The Amazon Kindle Fire is a low-cost ($200), well designed Android tablet with many of the bells and whistles available only in higher end products. First, it’s designed and built by Amazon, which is a great brand and has historically done a great job with the capabilities, support and ergonomics of their e-reader line. Second, the Kindle Fire finally breaks away from Amazon’s long tradition of using monochromatic e-paper display technology and actually introduces a touch capable colour screen. Finally, the device is no slouch; it’s powered by a dual core processor that keeps things zipping along at a fairly brisk pace. Of course, Amazon has tried to limit the new Kindle Fire to its own app store. Luckily these tie-ins to Amazon’s app eco-system can be conveniently sidestepped without root’ing the device or doing anything particularly unnatural! There was a great article that recently appeared on PC World which highlighted the fact that the Amazon Kindle Fire actually does allow users to use their Android phones to “sideload” all 250,000 of the Android Marketplace’s apps onto the Tablet.
With this sort of low-cost, high quality, top-brand backed tablet product out in the market, do VDI and Cloud Computing plays stand to benefit? We think the answer is a resounding YES! We’ve been waiting for endpoints of this nature for a while now. The low cost point means adoption will start to pick up in a serious way. Whether it’s the Fire or other Fire-like tablet devices, the point is, this market is going to be huge at sub $200 cost points. With tons of these devices out there, two things will happen a) People who have PCs will spend quite a bit of their time interacting with these tablets and will hence need access to the content and apps they usually use on their PCs b) People who have never had computers or don’t particularly need desktops, will start to use tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire, as a primary computing device.
In both cases, access from these tablet endpoints to x86 apps running in the Cloud becomes an incredible necessity. It’s all fine and well to be able to read books and browse the web on a Tablet natively, but sometimes having access to Powerpoint presentations, the repository of notes you stored in MS OneNote at the office, or an x86 app that provides a forms-based interface to your corporate database(s) is necessary too! And rather than porting and rebuilding all these apps for every flavour of Tablet, it just makes all the sense in the world to run the app in the Cloud and deliver the experience to the endpoint (i.e. the Tablet) via an efficient remote desktop protocol.
We’ve had our Fast Remote Desktop product available for iPads for a few months now. The iPhone version is coming out soon. But what’s in the works are Android and other Tablet-focused versions that will allow us to deliver Cloud-hosted desktop experiences, your office apps, your Flash apps and your corporate computing stack straight to your tablet! We’re very excited about the possibilities products like the Kindle Fire will enable for VDIworks‘ entire family of products, and the value we’ll be able to deliver to our customers.