Software giant Microsoft has released its desktop-as-a-service offering, codenamed "Mohoro", in public preview form as it races to catch up with Citrix, VMware and Amazon.
Officially known as Azure RemoteApp, Microsoft will provide client apps to enable it to run on MacOS X, iOS and Android, as well as Windows - presumably including Windows RT. This will enable organisations to deploy Windows Server-based applications to a variety of non-Microsoft devices and operating systems.
The service was announced this week at Microsoft's TechEd 2014 event in Houston, Texas.
Microsoft has been working on the project since the middle of 2013 and the full version won't be released before the end of the year, according to Microsoft. Although it hasn't unveiled its pricing plans yet, competing offerings from rival vendors typically costs between $35 and $70, depending on functionality.
Speaking at a keynote at TechEd, Microsoft corporate vice president Brad Anderson said that Azure RemoteApp is a rewrite of Microsoft's remote desktop services. In other words, it enables users to remotely access apps running on the server and is intended for mobile devices. That makes it different from competing virtual desktop-as-a-service offerings.
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