Windows 365, a service that gives businesses the option to easily let their employees access a Windows 10 desktop from the cloud (with Windows 11 coming once it’s generally available). Microsoft already offers Azure Virtual Desktop that gives businesses the option to let their employees access a Windows PC in the cloud. But the difference seems to be that Windows 365 is far easier to use and involves none of the complexity of setting up a full Azure Virtual Desktop environment in the Azure cloud. Windows 365 is a service for smaller companies. It’s available through a basic subscription service.

2019. Parallels RAS 17 makes it easy to deliver apps, desktops and data

With Parallels’ new RAS 17 IT teams can enable employees using just about any device to access their corporate applications and virtual desktops. A productive user experience (UX) delivered by Parallels RAS supports users of Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, Chromebook, thin clients as well as HTML5 browsers. Those with an iPhone, iPad or Android device can even use familiar native touch gestures to easily work with virtual files and be truly productive from anywhere. Plus, with a revamped console, Parallels RAS promises to enable administrators to deploy and manage their entire infrastructure on a single pane of glass. Parallels RAS works with different types of infrastructure – on-premise, hybrid or multicloud, with Micosoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, for example. Flexibility lets the IT team and the organisation be more agile.

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. Citrix Receiver for Chrome becomes more business-ready

Google and Citrix released a new version the Citrix Receiver for Chrome that both hope will bring more businesses to Google’s Chrome OS platform. Receiver gives users access to their virtual apps and desktops through XenDesktop and XenApp from their smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs. Because Receiver for Chrome can now access more of Chrome OS’s native features directly, users are able to easily use Google Cloud Print, for example. Features like audio and video playback should now also work better. Other features include integration with Chrome OS’s clipboard across remote and local applications, as well as monitoring with HDX Insight and support for direct SSL connections.

2014. VMware buys CloudVolumes to deliver apps in real time

VMware is buying CloudVolumes - the system for real-time application delivery in virtualized environments. It's a nice fit for the VMware Horizon desktop virtualization product. According to VMware: Delivering desktop applications to users, especially in Windows environments, can be challenging and cumbersome.  The installation paradigm for adding and removing applications from a system is heavyweight and fragile.  Problems at runtime can easily crop up – such as incompatibilities or conflicts with existing apps – that can interfere with successful application delivery.  Preventing these problems often results in complex workarounds, either through scripting or manual intervention.  We need a better way, and CloudVolumes provides it.

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?