Microsoft has officially released their Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering, dubbed Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). There are some standout features of WVD, and as someone who’s been helping customers deliver Windows desktops and applications for 20 years, I feel a strong market momentum behind this offering. Microsoft is making WVD very attractive, starting with a unique multi-session version of Windows 10 which is only available in Azure through this offering and continuing with extended support for Windows 7.
Here are the key features of WVD:
- Multi-session version of Windows 10. Think RDS but on a desktop operating system. Better application compatibility and familiar user experience.
- Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 extended support. That’s right, if you migrate your Windows 7 / 2008 R2 image to WVD, you can keep it supported until January 2023 in Azure.
- Availability in all geographies. This can help ensure workloads are accessed close to the users, reducing latency to the desktop.
- Office 365 optimizations. These include real-time Outlook search, and email and calendar performance enhancements.
- FSLogix tools integrated. FSLogix creates a persistent user experience, enabling OST integration, OneDrive cache, search, and more for non-persistent environments.
Microsoft has also announced they have extended WVD’s ecosystem to include many of the virtualization household names:
- Available immediately, Citrix can extend WVD and customers can take advantage of the Windows 10 multi-session operating system, Windows 7 extended support, and extended support for Windows 2008 R2 while adding Citrix’s protocol to the stack. Citrix’s offering is called Citrix Managed Desktop.
- Announced future support for VMware Horizon Cloud to extend WVD, with a preview coming toward the end of Q4 2019.
- Partner integrations. This includes a list of the industry’s leading addons and management solutions for desktop virtualization:
More partners are expected to jump on this bandwagon, as Microsoft is clearly putting a lot of development and marketing toward this offering. Microsoft’s goal is to increase the number of workloads in Azure, and adding desktops can increase it significantly.
Contact Gotham to understand how Windows Virtual Desktop fits into your technology roadmap, and allow us to chart a path to success on the platform.