Microsoft Office business customers will soon get an upgrade with the Windows Virtual Desktop service, which will improve virtualized environments. The tool is available in public preview and rollout is expected to happen later this year.
The tool provides management, multi-session use of Windows 10, support for remote desktop services, and optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus.
Windows Virtual Desktop
Microsoft’s Windows Virtual Desktop is a cloud-based tool, using the Azure network, that provides desktop and app virtualization services for business customers. Simply put, the tool will allow businesses to use Microsoft Office tools – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, among others – anywhere they need to.
Windows has already opened the tool up to public preview so that customers can get a taste of how it will work, including the optimizations for the Office 365 ProPlus suite of products. This also includes Outlook (email), OneDrive (file sharing), and Teams (collaboration).
The virtualization tools are powered by FSLogix container technology, which Microsoft acquired in late 2018. This technology integrates Office apps with virtual environments from Microsoft, Citrix, and VMWare and will be available for Microsoft 365 business customers.
Windows Virtual Desktop features are available for rollout during the public preview on virtual machines in any Azure region, and data will reside in the United States, regardless of the business region.
Windows Virtual Desktop runs on Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computer toolset. Azure is a cloud services provider that allows customers, including companies from small shops all the way to corporate enterprises, to store documents, data, images, and more in the cloud.
Azure cloud storage can be less costly than physical options and is more secure, reliable, and flexible than on-site servers. The best part about cloud services for most businesses is that data storage is scalable with more security at a lower cost, making it easy to change computing needs quickly.
Virtual Desktop is one of the expanding features available on the Microsoft Azure cloud. The cloud computing network has a global infrastructure with data storage locations around the world for quick and reliable service.
Key Features of Virtual Desktop
Windows Virtual Desktop is a business tool that helps create a flexible environment for software and data that can be scaled as the company grows. Virtualization allows you to create multiple desktop environments without having to deploy additional servers, and you can do it all in an existing Azure subscription.
The primary feature of a virtual environment is efficiency and cost reductions with the ability to use pooled, multi-session resources. This can result in a reduction of the number of virtual machines and operating system licenses your business needs to operate.
Key features include:
- Ability to provide an optimum Office experience for employees so they can be productive
- Ability to publish as many host pools as you need for varying workloads
- Ability to establish secure reverse connections so that inbound ports are never left open
- Ability to connect from any device using a native application or the Windows Virtual Desktop HTML5 client
- Ability to provide personal desktops with individual ownership and access rights
- Ability to create user groups and assign app access for different sets of users or user groups within your company
- Ability to manage and collect information to understand configuration or user errors
- Ability to use new diagnostics tools to troubleshoot issues and resolve them more quickly
- Ability to manage just virtual machines, so you don’t have to deal with remote desktop roles
Virtual Desktop Benefits
Why would your business use or move to desktop virtualization? The key benefit is the ability to provide access to Windows software and apps and data to any user at any location at any given time. Companies can choose to deploy tools at a specific location, in the cloud, or use hosted environments to improve efficiency and keep business moving smoothly.
Key benefits include:
- Ability to choose different deployment methods, on-site or through Azure
- Ability to use Windows apps on any device, including PC or Mac desktops, iOS, and Android
- Ability to scale the system based on business demand
- Ability to mimic the same user experience as native computer apps
- Ability to provide top-notch security for data and keep sensitive information off user devices
Access to Windows Virtual Desktop Features
Certain Microsoft 365 clients that are already virtualizing desktops or apps will be automatically upgraded at no additional cost. This includes businesses with Windows 10 or 7 with Microsoft 365 E3, E5, Business, F1, A3, or A5, as well as Windows 10 Enterprise E3, E5, A3, or A5 users.
Environments also need an Azure active directory, Windows Server Active Directory that syncs with Azure, and a subscription to Azure.
Connect Your PC to Other Devices
Microsoft Office software and apps connect to your PC using tiny pieces of software called drivers. Even in a virtual environment, automatic driver updates can ensure that all of your computers and peripherals are working as intended.
The best way to ensure that your PCs are functioning properly is with Driver Support. Driver Support will inventory computers and locate and update everything automatically, so you can spend more time on other things.