Amazon wants to see apps, games, and entire desktops run out of the cloud, and it's launching two new Web Services products today to see that happen. One tool, called AppStream, will allow developers to completely run and render an application in Amazon's cloud, which can then be beamed down to users on a variety of different platforms. Someone running the app theoretically wouldn't know the difference between something running over AppStream or their local hardware, though that would depend on how quickly the hardware was able to receive the stream.
AppStream can reach 30FPS at 720p
AppStream isn't a perfect solution yet though, as it will only work on Windows, iOS, Android, and — naturally — Kindle Fires for now. Amazon says that it'll support Macs sometime next year, but it doesn't mention the possibility of it working on other platforms or inside of a browser. AppStream also isn't the best solution for serious games yet, as it can only stream a maximum of 720p at 30FPS. However, Amazon does say that only portions of an app could be streamed, allowing the cloud to just assist in rendering, rather than doing all of it.
The second Amazon Web Services product launching today is WorkSpaces, which will allows virtual desktops to be managed and run off of Amazon's cloud. Though such business-oriented services are nothing new, Amazon claims that its solution runs for less than half the cost of what a company would pay to maintain its own virtualization servers. WorkSpaces won't see computers running completely off of Amazon's cloud — users still need to open up an application in order to view the remote desktop — though it will be available on mobile too.
Streaming desktops and apps from the cloud has never been a popular solution because of performance issues, and Amazon doesn't explicitly say that it can resolve those. But it does have a robust cloud infrastructure, and it does acknowledge that previous solutions haven't been perfect, so this may be Amazon just getting started.