Amazon Offers Web Access to Workspaces with New Streaming Protocol

Amazon enables WorkSpaces Web Access through the WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol, or WSP. Users should get a more stable connection via the browser to WorkSpaces with this protocol, even with moderate network connections.

Administrators can select WSP when creating a WorkSpace, after which users with a browser from Windows, macOS or Linux can access the virtual environment via the protocol. WSP is only available for Windows-based WorkSpaces. Thus, users cannot connect to Amazon Linux WorkSpaces via the protocol with their browser. Amazon WorkSpaces is a desktop-as-a-service cloud service that allows users to access a Windows or Linux desktop environment running on a virtual machine on AWS servers across a variety of devices.

The protocol includes support for webcams. According to Amazon, the WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol should provide more stable connections to WorkSpaces, with less negative impact of packet loss due to poor network conditions.

To make this possible, the streaming protocol has been separated from the WorkSpaces and the analysis of the user sessions takes place via microservices on Amazon’s AWS servers. This allows the company to adjust codecs and encoding in real-time if the session experiences a connection degradation.

Amazon announced WSP early this year. The clients for macOS and Windows already supported the protocol. Users can connect to WorkSpaces via both WSP and the Personal Computer over Internet Protocol, if they are different directories. Conversely, a single directory can serve both WorkSpace users through both PCoIP and WSP.

Microsoft is going to reveal more details about its Windows 365 offering announced last month on Monday. That’s a competing service to Amazon WorkSpaces, which allows users to use Windows virtual machines via under browsers.