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Do you know how to use HTML5 browsers as VDI clients?

HTML5 clients offer a way for users to access their virtual desktops through a Web browser. Put your HTML5 client knowledge to the test with this quiz.

HTML5 browsers give IT administrators a simple, widely accessible way to deliver virtual desktops to their users.

Users don't need to download extensions or plug-ins on their computers, or install any software on their devices. Instead, the software lives on a server in the data center and users just access their virtual desktops through a Web browser. There are issues, such as a lack of device redirection, as well as problems with security and compliance that may scare off cautious organizations. But generally, allowing workers to access a VDI client from their own devices is a user-friendly approach that can help a VDI deployment succeed. Employees often find it more convenient to access their virtual desktops through an HTML5 client, and they might be more productive remotely as a result.

Take this quick quiz to show off your knowledge of HTML5 clients, including what browsers support HTML5, how HTML5 clients handle remote protocols and more.

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This was last published in February 2016

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What are the biggest limitations to delivering virtual desktops with HTML5 clients?
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There are various limitations to HTML5 clients when compared to native clients. Here are some of the main ones:
  1. Can't access local devices (USB, drives, scanners, etc.) from remote desktop. In the case of drives, most provide an alternative in the form of file upload/download
  2. Can't print directly to local printers. Instead generate PDFs when can be printed. This limits use with special printers such as label printers
  3. No real multi-monitor support
  4. Clipboard redirection is somewhat clunky
  5. Video performance isn't as good as native, though in most cases the difference won't be noticeable
  6. If you require support for keyboards of languages other than English, you need to verify that the HTML5 client you're using supports them
As with native clients, there are differences between the feature sets of various HTML5 clients. Make sure to use the product that best fits your requirements.
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