In opening its WorkSpaces cloud-based desktop computing environment available to the public Amazon Web Services (AWS) is giving cloud users a “complete Windows 7 experience”

AWS first showed the concept at its re:Invent conference last Autumn. Amazon’s chief evangelist, Jeff Barr, said on his blog it would “meet the needs of a diverse user base by providing them with the ability to work wherever and whenever they want, while using the desktop or mobile device of their choice”.

AWS account holders need a PC or Mac to run the WorkSpaces client, and Internet connectivity (TCP on port 443 plus TCP and UDP on port 4172). Users can run the mobile version of the WorkSpaces client on iPad, Kindle Fire HDX, and Android tablets.

Users have access to a complete Windows 7 experience in the cloud, with persistent storage, bundled utilities and productivity applications, and access to files and other resources on the corporate intranet.

Amazon WorkSpaces can use an existing Active Directory domain for user authentication and WorkSpace management. Users can also choose to create a directory managed by Amazon WorkSpaces when they start using the service.

AWS said it was also rolling out Amazon WorkSpaces Sync to continuously, automatically, and securely backs up the documents created or edited in a WorkSpace to Amazon S3. The Sync client can be installed on existing client computers (PC or Mac) to have access to data regardless of the environment used.