Amazon's new virtual desktop platform, notable for its relatively affordable, scalable pricing structure, is now available for the iPad. The iOS tablet version of Amazon WorkSpaces arrived last week; previously, it was available only on PCs and Android tablets.
WorkSpaces debuted last month as a new, fully managed cloud-based desktop computing service. It allows businesses to provide cloud-based Windows 7 desktops so employees can access their documents, applications and more from almost any device, including remote PCs, laptops, iPads or Android tablets. Through WorkSpaces, users gain access to a synchronized desktop environment so they can end one work session on their work PC and pick up where they left off on another tablet or PC. That means they can stay productive from home or after they've left the office.
According to Amazon, the platform is priced at half the cost of on-premises virtual desktop solutions, in which the physical network infrastructure is stored on-site at your workplace. Because WorkSpaces is based in the cloud, it eliminates the need for the up-front investment, and complex maintenance and patching, necessary in a traditional virtual desktop infrascuture environment.
That could be a big plus for small businesses looking for a more affordable way to roll out virtual desktops for employees who work remotely, or to enable all employees to access the files and applications they need from wherever they are. And because it features pay-as-you-go pricing, small business owners can purchase only the number of virtual desktops they need at any given time. Small business owners can provision up to five WorkSpaces at a time.
Pricing starts at $35 per month for a single virtual CPU with 50GB of storage, or $50 for one virtual CPU with access to Microsoft Office Professional 2010, Trend Micro Anti-Virus and other utilities. Performance packages with more memory and storage are also available.