Microsoft's Windows Virtual Desktop Delivers A Modern Desktop with Azure
This week, Microsoft is hosting their largest conference of the year for IT Pros. The company has made a number of announcements related to Azure, Office but for those who use virtual desktops, Windows Virtual Desktop is likely something you will want to pay close attention to.
Windows Virtual Desktop is a new cloud service that delivers a multi-user Windows 10 experience which is optimized to work with Office 365 Pro Plus. The new offering makes it significantly easier to scale Windows 10 and Office deployments on Azure and comes with built-in security and compliance.
Microsoft hasn’t revealed all the details about how licensing will work with this service but the company is targeting to release the product in preview by the end of 2018.
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
Interestingly, if you sign up for this service, Microsoft will provide free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates. The company is clearly using the security updates as a carrot on a stick to help move users off of that aging operating system.
I fully expect that as we approach the 2020 deadline for the end of lifecycle support of Windows 7, that Microsoft will continue to find ways to provide ‘free’ updates to Windows 7 that they will bundle with other products.
We don’t have all the details yet on the virtual desktop experience that is coming to Azure but as Microsoft makes the information available, I’ll keep you posted.