Microsoft has announced that its Windows Virtual Desktop is now generally available worldwide on Azure and will include Windows 7 free Extended Security Updates for up to three years.
Windows Virtual Desktop
Windows Virtual Desktop from Microsoft, which was announced last September but has just been made generally available worldwide, is a Cloud-based ‘virtual’ version of Windows that can be accessed by employees from any device from anywhere, provides full multi-session, and is always up to date. The Virtual Desktop has been designed with modern working practice in mind where not all employees sit in an office, use just one device or work from secure locations.
According to Microsoft, Windows Virtual Desktop is the only virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) that can provide simplified management, multi-session Windows 10, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, as well as and support for Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environments.
The Virtual Desktop enables Windows desktops and apps to be deployed and scaled on Microsoft’s Azure portal in minutes, and it includes built-in security and compliance features.
Supported Transition to Windows 10
One key sweetener of the new service for those companies facing the end of support for their old Windows 7 deployments is that it offers free extended security updates for the Windows 7 virtual desktop including more support options for previous app versions while users transition to Windows 10.
Microsoft is keen to emphasise that its Virtual Desktop can work with your current Remote Desktop Services (RDS), and can therefore easily be migrated on Azure.
Microsoft is also keen to emphasise that businesses can trust the new Windows Virtual Desktop not least because Microsoft invests more than USD $1 billion annually on cybersecurity research and development, employs 3,500+ security experts, and Azure has more compliance certifications than any other cloud provider.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
With Virtual Desktop, Microsoft is hoping to capitalise on the fact that many businesses have workers in multiple locations with multiple devices who need to have convenient and secure access to a constantly updated version of their desktop. Microsoft also knows that companies are getting more confident about moving more of their infrastructure to the Cloud, and want a secure, scalable ‘as-as-Service’ offering where they don’t need to worry about having the expertise in-house.
The easy migration aspect of the service and the offer of extended Windows 7 support may be of value to businesses looking to make a leveraged move forward to Windows 10 and may help Microsoft retain valuable business customers.