The Difference Between WVD and AVD
You may have heard some buzz lately about a new acronym in the tech world. It’s AVD, which stands for Azure Virtual Desktop and replaces the long-standing and familiar Windows Virtual Desktop or WVD as we all know it. But why the change? Why did Microsoft up and rebrand a tech household acronym like WVD, and more importantly, what has changed? Not too much. It is more of a "rebrand" or renaming of the technology. Read on to learn more about the minor changes to AVD and new subscription offerings.
What is Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)?
Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD and formerly Windows Virtual Desktop, WVD) is a desktop and app virtualization service that runs on the cloud. AVD offers several options for your virtual apps and desktops; you can:
- Set up a multi-session Windows 10 deployment that delivers a full Windows 10 with scalability
- Virtualize Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise and optimize it to run in multi-user virtual scenarios
- Provide Windows 7 virtual desktops with free Extended Security Updates
- Bring your existing Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and Windows Server desktops and apps to any computer
- Virtualize both desktops and apps
- Manage Windows 10, Windows Server, and Windows 7 desktops and apps with a unified management experience
What Does AVD Have that WVD Did Not?
Azure Virtual Desktop is Microsoft's answer to organizations' needs to support an evolving set of remote and hybrid work scenarios. Microsoft has expanded its vision to become a flexible cloud VDI platform for nearly any use case—accessible from virtually anywhere to meet new hybrid work demands. The team at Microsoft knows that a modern VDI platform must first be secure, scalable, and easy to manage. At the same time, it also must deliver a seamless, high-performance experience to the end-user and empower organizations with the flexibility they require to customize and build solutions with its core technology.
AVD is the answer to the new needs of businesses everywhere. AVD brings some new capabilities, new pricing for app streaming, and of course, the new name Azure Virtual Desktop.
Abbreviated list of updates for AVD
New platform capabilities for security and management
- Enhanced support for Azure Active Directory (coming soon in public preview)
- Manage Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session virtual machines with Microsoft Endpoint Manager (available now in preview)
- Deploy in minutes with new onboarding experience (coming soon in preview)
New pricing options for remote app streaming
Microsoft announced a monthly per-user access pricing option for organizations to use Azure Virtual Desktop to deliver apps from the cloud to external users. In addition to the monthly user price, organizations also pay for Azure infrastructure services based on usage.
How to Access the New AVD Pricing
The new per-user access pricing option will be effective on January 1, 2022. To help organizations get started now, Microsoft is offering a promotion with no charge to access Azure Virtual Desktop for streaming first-party or third-party applications to external users. This promotion is effective from July 14, 2021, to December 31, 2021.
Pricing for monthly user access rights effective on January 1, 2022, will be:
- $5.50 per user per month (Apps)
- $10 per user per month (Apps + Desktops)
*The Promotion only applies to external user access rights. Organizations would continue to pay for the underlying Azure infrastructure and should continue to use existing Windows license entitlements, such as Microsoft 365 E3 or Windows E3 and higher, for app streaming to their employees. Details here pricing.