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Public Preview of Windows Virtual Desktop

Initially introduced last September, Microsoft’s Windows Digital Desktop (WVD) service has now entered public preview.

The service brings single-consumer Windows 7 digital desktop infrastructure (VDI) and multi-consumer Windows 10 and Windows Server distant desktop providers (RDS) collectively and is hosted on any of Azure’s digital machine tiers. Microsoft is pricing WVD aggressively by charging just for the digital machine prices; the license necessities for the Windows 7- and Windows 10-based mostly Microsoft 365 F1/E3/E shall fulfill companies, Home windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5, and Windows VDA subscriptions. The Windows Server-primarily based companies are equally satisfied by current RDS consumer entry licenses. Because of this for a lot of Microsoft prospects, there will probably be no extra licensing price for provisioning desktop computing within the cloud. The digital machine prices may be additionally decreased through the use of Reserved Instances that commit to buying specific quantities of VM time in return for decrease pricing.

As one other massive sweetener, Windows 7 customers will obtain all three years of Extended Security Updates (ESU) at no additional value; that is in distinction to on-premises deployments that may value both $25/$50/$100 for the three years of ESU availability or $50/$100/$200, relying on the exact Windows license getting used.

The digital desktops may also present specific advantages for Office 365 customers. In November last year, Microsoft purchased an organization referred to as FSLogix that develops a software program to streamline utility provisioning in virtualized environments. Outlook (with its offline knowledge retailer) and OneDrive (with its synchronized file system) signify specific challenges for virtual desktops, as each functions retailer large quantities of knowledge on the consumer machine that they count on to persist throughout VM reboots and redeployments. FSLogix’s software program permits this stuff to be saved on separate disk pictures which can be seamlessly grafted onto the deployed virtual machine. WVD will use this software program for clients operating Office 365.

Microsoft has additionally been working with Samsung to make Galaxy phones paired with the Dex Pad into Windows Thin clients. The preview is out there within the US East 2 and US Central Azure areas; for General Availability, it will likely be out there in each area.

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Matthew Galbraith

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