AWS targets interrupted sessions with virtual desktops upgrade

The company has made many small WorkSpaces improvements for admins and users

Amazon Web Services has made its WorkSpaces virtual desktops less annoying to use with a feature that resumes the previous session after it detects an interruption.

Today, if users close a laptop lid or lose the network connection, their session will be interrupted and they may be disconnected and have to log back in. But thanks to the auto session resume feature, that'll be a thing of the past.

It might seem like a small upgrade. But if Amazon wants the use of its WorkSpaces to take off on a larger scale, it's small things like that it has to get right. The default time for resuming a session is 20 minutes, but it can be extended to a maximum of four hours or disabled by the administrator.

To make the Amazon WorkSpaces user experience more straightforward, Amazon has also implemented single sign-on between virtual desktops and Amazon's enterprise storage and sharing service WorkDocs.

Other recently added WorkSpaces features are a network health check and the ability for Mac users to use local printers from within their virtual desktop.

Amazon has also added features to make life a little bit easier for administrators. They can now download the WorkSpaces installers for Windows and Mac and then make them available to their users. This can help when Internet downloads are prohibited, the company said. Another new feature lets administrators reboot or remove multiple desktops in one go.

The session resume feature will be available from April 8. The other upgrades are already available. They are used on the Value, Standard and Performance WorkSpaces desktops, which cost from US$25, $35 and $60 per month, and include from 10GB, 50GB and 100GB of user storage.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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