Windows Virtual Desktop Preview Now Available
We’ve known for a while that Microsoft was preparing a new virtual desktop enabled Windows 10 edition. Microsoft recently announced that its Windows Virtual Desktop service is now available as a public preview.
Today, we move to the next phase and announce the public preview of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop. Now, all customers can access this service—the only service that delivers simplified management, a multi-session Windows 10 experience, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktops and apps. With Windows Virtual Desktop, you can deploy and scale your Windows desktops and apps on Azure in minutes and enjoy built-in security.
What is Windows Virtual Desktop?
With Windows 7 nearing its end-of-support, Microsoft is touting the Windows Virtual Desktop service as an alternative measure when organizations can’t readily upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft will provide free Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 with the Windows Virtual Desktop service, allowing organizations to run Windows 7 till January 2023.
Moreover, Microsoft is timing the “general availability” of the Windows Virtual Desktop service for “the second half of calendar-year 2019.” General availability is an indication of product readiness, and so this new VDI service likely will be commercially available before Windows 7’s end-of-life date.
The Windows Virtual Desktop service, as demonstrated in this Microsoft Mechanics video, appears to allow fast access to applications and files. Things apparently get speeded up by technology that Microsoft acquired when it bought FSLogix last year. FSLogix is described as an app provisioning platform that enables “faster load times for user profiles” in Outlook, OneDrive and Office 365 ProPlus.
Windows Virtual Desktop will also be extended and enriched by leading partners in the following ways:
- Citrix can extend Windows Virtual Desktop capabilities with their Citrix Cloud services.
- Through our partnership with Samsung, Windows Virtual Desktop will provide highly mobile Firstline Workers access to a full Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus experience with Samsung DeX.
- Software and service providers will extend Windows Virtual Desktop to offer targeted solutions in the Azure marketplace.
- Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) will deliver end-to-end desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offerings and value-added services to their customers.
For users accessing the Windows 10 and Windows 7 desktops and apps, there’s no additional cost if you’re an existing Microsoft 365F1/E3/E5, Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5, or Windows VDA customer. For Windows Server desktops and apps, there’s no additional cost if you’re an existing Microsoft RDS Client Access License (CAL) customer.