Examining details of HP Workspace and its pricing

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With the Elite X3 arriving in formal review kit form at AAWP in the next day or so (see also my extended hands-on preview with the first retail sample), it seems that all the various bits and pieces are falling into place for this smartphone/system. With desk dock and Lapdock and with its internal OS and firmware fully working now, one of the biggest remaining question marks was over the 'Workspace' service, managed by HP for smaller companies and individuals and offering access to Win32 applications and company intranets over the device's Continuum interface. I've pieced together these details in context below.

HP Workspace

For larger companies buying into the Elite X3, there's no need for HP Workspace, since Windows 10 Mobile and Continuum can be configured by the appropriate IT department for mobile employees. For smaller companies though, HP Workspace offers a managed virtualisation environment - employees are essentially tunneling into a virtual desktop or server, with the UI relayed back to the Continuum interface in Windows 10 Mobile at 15 frames per second (or so - it'll depend on bandwidth and screen resolutions)

HP charges for this, of course, running servers and offering support for set-up isn't cheap. Here are the details of the two tiers available:

  Essential Premium
Price (per user, in dollars) $49 $79

Monthly usage (per user)

40 hours

80 hours

Cloud processing power (per user)

Dedicated vCPU

Dedicated vCPU

Virtual machine RAM




Up to 10


Application analytics


Detailed usage reports


Deployment and incident support
available Monday-Friday

Deployment and incident support
available Monday-Friday

Target User

Mostly-mobile worker

Information worker

For a typical working month, say 20 days, that's only 2 hours per day of connected time, on average, on the 'essential' tier and 4 hours per day for the 'premium' tier - which sound over-restricted, but remember that these are averaged - in real life, most people will have some meeting time, on top of travel and doing non-server work. Plus the versions of Outlook and Office on the Windows 10 Mobile device itself are fully working, of course, using local files or those on OneDrive - a hook into a remote server won't be needed all the time. I'm sure HP has talked to enough companies to get an idea of what's needed and how to pitch both limits and pricing.

The pricing seems high too, until you factor in that it's even more expensive to have an IT department doing all this for you. Say a company has ten employees with X3s and ad-hoc use on the 'Essential' tier - annual HP Workspace costs will be about £5000 in the UK - now compare that to the annual salary of even one IT employee and the costs of hardware and software licensing - perhaps £30k in total - and probably much more - and suddenly HP Workspace's pricing seems to make an awful lot of sense.

We'll have much more assessment of the X3 over the coming months, but in the meantime here's the blurb for HP Workspace, from the official site:

Source / Credit: HP