Microsoft has finally made Windows Virtual Desktop available for public preview to let interested users take a crack at the new program.
The company first announced its strategy for the WVD in 2018. It planned to release an early version of the program for public testing before the end of last year but decided to postpone it.
Microsoft said its new product is the only one that offers simplified management, a multi-session Windows 10 experience, and optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus. It also provides support for desktops and applications for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services.
The WVD allows users to easily launch their Windows desktops and applications using Azure while also enjoying the built-in security packaged with the system. The new program uses FSLogix technologies to make loading times faster for Windows applications.
Windows Virtual Desktop
Microsoft's WVD was opened for private preview in September. It allowed the company's developers to work with partners and customers to further shape the new desktop program. One partner Microsoft had a chance to collaborate with was X5 Music Group, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group.
Klas Broman, chief technology officer and lead developer at X5 Music Group, discusses the benefits of using the WVD for businesses.
"Within the music industry, we have to access, manage, and store large volumes of complex metadata securely," he noted.
"Windows Virtual Desktop is a great way of bringing data-heavy applications into our cloud platform without the need to rewrite the application."
Broman said the WVD also offers several other advantages, such as making it easy for organizations to control the number of users while also reducing the attack surface of their applications.
With the desktop program now entering public preview, Microsoft said it will continue to reach out to users for feedback. This will help make sure that the WVD meets users' needs as it heads toward its official release in the second half of 2019.
Microsoft also addressed concerns about the impending end of Windows 7 support by January 2020. Some users still require support for their legacy applications as they prepare to migrate to Windows 10.
The company said the WVD will soon allow the virtualization of Windows 7 desktops with Extended Security Updates. The support will be available until January 2023. This gives users a comprehensive solution for Windows 7 desktops and apps alongside those for the Windows 10 and Windows Server.
How To Access The Virtual Desktop Preview
The Windows Virtual Desktop was built primarily to support enterprises. The program was designed to help make computer and software management easier for businesses. Employers can use the virtual desktop to give employees working off-site a safe way to access their databases.
To access the WVD preview, users first have to set up their Azure subscriptions. They then have chosen what type of virtual machines and storage they want to use for their environment.
For businesses who already have existing accounts for Microsoft 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, or Windows VDA, they can launch their Windows 7 and Windows 10 desktops and application with no additional cost.
Customers with existing Microsoft RDS Client Access License accounts can also access their desktops and apps for Windows Server with no extra cost.