Virtual desktops are preconfigured images of operating systems and applications in which the desktop environment is separated from the physical device used to access it. Users can access their virtual desktops remotely over a network. Any endpoint device, such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet, can be used to access a virtual desktop. The virtual desktop provider installs client software on the endpoint device, and the user then interacts with that software on the device.
A remote virtual desktop looks and feels like a physical workstation. The user experience is often even better than a physical workstation because powerful resources, such as storage and back-end databases, are readily available. Users may or may not be able to save changes or permanently install applications, depending on how the virtual desktop is configured. Users experience their desktop exactly the same way every time they log in, no matter which device they are logging into it from.