Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure now in Public Preview

By Gonzalo Escarra| June 05, 2019

Announced in September of 2018, Windows Virtual Desktop was described as Microsoft’s native answer to cloud-based Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) running in Azure. Unfortunately, it stayed under wraps (or only available to a select few as part of a private preview) for what seemed like a small eternity, especially since the majority of cloud-centric conversations brought this specific topic up.

Good news is that the Public Preview was officially launched in March 21st, solidifying the next step towards general availability of the solution. In other words, we can finally get an opportunity to use the service!

How Windows Virtual Desktop Is Transforming Cloud-Based VDI

With Windows Virtual Desktop, you get a service that delivers the Windows 10 desktop experience, optimized for Office 365 client applications, and support for existing RDS desktops and apps – all hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud and delivered to you via the public Internet or via private ExpressRoute connectivity. As Windows 7 end-of-support gets closer and organizations seek to leverage more cloud workloads or shift their current datacenter over to public cloud services like Azure, now is the perfect opportunity to try Windows Virtual Desktop as a very real alternative to your on-prem RDS or Citrix farm.

Below are a few reasons why Windows Virtual Desktop is a game-changer in cloud-based VDI:

  • Microsoft native tooling delivers Windows 7/10 leveraging existing Microsoft 365 licensing at no extra cost. You only pay for your VM’s run times.
  • Quickly deploy and scale modern and legacy desktop apps to the cloud. Need more compute power? Simply scale out your pool.
  • Optimized compute spend based on usage. Your on-prem VDI runs 24/7 even if no one is connected. Your Azure Windows Virtual Desktop pool can scale and shut itself down outside of business hours, with savings of 75% over a 24/7 workload.
  • Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU), which extends support until January 2023, is free of charge if running on Windows Virtual Desktop.