Windows Virtual Desktop now called Azure Virtual Desktop; new pricing option and more features

Microsoft rebranded Windows Virtual Desktop to Azure Virtual Desktop, opening doors for cloud-based desktop services without Windows. Such as the new App-Streaming services. Alongside the rebranding, new features are added or at the edge of general availability.

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New Azure Virtual Desktop
Microsoft launched Windows Virtual Desktop in the fall of 2018 and made it general available nearly a year later. Since then, their cloud based Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) gained a lot of fans. Off course, as Microsoft writes in their announcement blog, the COVID-19 pandemic helped them grow fast. The name change to Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) lays the foundation for cloud-based virtual desktop services without provisioning a Windows desktop.

App streaming services
With Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and external users of organizations in mind Microsoft introduces a new App-streaming service. This enables organizations to provide Apps-as-a-Service for a fixed subscription price. Without the Windows OS this will be USD 5.50 per user per month, with the Windows OS the price will be USD 10. Please be aware that this subscription price is without the cost for Azure base services, like computer, storage and networking.
Microsoft has a promotion announced; from July 14 until end of this calendar year customer don’t pay for the App streaming, only for the Azure base services.

Internal users
Internal users of organizations (including ISV’s own employees) can still best continue to use Azure Virtual Desktop under their existing Windows license entitlements, such as Microsoft 365 E3/E5 or Windows Enterprise E3/E5.

New Azure Virtual Desktop features
Microsoft also announced new features, of which some are available today. Others will come very soon, Microsoft officials say. A brief overview (go there for the full description):

  • Enhanced support for Azure Active Directory
  • Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session VM management with Endpoint Manager
  • QuickStart deployment from Azure portal

A continuous updated overview of all new capabilities is published online.

Licensing options
With the new options for App-streaming new licensing options arrive too. Are you interested in Azure Virtual Desktop but not sure how to correctly license the service? Save money and avoid under licensing risk with the help of our licensing consultants. Do contact us if you need help.

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