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Grow Your Business Technology

Amazon WorkSpaces Offers Cheaper Virtual Desktop Solution

Amazon WorkSpaces Offers Cheaper Virtual Desktop Solution Users can access documents, applications and other important files wherever they are. / Credit: Shutterstock

Amazon’s new virtual desktop platform could entice small business owners to sign on for the service, thanks to its affordable, scalable pricing structure.

Yesterday (Nov. 13), the online retailer announced Amazon WorkSpaces, a new, fully managed cloud-based desktop computing service. The service, which launched this week, allows businesses to provide cloud-based Windows 7 desktops that enable employees to access documents, applications and more from almost any device, including remote PCs, laptops, iPads or Android tablets.

Users will 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 a tablet, smartphone or other device.

Amazon said the platform is priced at half the cost of on-premises virtual desktop infrastructure solutions. 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 VDI 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.

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.

Brett Nuckles

A former Ohio newspaper man, Brett Nuckles fled the Midwest in 2013. He now lives in Seattle, where he spends his days tinkering with smartphones, tablets and computers. He loves to think about the intersection of technology and productivity, and how to get the most out of new gadgets and apps. He's also a big fan of vegetarian food and digital painting. In his off hours he spends most of his time drawing and painting sci-fi/fantasy scenes on his PC with his trusty Wacom stylus in hand.