What is Windows Virtual Desktop?

Microsoft made an announcement in September 2019 about the worldwide launch of its user-friendly Windows Virtual Desktop (“WVD”) which will revolutionize how people access their business data.
man using phone to access server

The cloud has been evolving and becoming an ever-present way for companies to store their data and provide their workforce with company-specific applications to do their jobs. The cloud has always required a physical device, usually a PC, to access the data and provide the workspace for an employee. What Microsoft is providing now is easy and affordable desktop virtualization which provides a virtual, portable instance of a Windows desktop, rather than having it be tied to a specific physical device like your desktop computer or laptop. 

Desktops have always served as the personal computing environment where your employees run their unique applications. Your employees then connected to the data on the servers, whether those servers were on-premise or in the cloud. Microsoft is providing a service where you combine desktop virtualization and the cloud. Your customized Windows environment, which includes everything you run on your desktop, can now be detached from any one physical device and now lives in the cloud. Access to your desktop is always the same and always simple when you have a secure internet connection.

There have already been some software offerings for allowing companies to access their virtual desktop space – RDS, Logmein, etc. Until now, these software solutions have been expensive to deploy and have not always been loved by the users. Microsoft was not one of the original players in the virtual desktop space. Now Microsoft believes that factors such as robust cloud infrastructure, fast connectivity, and improvements in software applications make virtual desktops compatible with a positive user experience that is as good or better than having your best access limited to your main physical computer. With Windows Virtual Desktop you can have your unique office tools delivered to you simply and securely on any connected device, including a tablet or smartphone. 

Small businesses with an IT staff or managed IT provider can easily deploy Windows Virtual Desktop and the company will spend fewer resources on the upkeep of a PCs, since employees can access their desktop via a less expensive thin client with internet access. It also makes managing new software updates and purchases much easier because the software is deployed centrally to all users. For a business with remote workers or contractors, another key advantage is that they can access their desktop externally from the device of their choice.

Affordable licensing, previously a major obstacle for Microsoft desktop virtualization, has now also been addressed. Holders of the following Windows licenses can access Windows desktops and apps at no additional cost:

  • Microsoft 365 E3
  • Microsoft 365 E5
  • Microsoft 365 F1
  • Windows E3
  • Windows E5

Support for the platform is extended across other systems, so it becomes cheaper to provide virtual desktops individually.

To Schedule a Free Demo of Windows Virtual Desktop, Contact mpsWORKS.

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