When we first launched Windows Virtual Desktop nearly two years ago, nobody knew that a global pandemic would force millions of employees to leave the office and work from home. Organizations around the world migrated critical apps and data to the cloud for business resilience and agility. And to support the new remote workforce, many of you have chosen Windows Virtual Desktop to provide remote users with a secure, easy-to-manage, and productive personal computing experience with Windows 10 from the cloud. It was humbling to work with you as you moved your business to new challenges – from the frontline support Health workers at NHS to Engineers at Petrofac to teacher and student.
In the future, organizations will need one evolving set of remote and hybrid work Scenarios. To help our customers and partners meet these new hybrid work requirements, we are expanding our vision to a flexible cloud VDI platform for almost any application – accessible from practically anywhere. A modern VDI platform must be secure, scalable, and easy to manage while providing end users with a seamless, high-performance experience. It should also give companies the flexibility to customize and create solutions with their core technology.
To support this broader vision and the changing needs of our customers, today we are announcing new features, new pricing for app streaming, and the renaming of the Windows Virtual Desktop service to. at Azure virtual desktop.
New platform functions for security and management
We are constant Adding new functions to the central Azure Virtual Desktop platform. Today we are also happy that public preview of new features This will help you integrate and better manage your Azure Virtual Desktop deployment.
- Improved support for Azure Active Directory (coming soon in Public Preview): Azure Active Directory is a critical service used by organizations around the world to manage user access to critical apps and data and to maintain tight security controls. We’re excited to announce that soon you will be able to connect your Azure Virtual Desktop virtual machines directly to Azure Active Directory (AAD) and connect to the virtual machines from any device with basic credentials. You can also automatically register the virtual machines with Microsoft Endpoint Manager. In certain scenarios, this helps eliminate the need for a domain controller, reduce costs, and optimize your deployment. While this is an important milestone, it is just the beginning of the journey towards full integration with Azure Active Directory. We’ll keep adding new features such as: B. support for single sign-on, additional credentials such as FIDO2 and Azure Files for cloud users.
- Manage multi-session Windows 10 Enterprise virtual machines with Microsoft Endpoint Manager (now available as a preview): With Microsoft Endpoint Manager, you can manage policies and distribute applications to devices. You can now register Azure Virtual Desktop virtual machines with Windows 10 Enterprise for multiple sessions in Microsoft Endpoint Manager and manage them in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center in the same way as shared physical devices. This simplifies administration and provides a centralized view of both physical devices and virtual desktops. read this Windows 10 Enterprise documentation for multiple sessions to learn more.
- Deploy in minutes with the new QuickStart experience (available in preview soon): We are pleased to be able to offer an optimized onboarding experience for Azure Virtual Desktop in the Azure portal. This new experience will validate requirements, start automated deployment, and also implement best practices. With just a few clicks, you can set up a complete Azure Virtual Desktop environment in your Azure subscription. You can find this new experience under “Quick Start” on the Azure Virtual Desktop Blade in the Azure portal.
New pricing options for remote app streaming
Many organizations use Azure Virtual Desktop to stream apps to their own employees created by. are covered existing license authorizations. But many companies also want to use Azure Virtual Desktop to provide applications “as-a-service” for customers and business partners.
We’re excited to announce today a monthly per-user access pricing option for businesses using Azure Virtual Desktop to deliver apps from the cloud to external (non-employee) users. This would enable software providers, for example, to provide their app as a SaaS solution that their customers can access. In addition to the monthly user price for Azure Virtual Desktop, companies also pay usage-based Azure infrastructure services.
Here’s what an ISV had to say about the new pricing option:
“Millions of customers around the world trust Sage to deliver innovative business solutions for finance, operations and people management. Streaming applications with Azure Virtual Desktop makes it easy to optimize user access to our solutions in the Azure cloud for a great online customer experience. ”James Westlake, Director of Product Management, Sage.
Try it out during our promotional period
The new pricing option for per-user access will take effect on January 1, 2022. Now, to help companies get started, we’re excited to offer a special promotion to external users for free access to Azure Virtual Desktop for streaming first-party or third-party applications. This promotion is valid from July 14, 2021 to December 31, 2021.
The prices for monthly user access rights effective January 1, 2022 are:
• $ 5.50 per user per month (apps)
• $ 10 per user per month (apps + desktops)
This action only applies to external user access rights. Organizations would continue to pay for the underlying Azure infrastructure. Companies should continue to use existing Windows license entitlements such as Microsoft 365 E3 or Windows E3 and higher for app streaming to their employees. Visit our website for more details.
Expansion of the partner ecosystem
As a cloud VDI platform, we work closely with our partners and enable them to develop solutions that meet your requirements. For example, Citrix and VMware offer desktop and app virtualization solutions that take advantage of the capabilities of the Azure Virtual Desktop platform such as Windows 10 Enterprise Multi-Session, allowing you to maximize your existing investments and use the tools and solutions that allow you are already familiar. We also pride ourselves on our ecosystem of hundreds of partners developing custom solutions and providing technical advice to help you deploy with confidence. visit Azure marketplace for more information on partner solutions and the Advanced specialization page for certified delivery partners.
My team and I look forward to working with you to take full advantage of our flexible VDI platform in the cloud and unlock new computing opportunities for end users. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to your feedback. Join us in our Tech community to connect with my team and other customers and partners to share your feedback and suggestions. To learn more about these announcements, please sign up for our upcoming webinar.