Amazon AppStream Moves Upscale

Now Amazon, in its AWS blog, is talking about a range of new features, first and foremost the ability to stream Windows apps without having to modify the code.

Windows is just one of many apps types that can be streamed. It also supports Android, Chrome, FireOS, iOS, and Mac OS X.

“This is a new way to deliver software that obviates the need for shipping CDs (you do remember those, right?) or waiting for massive downloads to complete,” the Amazon blog said.

In addition to streaming from the cloud, AppStream can mix cloud or remote apps alongside your on-premises software.

But the real emphasis is on the cloud. “On the development side, running the remote side of the application in a single, well-understood, cloud-based environment can dramatically shrink the size of the test matrix. The client application is relatively simple, with responsibility limited to authenticating users, decoding video streams, and relaying local events to AppStream. Because the run-time environment is well-understood and under your control, issues related to libraries, DLLs, and video drivers are no longer an issue,” Amazon said.

Amazon believes streaming from the cloud is safer than running on-premises, and we’d say they have a point. In-house networks can be hacked since they don’t always have true defense in depth or enough security pros.

Cloud providers live or die by how secure their networks are and can afford the best tools and the best people.

Amazon sees great possibilities, even apps that are processor intensive and not thought of as a good match for the cloud. “You should be able to think of all sorts of ways to put this new AppStream feature to use. You can deliver many types of applications (medical imaging, data visualization, and CAD all come to mind) to a very wide variety of mass-market devices without the need for lengthy downloads,” Amazon argued.

There is some good news for potential customers. Amazon is offer its Free Tier for a full year at no charge, and AppStream is one of the 18 free apps that come with 12-month special.

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