It’s been about 1.5 years since I began exclusively using a Cloud hosted desktop. When I say “exclusively”, I mean I don’t have a local Windows desktop! I have a Mac and for all practical purposes it’s my BYOC. Just like most Mac users, I started with a local Windows desktop VM (using Parallels) for my work related stuff. But eventually I decided to get rid of the Parallels desktop and just use a Cloud hosted Windows desktop for my work. I never want to go back to a local desktop. Here’s why I love my Cloud hosted desktop so much:

  • Always there – I love the fact that all my applications and documents that I am working on are always in the same state no matter which device I connect from or where I connect from. And thanks to Citrix HDX, I get an incredible user experience accessing my hosted desktop
  • Any device, any location – This sounds like marketing cliché from Citrix but this is such a big deal. Getting to your entire desktop and “all” the apps (not just email and web apps) from any device (PC, laptop, tablet or mobile device) is just fantastic! And with a RSA soft token now available on my iPhone, I don’t even have to carry my RSA secure id generator
  • Security and peace of mind – Since all my work files are stored in the Cloud next to my desktop, I get great performance and complete peace of mind that my data is securely stored in the cloud and automatically backed up. I don’t have to worry about backups, security issues if I lose my laptop, etc.
  • No OS baby-sitting – The fact that I don’t have to manage hot fixes, virus issues or anything else is just great. Let someone else worry about it so I can get my work done.
  • My work, my life – A Cloud hosted desktop gives me a clear separation of my work life and personal life. My hosted desktop doesn’t know about my local Mac desktop and vice versa. This is great because I could be giving a GoToMeeting presentation on my Cloud hosted work desktop and be blogging or tweeting at the same time – not that I would do that!
  • Always connected – Whether you like it or not we are in a 24/7 connected world. And I never have a problem connecting to my hosted desktop. I am writing this blog on a flight connected to my hosted desktop using Gogo internet! It’s hard not to find an Internet connection these days. I’ve heard people pay extra to go on special vacations where they guarantee no Internet access. Really!

When I discuss my Cloud hosted desktop experience with customers, partners and even some colleagues, the most common questions I get are:

  • What about offline access? – See my comment above on network ubiquity and why I think offline access is overrated. But I do occasionally need offline access and this topic is worth another blog by itself. So, watch out for my next blog on this topic!
  • What about installing applications? – I know some jobs require constantly installing new applications (whether it is Excel macros or developer tools) and for that you get can get a dedicated Cloud hosted desktop

BTW, I use a Cloud hosted XenApp shared desktop with a a personalized Windows Desktop Experience (looks like Windows 7) delivered using the Citrix Service Provider Automation Pack. If you have not yet subscribed for a Desktop as a Service, what is stopping you? Find a Citrix Service Provider who offers DaaS and test drive one for yourself today. Really…just do it!