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Microsoft releases Windows Desktop-as-a-Service public preview

Microsoft opens window to remote access

Microsoft has released a public preview of its upcoming Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) product, which will allow Windows to be accessed on Macs, iOS or Android devices.

Azure RemoteApp, previously codenamed Mohoro, was unveiled at the TechEd 2014 event in Houston, where Microsoft said it will allow users to run desktop apps remotely.

The product is a cloud-based alternative to Microsoft's existing RemoteApp on Windows Server, according to a Microsoft spokesperson quoted by ZDNet. Instead of streaming apps, it offers remote and mobile access to popular business apps like Office.

Remote Windows

The preview includes Office 2013 Professional Plus and is live now, but apparently it costs money. Microsoft is remaining tight-lipped about its pricing plans.

ZDNet cited sources that suggest device security service Windows Intune will be required to run Azure RemoteApp, but Microsoft has not confirmed this.

Citrix and VMware have both offered a Windows Desktop-as-a-Service product, which particularly addresses the lack of Windows applications on Google Chromebooks. An official Microsoft version, however, will likely be significantly more popular.

Azure RemoteApp is set to officially launch before the end of 2014.