An unbearable itch to migrate your OS to the cloud? You might have a case of Windows VD

Microsoft launched Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) while reminding users that Windows 7 is getting closer to the end of support.

Unless they sign up to run their Windows 7 desktops in Microsoft's cloudy data centers for extended security updates (ESU) until January 2023.

WVD preview in March this year, later than expected. However, according to Scott Manchester, principal engineering director for the Windows virtual desktop, more than 20,000 people signed up, or tried to jump through Active Directory and Azure Hoops for the service to work.

Corporate expert Brad Anderson told us that the number of concurrent users in the preview was measured in thousands. Manchester added that more than 10,000 business customers had managed to implement the public preview.

As a reminder, the company recently boasted that the adoption of Windows 10 had reached the mark of 900 million devices.

WVD is aimed directly at companies. As for the service offered to consumers as part of a possible Microsoft 365 Home, Anderson told us bluntly: "There is no plan at this time."

However, Manchester added that the company is considering how to bring the technology to Microsoft. Local cloud, Azure Stack, and told us that the Windows giant is "actively discussing with customers about the viability of that solution."

When asked what had changed between public preview and general availability today, the answer was the surprising discovery (at least for Microsoft) that there is indeed a world outside the United States. The original plan, according to Manchester, was that "it would be a regional service, and then we would support the United States. And then we would go to other regions over time."

However, it quickly became clear that customers were eager to be more local, hence the worldwide presentation. After all, being able to locate the Windows desktop near the data will inevitably make things more agile. And regulators are likely to be less problematic with respect to the location of virtual machines.

While Microsoft was eager to talk about the capacity of multiple sessions of Windows 10, a technology that allows sharing resources, many administrators will consider that three-year extension for Windows 7 support (assuming they have the correct license).

Naturally, Anderson would prefer users to jump to Windows 10 and is eager to highlight the company's Desktop App Assure program, which has "seen about 500,000 applications that customers have brought us" and "less than 400 that really have had compatibility issues. "

Although if you have that particular bit of hardware that needs a particular driver from a particular manufacturer that has long since terminated support, you may not be lucky.

Of course, once on Windows 10 and running on WVD, Manchester told us that the company wants users to remain in a "compatible version" of the operating system, with an image gallery is to help. Although, as with most virtualization services, users can also customize the image according to their needs before loading it into storage.

The gang has also modified the architecture to allow applications packaged with MSIX to dynamically connect to a virtual machine instead of being installed. permanently. The idea is that doing so should decrease storage needs and facilitate administration and updates.

As for the competition, the official noises of the Citrix and VMware camps are positive. The Citrix virtual applications and desktops service can be hosted on WVD with the company that offers support today. VMware will continue with a preview of its Horizon Cloud extending WVD by the end of the year.

It is difficult not to imagine a certain nervousness in the providers of existing virtual desktops, taking into account Microsoft's custom of robbing those who thought of themselves as one of the team. However, Anderson hastened to insist that nothing had really changed: "For the past 20 years, what we have done is that we sent a virtualization solution on Windows Server and Citrix and VMware have relied on that.

" in the same way that we send, you know, a core-based solution in Windows, Windows Virtual Desktop is equivalent. "

So don't worry, guys. Nadella and company aren't coming to get your lunch. Not yet. , in any case. ®

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