Amazon introduces $195 Workspaces Thin Client to provide secure cloud desktop access for enterprises

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has unveiled the Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client, a Fire TV Cube look-a-like device that is aimed at simplifying access to cloud-based virtual desktops hosted on the Amazon WorkSpaces service. Notably, it extends its support to Amazon WorkSpaces Web, offering users the flexibility to access virtual desktops directly through a standard web browser.

Amazon announced the launch of the device in an official statement and a blog post, claiming that the device “improves end-user and IT staff productivity with cost-effective, secure, easy-to-manage access to virtual desktops.” The Thin Client is pocket-friendly as well – Amazon noted that it starts at $195 per device (which is far less expensive than a laptop). Consumers (in this case, mostly organizations) will find it available at Amazon Business, and it is preconfigured and shipped directly to them.

“Customers told us they needed a lower-cost device, especially in high-turnover environments, like call centers or payment processing,” Melissa Stein, director of product for End User Computing at AWS, commented on the matter. “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.”

Underpinning the WorkSpaces Thin Client is the hardware of Amazon’s Fire TV Cube. With an eight-core processor boasting a clock speed of 2.2 gigahertz, 2 gigabytes of memory, and a 16-gigabyte storage drive, the device inherits the capabilities of its consumer-oriented counterpart. However, it diverges with an entirely new software stack meticulously tailored for virtual desktop use cases. Consumers can use existing USB and HDMI ports in order to connect to a desktop and other productivity peripherals such as dual monitors, mouse, keyboard, camera, and headset. Amazon notes that the Thin Client has “has purpose-built firmware and software; an operating system engineered for employees who need fast, simple, and secure access to applications in the cloud; and software that allows IT to remotely manage it.”

A noteworthy feature of the WorkSpaces Thin Client is its seamless integration with two additional AWS cloud services—Amazon AppStream and Amazon WorkSpaces. While AppStream aligns with the use cases of WorkSpaces, it differentiates itself by hosting virtual desktops containing multiple applications and providing individual applications to employees directly from the cloud.


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