Microsoft has announced Windows Virtual Desktop, the virtualized Windows and Office experience delivered on Azure. Windows Virtual Desktop is the only cloud-based service that delivers a multi-user Windows 10 experience, optimized for Office 365 ProPlus, and includes free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates. With Windows Virtual Desktop, one can deploy and scale Windows and Office on Azure in minutes, with built-in security and compliance.
Microsoft has developed Windows Virtual Desktop with both IT and the user in mind. The key benefits include:
- The only service to enable a multi-user Windows 10 experience, including compatibility with Microsoft Store and existing Windows line-of-business apps while delivering cost advantages previously only possible with server-based virtualization.
- The best service to virtualize Office 365 ProPlus running in multi-user virtual scenarios. Microsoft Office is the most virtualized app used, with commitment to deliver the best possible virtual experience. In the months ahead, Microsoft will have more to share on investments in the Office 365 virtualized experience for the Windows Virtual Desktop service.
- The only service to provide Windows 7 virtual desktop with free Extended Security Updates, giving you more options to support legacy apps while you transition to Windows 10.
- The most scalable service to deploy and manage Windows virtual machines, using Azure for compute, storage, rich diagnostics, advanced networking, connection brokering, and gateway.
- The most flexible service allowing you to virtualize both desktops and apps, meaning you can choose between providing your users the entire desktop experience or delivering only specific apps. When you deliver virtual apps to a Windows 10 endpoint, they are integrated seamlessly into the user experience.
- Deeply integrated with the security and management of Microsoft 365. The Microsoft 365 conditional access, data loss prevention, and integrated management are natively built in—providing the most secure and simplest solution for protecting and managing all your apps and data.
Windows Virtual Desktop is a comprehensive virtualization solution that has been built to easily extend and enriched by partners in the following ways:
Microsoft partners will extend the service through the Azure marketplace and are working with partners, including Citrix, Cloud Jumper, FSLogix, Lakeside Software, Liquidware, People Tech Group, and ThinPrint.
The extensive network of Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers will be able to offer Windows Virtual Desktop to their customers and offer additional value around the service.
Microsoft is offering this service to Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education customers. Once the user sign up for Windows Virtual Desktop, the only need is to set up or use an existing Azure subscription to quickly deploy and manage virtual desktops and apps. The additional cost is for the storage and compute consumption from the virtual machines themselves, which will live in users Azure subscription.