Microsoft Renames Its Windows Virtual Desktop To 'Azure Virtual Desktop'

Microsoft Azure

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) was Microsoft's tool which has provided virtualized desktops and apps in the cloud for almost three years.

As more and more people are starting to get used in working at home, or remote working, it comes to no surprise that tech giants are benefiting handsomely. And Microsoft here, has had its WVD, which allowed users to access a fully managed Windows 10 desktop experience from virtually anywhere,

WVD was designed to mainly serve Microsoft's enterprise customers.

However, as the world is still battling the 'COVID-19' coronavirus, WVD is seeing a change in its user base.

Because of this, Microsoft's vision for the product is changing as well.

This leads to Microsoft in changing WVD's name to 'Azure Virtual Desktop', or AVD.

According to Kam VedBrat, Microsoft’s general manager for Azure Virtual Desktop:

"When we first went GA with Windows Virtual Desktop, about a year and a half ago, the world was a very different place."

"And to be blunt, we looked at the service and what we were building, who we were building it for, pretty differently. No one at that time had any idea that this global pandemic was going to happen and that it would cause so many organizations around the world and millions of people to have to essentially leave the office and work from home — and the role the service would play in enabling a lot of that."

The rename also comes with some added capabilities:

  1. Enhanced support for Azure Active Directory (AAD).
  2. Manage Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session VMs with Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
  3. Quickstart deployment.
  4. Desktop apps as a service for customers and partners.
Microsoft AVD

"The rebrand to Azure Virtual Desktop represents Microsoft’s expanded vision to become a flexible Azure-based cloud VDI platform for nearly any use case, accessible from [almost] anywhere,” said the Microsoft representative.

“A modern desktop and app virtualization platform needs to be secure, scalable, and easy to manage, while delivering a seamless, high-performance experience to end-users."

With the name change, Microsoft also announced enhanced support for Azure Active Directory in preview, as well as a monthly per-user pricing option for delivering apps through Azure Virtual Desktops to external users.

Microsoft has a promotional period for this new pricing option that runs from July 14, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

During this promotion period, Microsoft is taking no fees for users' access to Azure Virtual Desktop for streaming first or third-party apps to external users.

Enterprise users however, are still required to pay for underlying Azure infrastructure during the promotional period.