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Azure Virtual Desktop: More than a Windows Virtual Desktop re-brand?

by Eamon McCarthy Earls
Assistant Editor,

In recent months, Microsoft relaunched Windows Virtual Desktop as Azure Virtual Desktop. The change has left some wondering: what is in a name? Is there anything different about Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)? MSCloudNews reached out to Azure experts about the change.

For those that haven't followed the change closely there is a simple answer: AVD is different than WVD. Mahadeva Bisappa, Principal Architect at SPR, explained that AVD is more than a re-brand. It is an effort by Microsoft to provide a “desktop-as-a-service” with flexible pricing and configurations, as well as rapid provisioning.

Microsoft has updated AVD to integrate with Azure Active Directory for authentication and security management. [This] enables optimized compute resource utilization with host pools, enables seamless user profile management with FSLogix, [provides] capabilities [for] access to operating systems or modern web-browsers from anywhere with an internet connection, and provides a choice of [Office versions between] Windows 7 and Windows 11, as well as many Windows Server versions to be hosted on those Virtual Desktops. [You can] install Microsoft Office 365 and any custom software and make them available to the users quickly and[are] able to use them seamlessly.

AVD offers a way to migrate from on-prem physical computers to virtual computers at a low cost. According to Bisappa, Microsoft has positioned its cloud-based virtual desktop offering to overcome speed and processing limitations faced by physical computers when faced with certain workloads. AVD gives end-users a way to continue working on older hardware while accessing improved compute.

Microsoft partners, ISVs, and system integrators are still in the process of structuring business offerings around AVD as a component of broader digital transformation initiatives for clients. Robert Jolliffe, owner of MicroAge Kitchener explained:

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About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor at, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Before joining, Eamon was editor for at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.