What’s the difference between DaaS and DaaS?

12th May 2022
DaaS with laptops

If it isn’t already obvious, one is Device as a Service and the other is Desktop as a Service. Easy, right?

I’m glad we cleared that up…

But in case there’s still some confusion over which DaaS is the right DaaS for you, let’s dive into the main differences between these two seemingly identical abbreviations.

Device as a Service is what HardSoft has provided to thousands of customers for over 30 years. It allows businesses to acquire high-end devices through flexible and affordable solutions.


Customers also receive bespoke support plans, pre-deployed apps and security, and comprehensive protection cover, all to level up a business in a practical and cost-effective way, aligning with any growth and refresh strategies that may be in motion.

Desktop as a Service, on the other hand, involves providing virtual desktops to customers in what is essentially a cloud-computing offering. This is typically bundled with maintenance, back-up, updates, and data storage to convert a subpar machine into a powerful workhorse through what’s known as a Virtual Desktop Interface, or VDI.

A Desktop DaaS service provider will have their own VDI and connect customers via an internet connection. This enables laptops and desktop PCs to be populated by a custom-made desktop with their own apps, settings and everything else you may wish to configure on your own machine. Some organisations have their own VDIs, but this isn’t always practical or affordable for small businesses.

The difference, then, is between the virtual and the tangible, with no single solution being any better than the other, but each comes with advantages and disadvantages.

Msi 12th gen laptop in black

With Device DaaS, you have all your computing power in the devices you purchase and need to upgrade to acquire more. Desktop DaaS gives you almost unlimited computing power without the need to change machines but is reliant on a stable and fast internet connection that could still result with input latency issues such as typing or moving a cursor.  

There is also a case for Device DaaS in that your machines will generally be brand-new at the time of purchase and incorporate the latest WiFi and Bluetooth technology. They will also have ports such as Thunderbolt 4 which far outstrips previous USB technologies from even a few years ago.

However, one major advantage of Desktop DaaS is that it almost eliminates the risk of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands when a device goes missing or is stolen, as these devices can simply be removed from the service and no data is ever physically stored on the device in the first place. This is contrary to Device as a Service, where devices may be deployed with the latest security software, but could still hold sensitive data locally. It is therefore down to the company to limit how data is stored and accessed through stringent data protection practices and procedures.

Having now established the main difference between the two DaaS solutions, let’s briefly look at the similarities, as there are quite a few.

blue iPad Air back and front

Both services take the strain off IT departments through remote support, they each allow for faster deployment of user-based apps and settings, and they also provide greater flexibility to business teams with the ability to add or replace devices on Device DaaS, or change almost any element of the VDI for Desktop DaaS. And this is why identifying the correct DaaS is such a confusing endeavour; they both offer similar results for businesses but just get to those results in fairly different ways. It all depends on a business’s specific needs, budget and preference for one solution over the other.

The “as a service” business model has exploded in recent years with Software, Banking, Games, and even Kitchen as a Service, so it isn’t surprising that levels of confusion have followed suit. And with the addition of Data as a Service, there’s now at least three types of DaaS to get your head around.

Of course, we at HardSoft are biased towards Device as a Service, it’s been our core business for many decades after all. We have the experience and knowhow to setup businesses with the very best hardware, from Apple to PC devices, support and security, which goes a long way to drive growth and for generally getting on with the work day.

Surface Pro 7

What’s more, when you provide your employees with the latest Apple, Microsoft or any other industry-leading device to use for their role, a certain level of pride and loyalty is created that would be hard to replicate with other methods.