Microsoft announce "Windows Virtual Desktop" on Azure

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In September 2018 Microsoft announced a new hosted VDI platform which they’re calling “Windows Virtual Desktop“, and we’re pretty excited about it! This is a direct competitor to Amazon Workspace (which incidentally we’ve been helping a large enterprise adopt) but Windows Virtual Desktop has a unique feature which is worth calling out: It supports a multi-user Windows 10 experience.

What does this mean? Essentially it enables businesses to potentially save money when hosting cloud-hosted desktops by having multiple users use a single Windows 10 virtual machine. Previously this was only possible with server-based virtualisation.

There are other benefits to this solution too:

  • It supports Windows 7 VMs with free Extended Security Updates, so will be a great place to host awkward legacy applications

  • It’s flexible in terms of presenting a full (virtual) desktop or just applications (seamlessly). This means the customer gets to fine-tune the solution to their exact requirements.

At MigrationStudio we have a lot of experience in helping businesses accelerate the adoption of Windows 10, including migrations to hosted VDI solutions. We know that migrations involving 1,000+ users are time consuming and can become expensive. This is primarily because they are complex pieces of work with lots of moving parts. The sort of technology Microsoft are announcing here definitely helps ease the process, but there is still a large amount of planning and management required to transition to Windows 10 successfully, regardless of where the OS is hosted.

One of the key pain-points we see customers experiencing is where do I start? Project teams often have a good understanding of the deliverables of the project, but struggle when tasked with getting a handle on the lower-level details such as:

  • Which users are in-scope?

  • Which applications are being actively used, and by whom?

  • Which device need upgrading?

This is where we offer a tremendous value-add. By laying data in from multiple sources such as Active Directory, application usage (SCCM typically, others systems supported) and HR data we can quickly show an organisation what the scope is for their project, and give them a work-plan to optimise their effort and save a huge amount of time and money.

Using a solution like MigrationStudio can really help accelerate adoption of Windows 10 in the cloud and drive consumption of Azure.

More information on MigrationStudio can be found here.

You can read the full announcement from Microsoft here.