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Amazon turns Fire TV Cube into a thin client for enterprises

New AWS hardware delivers user-friendly, low-cost virtual desktops. Can Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Clients replace your business PCs?
By Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Amazon AWS

Enterprise businesses often have to spend considerable dollars to keep their employees working with desktop PCs that enable them to get their work done. When those workers only need access to specific cloud-based applications to function within the business,  those desktop machines can be overkill in addition to presenting regular problems for IT support.

Instead, imagine if you could deploy simple-to-use devices for those employees, devices purpose-built to work with AWS Cloud that would offload processing power to the cloud and provide only the applications those employees need.

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That's the goal of Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client. By repurposing Amazon Fire TV Cubes, the company has come up with what could be an ideal desktop solution for many enterprise businesses. The biggest difference between Fire TV Cubes and these business-focused thin clients is that the latter's USB and HDMI ports don't connect to TVs (or other entertainment hardware). Instead, those ports connect to the required peripherals (such as monitors, keyboards, and mice) to turn them into small form-factor PCs that only function within Amazon WorkSpaces. 

The hardware includes a specific operating system that gives your staff access to Amazon's cloud-based applications.  

According to Melissa Stein, director of product for end-user computing at AWS, "Customers told us they needed a lower-cost device, especially in high-turnover environments, like call centers or payment processing." Stein added, "We looked for options and found that the hardware we used for the Amazon Fire TV Cube provided all the resources customers needed to access their cloud-based virtual desktops. So, we built an entirely new software stack for that device, and since we didn't have to design and build new hardware, we're passing those savings along to customers."

Instead of desktop computers costing a business anywhere from $600-$1,200 each, the Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Clients can be purchased for $195 per device (for a single screen) and $279 (for a dual screen device) and are sold through Amazon's business-to-business marketplace.

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These devices, Amazon said, offer businesses lower cost, higher security, simplicity of management, and ease of use that traditional desktops cannot match. The Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Clients are ideal for use cases such as call centers, task workers, training centers, and much more.

You can read more about the Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Clients here.

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