Internet Desktop

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What Does Internet Desktop Mean?

An Internet desktop is virtual desktop in a Web browser, which integrates several applications, such as Web applications, client-server applications, and applications residing on the user’s local machine. This software as a service (SaaS) tool facilitates the use of a Web browser to supplement or replace traditional PC desktops.


The browser is primarily used for display and user input, since data storage, configurations, applications, and even computations reside in a remote machine.

An Internet desktop is also known as an online desktop or Web desktop.

Techopedia Explains Internet Desktop

An Internet desktop is designed to optimize a user’s Web experience by facilitating traditional file and application access via Web browsers.

An Internet desktop has many advantages, including:

  • Mobility: The desktop can be opened from any supported client machine
  • Convenience: Any supported client machine provides a personalized desktop.
  • Software Management: All users run the same version of applications, and updates are applied to the server. Thus, there is no need to update every client machine.
  • High Availability: If the client machine breaks down for any reason, the user can quickly resume work (without losses) by using another machine. In addition, Internet desktops reduce down time by making use of robust server systems. Finally, client machines have minimal hardware requirements.
  • Security: Internet desktops are less prone to attacks, malicious code, worms, etc. Also, sensitive data is stored in secure servers and communication between the client machine and the server is done through encrypted transmissions.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.