Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop rebranded as Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop

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Effective June 7, 2021, Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop is rebranded as Azure Virtual Desktop. There are several new features in preview and a new licensing option including a no-cost promotional period.

Users licensed with Microsoft 365 E3/E5/F3/Business Premium, Windows 10 E3/E5 or Windows 10 VDA E3/E5 licenses still have rights to the service for virtual desktops and apps. Now, there is also a per user option for external users which is a monthly per user price with a no-cost promotional period from July 14, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

Azure Virtual Desktop, formerly known as Windows Virtual Desktop, is a Microsoft Azure-based system for virtualizing its Windows operating systems, providing virtualized desktops and applications in the cloud.

New platform capabilities for security and management include:

  • Enhanced support for Azure Active Directory (coming soon in public preview): Enables you to join your Azure Virtual Desktop virtual machines directly to Azure Active Directory (AAD) and connect to the virtual machines from any device with basic credentials. It also enables you to automatically enroll the virtual machines with Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
  • Manage Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session virtual machines with Microsoft Endpoint Manager (available now in preview): Enables you to enroll Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session Azure Virtual Desktop virtual machines in Microsoft Endpoint Manager and manage them in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center the same way as shared physical devices.
  • Deploy in minutes with new onboarding experience (coming soon in preview): This is a streamlined onboarding experience for Azure Virtual Desktop in the Azure portal, which validates requirements, kicks off an automated deployment, and also implements best practices.

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