Microsoft stated today that Windows Virtual Desktop will be renamed Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). It also highlighted a few new features that will be added to the service. According to the company, the changes and new features are intended to support the “broader vision and changing needs of [its] customers,” with more customers turning to Windows Virtual Desktop for a “secure, easy to manage, productive personal computing experience with Windows 10 from the cloud” as a result of the pandemic.
The first of the service's changes is increased support for Azure Active Directory (AAD). Users will be able to domain join their virtual desktops straight to AAD using minimal credentials. Admins will also be able to immediately deploy these virtual machines using Endpoint Manage, resulting in a "streamlined" deployment, according to the company. Reduced costs are another advantage, as there is no need for a domain controller.
As part of a public preview, these features and functionalities will be added soon. The Redmond company goes on to say that it will improve the service even more by adding support for single sign-on and FIDO2 keys.
Another feature now available in public preview is the ability to enrol and manage multi-session virtual machines in Windows 10 Enterprise through Endpoint Manager, similarly to physical computers. This enhances the Endpoint Manager admin centre's ability to manage both physical and virtual desktops. More information on the feature can be found on Microsoft's documentation webpage.
New deployment options for AVD machines are also on the way, thanks to a new QuickStart experience on the Azure site. Because of the "streamlined onboarding experience," users will be able to start automatic deployments via the Azure portal with just a "few clicks." According to Microsoft, the QuickStart experience will be available in preview form soon.
At last, Microsoft is rolling out new pricing choices for businesses that want to offer VDI capabilities and applications as a SaaS model. To help customers like software suppliers, the company is launching new monthly per-user access price options to allow external users to access apps from the cloud. A promotional period is also available for potential Azure customers to check out the function. Here's where you can learn more about the different pricing options.