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Dell Wyse Cloud Connect dongle puts enterprise computing on a stick

Dell's long-promised, cloud-tapping, enterprise-computing-environment-on-a-stick is finally here. The company has announced the general availability of the Dell Wyse Cloud Connect dongle, first unveiled way back in January 2013 with the code name Project Ophelia.

Dell Wyse Cloud Connect devices plug into any compatible monitor to deliver access to the desktops, data, apps, and corporate networks utilised by business users. The upshot is that the dongle, which runs a hardened version of Android, offers access to those assets and data from virtually anywhere a user can plug it in, whether it's the corporate office, home office, or on the road.

"This is a real game-changing product," said Steve Lalla, vice president and general manager of Dell's cloud client computing business, at a presentation at the Dell Solution Center in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Armed with the Cloud Connect device, enterprise users can tap into their own desktops and secure corporate networks, he said, provided they have a Citrix, Microsoft, or VMware back-end, of course.

Lalla said the computer maker's new enterprise-targeted device addresses several areas of need in corporate IT environments—the explosion of data and workers' desire to "liberate and consume" it easily, securely, and from wherever they happen to be in the world.

Cloud Connect is a fully functional mobile thin-client solution, with an extreme emphasis on both "thin" and "mobile." It's a working PC, albeit a very small one that's roughly the size of a very hefty thumb drive, but with an HDMI tip rather than USB. The dongle sports an ARM-based application processor, 8GB of onboard storage, 1GB of system memory, and runs a version of Android 4.1.2 that's been "hardened" with enterprise-class security and networking technologies.

The device supports Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware virtualised desktop environments and provides remote access to both PCs running Windows and Apple Macs. Cloud Connect also provides access to the Google Play store and a "wide array" of familiar Android apps available to smartphone and tablet users, Lalla said.

Cloud Connect has no battery, supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and charges via plugging into an HDMI port on a compatible computer or HDTV display. It offers "quick and secure" access to virtual desktops and corporate cloud assets, Dell said, while also affording enterprise users the ability to run "plug-and-play interactive presentations in full HD directly from the cloud or device, on any compatible display."

Dell Wyse Cloud Connect can be ordered now at and through Dell's channel partners. The device is available in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, China, India, Japan, Brazil, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.