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Amazon Web Services Rolls Out WorkSpaces DaaS OfferingAmazon Web Services Rolls Out WorkSpaces DaaS Offering

Amazon Web Services (AWS) (AMZN) has rolled out a desktop-as-a-service offering as promised. But is the service, priced between $35 and $75 per user per month, a viable alternative to Office 365 for MSPs?

Jessica Davis

March 28, 2014

2 Min Read
Jeff Barr chief evangelist at AWS
Jeff Barr, chief evangelist at AWS

Amazon Web Services (AMZN) has rolled out its desktop-as-a-service offering, Amazon WorkSpaces. The service, first announced in November, is now generally available and works for users on Macs, PCs and also as a mobile client on iPad, Kindle Fire HDX, and Android tablets. Amazon broke the news in a blog post by Jeff Barr, chief evangelist at Amazon Web Services, earlier this week.

Barr’s post also provides detailed instructions for IT admins on how to set up the services for users and how the services work. WorkSpaces provides a Windows 7 “experience” (and not Windows 8), along with storage, utilities and productivity applications. Instructions include how to set up the system in three different ways for user management:

  1. Use WorkSpaces Connect to integrate with an existing Active Directory domain on your corporate network.

  2. Have the WorkSpaces service provision and manage a directory within an existing Virtual Private Cloud.

  3. Instruct WorkSpaces to create a new Virtual Private Cloud and to launch a Cloud Directory within it.

As promised, the service is available in four tiers, Standard, Standard Plus, Premium and Premium Plus. The Standard versions offer one virtual CPU with 3.75 GB of memory and 50 GB of user storage. The premium versions offer 2 vCPU, 7.5 GB memory and 100 GB of user storage. The Plus versions to Standard and Premium add Microsoft Office Pro 2010 to the included applications. All packages have Trend Micro Anti-Virus and utilities including Adobe Reader, IE 9, Firefox 7, 7-Zip, Adobe flash and JRE. Prices are as follows on a per month basis: Standard, $35; Standard Plus, $50; Premium, $60; Premium Plus $75. These prices are offered on a monthly, pay-as-you-go basis, with no upfront charges.

Amazon has said that users requested the DaaS service offering.

Check out additional coverage of the announcement at Talkin’ Cloud here.

The question for MSPs: Is this a viable alternative for your company to configure and resell instead of Office 365 or not? Let us know in the comments.

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About the Author(s)

Jessica Davis

Jessica Davis is the former Content Director for MSPmentor. She spent her career covering the intersection of business and technology.  She's also served as Editor in Chief at Channel Insider and held senior editorial roles at InfoWorld and Electronic News.

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