VMware leapfrogs AWS with Windows cloud desktop launch

Virtualisation specialist VMware has launched its VMware Horizon desktop-as-a-service, a public cloud offering that allows businesses to deploy virtual Windows desktops to PCs and mobile devices.

VMware has launched a public desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offering that allows businesses to deploy virtual Windows operating systems to desktop, laptop and mobile devices.

The VMware Horizon DaaS allows firms to deploy Windows OS images hosted by VMware's vCloud Hybrid Service , the company's public cloud.

The service will provide access to various Windows desktops OSes including XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8, with pricing starting at $35 per month per user for a full Windows client. It is initially available in the US and will be rolled out worldwide later in the year.

The DaaS can deploy these Windows OSes to desktops, laptops, thin clients, Chromebooks, Apple iPads, Android tablets and other mobile devices.

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Firms will be able to use VMware Horizon View to centrally manage and monitor desktop OSes deployed through the DaaS, alongside virtual Windows desktops hosted in their on-premise datacentres running VMware vSphere.

IT teams will be able to create virtual desktops using their own or gold pattern images provided by VMware. IT can create desktop pools for assignment of images and desktops can be assigned to end-users.

IT will also manage secure connectivity to their internal network, including integrating virtual desktops into their Active Directory environment. In addition, full support of multi-factor authentication to the Enterprise Centre and virtual desktops can be configured.

The DaaS supports both Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services environments, as well as full Windows client desktops.

Amazon Web Services announced a similar desktop as a service offering called WorkSpaces in November last year , also priced from $35 per user per month, but the service is still only available as a limited preview to customers who sign up to a waiting list.

VMware's Horizon DaaS is based on an offering from Desktone, which VMware acquired last year .

In general, DaaS services are designed to allow companies to reduce the direct cost of and time needed to deploy and manage OSes running on corporate devices and BYOD machines.

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