For those not in the know, WvD (Windows Virtual Desktop) is a cloud-based app and desktop virtualization service that offers tailor-made desktop capabilities based on user needs. With WvD, users can create different desktop environments that are accessible from any device.
However, recently Microsoft (the owner of WvD) decided to rebrand the service as Azure Virtual Desktop, or AvD. But why the sudden change, you may ask; and what’s the difference between the two services? These are some of the aspects of the WvD to AvD journey that we’re going to explore today.
So, let’s get started with it without further chit-chat!
What Is Azure Virtual Desktop?
We’ve already mentioned in brief what WvD is, and what it can do. AvD is simply the updated and rebranded version of the same service, more inclined towards offering generalized remote desktop services based on the Microsoft Azure platform.
Similar to WvD, AvD can also allow users to set up multi-session, scalable and location-independent desktop services customized to their needs. While WvD was meant more for Windows users, AvD aims to become a more inclusive virtual desktop service through the rebrand. Since AvD runs on top of the Azure public cloud, Microsoft’s virtualization services are no longer confined to Windows users alone.
AvD not only allows you to virtualize desktops, but provides options for app virtualization as well. Using AvD, users can bring their personal desktops and apps to any workstation, leading to greater flexibility. And as we all know, the ability to access your work from any location is essential in today’s post-pandemic scenario.
Today, AvD supports multiple operating systems, including Android, iOS and macOS. And apart from the enhanced scalability and collaborative features, AvD is fully managed by Microsoft, which means businesses just need to configure and use it.
Bottom line, with the rebrand, Microsoft aims to position AvD as a virtual desktop platform that offers more non-Windows features and services. This way, they aim to reach a wider customer base and explore greater horizons.
How Is AvD Better Than WvD?
If you’re not someone who’s into the nitty-gritty of technology, then AvD is simply a new name for the preexisting WvD. However, even though AvD does incorporate the essential features of WvD, it has some enhancements that make it a cloud desktop platform worth exploring.
Here’s a brief list of some of the features of AvD that make it better than WvD:
- Ability to manage physical as well as virtual desktop environments
- Faster onboarding using QuickStart
- Enhanced security through Azure Active Directory
- Automatic VM enrollment using Microsoft Endpoint Manager
- Better, more flexible pricing plans
Requirements For Running AvD
If reading till this point has already enticed you to get an AvD subscription, then we recommend you take a look at the following infrastructural requirements needed for running AvD:
- Windows Server Active Directory should sync with Azure Active Directory
- Azure VMs should run any of the VM OS images supported by AvD, such as Windows 10 Enterprise
- All your VMs should be hybrid AD-joined or standard domain-joined
Apart from the above, you might also need to unblock specific URLs for deploying AvD.
To sum up, the journey from WvD to AvD is actually more than meets the eye. Though critics might consider it as a simple rebrand aimed to gain more customers, there are significant improvements that have been made to the service as well.