back to article Azure thing at last: Windows Virtual Desktop takes to the cloudy stage

Windows Virtual Desktop has finally arrived, in preview form that is, and three months after the public preview was supposed to have begun. The virtualization technology, first announced back in September, allows users to run their Windows 10 desktops and apps, along with Windows 7, from one of Microsoft's Azure data centres, …

  1. revenant

    "Windows 7 ... lure hold-outs into the cloudy world of Windows Virtual Desktop

    What, give up control of that physical setup you've been fighting to keep Microsoft's hands off for the last few years, in favour of a virtual representation that is subject to their whims?

    Don't. It's a trap.

    1. Aladdin Sane

      Re: "Windows 7 ... lure hold-outs into the cloudy world of Windows Virtual Desktop

      3 years of free support post 2020 might be enough to convince the bean counters though.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Windows 7 ... lure hold-outs into the cloudy world of Windows Virtual Desktop

        "3 years of free support post 2020 might be enough to convince the bean counters though."

        And 3 hours of downtime might convince them they were wrong.

        1. Christopher Rogers

          Re: "Windows 7 ... lure hold-outs into the cloudy world of Windows Virtual Desktop

          No, it convinces them YOU were wrong....

    2. Lee D

      Re: "Windows 7 ... lure hold-outs into the cloudy world of Windows Virtual Desktop

      When Office 365 gets better uptime than my internal systems, then I'll start looking at replicating some of my AD onto Azure as a redundancy measure.

      Desktops and VMs, believe it or not, would be slightly less critical than the AD itself but moreso than Office (purely because you can replicate them in-house if necessary). But I don't want to be putting my only AD login into the cloud until I'm sure it's at least as good as hosting it myself.

      And Office 365 is already Office 360 or less so far in 2019. I've had less downtime myself, and that's including having the power switched off entirely to the site for three days.

    3. joegwill

      Re: "Windows 7 ... "

      When Windows XP?

  2. DJV Silver badge

    the company was "Just getting it right."

    Well, that will be a first!

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "You have one opportunity to come out and have that first impression."

    You have lots of opportunities to have that bad impression when the cloud's evaporated for a while.

  4. Andy Mac
    Thumb Up

    Anything that helps get rid of the foetid stench of Citrix from my life is most welcome.

  5. James 51

    Does this mean I'll finally be able to get my old blade runner game up and running again?

  6. Ken 16 Silver badge

    I like it, as a business continuity option

    AD and Exchange replication, DaaS, probably Office365 and you can let people work from home and tell your customers what went wrong at your DC.

    I wouldn't run it as a main solution for more than maybe 25% of employees but it could be useful if you've got high turnover.

  7. knarf

    mac OS.... what.... eh..

    What you can fire up a mac OS VM in Azure ?

    1. Christopher Rogers

      Re: mac OS.... what.... eh..

      Surely licencing would put pay to that

  8. Steve Kerr


    Does this mean, you will have a windows machine (paying a per seat license or whatnot) connecting to a windows virtual desktop, with another per seat license?


    1. TheVogon

      Re: So......

      No, you would normally use a Raspberry Pi or Wyse thin client to access your VDI.

  9. Jay Lenovo

    Slippery Slope

    When your company is tied to a virtual infrastructure you don't control, who gets to make the rules?

    I believe Casinos would call 3 years of extra Windows 7 support as "free play". You'll need to buy more in game "gems" later.

  10. karlkarl Silver badge

    In some ways I could see some use as a "cesspit" VM and a glorified web browser.

    I.e I am a very happy OpenBSD user, however when it comes to viable web browsers, there isn't that many. Firefox is becoming creepy these days, Chromium is dangerous and things like Iridium or Waterfox are "non-standard".

    Often I just VNC into a Windows VM, use whatever crap pops up first, be it Firefox, IE or Edge and use that. When I am done, I simply reset the VM.

    Now, I would never use a cloud service because it sets a dangerous precedent (they might start thinking they can outlaw full fat PCs), however I could kinda understand why someone would use this instead of installing a web browser locally.

    For one, I would much rather the terrible Javascript web developers warm up Microsoft's data center rather than my lap ;)

  11. Michael Hoffmann


    Quote: Anderson told us "it's the only licence available to run Windows 10 in a shared public cloud

    Wait, does that mean AWS Workspaces will now ONLY be able to do BYOL? Just looking at the pricing on AWS I see both options at this time.

    Then again, it says "Windows" - shirley that's not Windows 7 and indeed it's only on Azure you can run Win10?

    (I have seen no need or inclination to try either, so I wouldn't know, but in enterprisy shops the question will be asked)

    1. Neil Spellings

      Re: Confused...

      Other Cloud providers have to provide the "Windows experience" using Windows 2016 or 2019 server with Desktop Experience enabled, and RDS CALS. I'm amazed MS hasn't been pinged with an anti-trust lawsuit yet by restricting their Win10 licenses to their own cloud offering.

  12. adnim



    If bean counters see a reduction of TCO... it will happen.


  13. revilo

    Be a kid again!

    I'm old enough to have worked on dumb terminals running applications from the main frame as a kid.

    It is all the same, but the new words ``virtual desktop"' and ``cloud" do not change the fact that users are no more in control. But we older users can rejoice: let's become kids again.

  14. leonardojones

    Windows Virtual Desktop is indeed a very important change in the Desktop As A Service in the IT world. The public preview is still a bit difficult to use and doesn’t seem to be quite fit for end user consumption yet, however if anything it will draw more public attention to the various options available for Desktop As A Service, and broaden the solution set for partners.

    So far the only really viable options seemed to be Citrix, VMWare, Amazon workspaces, or NetConnect (by Northbridge Secure).

    I have a preference for NetConnect because it’s so much more cost effective and so much easier than the other solutions to use. You can run it in your own infrastructure or any cloud you want, it’s compatible with traditional Remote Desktop, and very user-friendly. Plus it’s got all the DeX compatibility and HTML5 client that WVD is pushing as well – they even have a mouse for ipad users.

    All in all, it’ll be interesting to see if a multi-user Windows 10 makes a real different from a standard RDS server – if it doesn’t there’s a good chance I’ll stick to NetConnect…

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Also, as part of this announcement Microsoft have stated that anyone with RDS CALs gets the full FSLogix stack for free for use on premises as well as in the cloud. Massive news. No more roaming profiles and easy migration to O365.

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