Azure Virtual Desktop vs Windows 365 Cloud PC: What is best for your Business

Cloud technology has been a game-changer for businesses of all sizes. It’s brought forth a new era of collaboration, increased flexibility, and scalability. What’s not to love? When it comes to choosing the right virtual desktop solutions for your business, there are a lot of options to choose from such as Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365 Cloud PC and other Azure Virtual Desktop alternatives

So, let’s get started!

What Is Azure Virtual Desktop?

Azure Virtual Desktop is a cloud-based desktop service that lets you access your Windows PC from anywhere, and delivers virtual desktops and remote apps with maximum control.

What is a Windows 365 Cloud PC?

Windows 365 Cloud PC is a full-featured software-as-a-service (SaaS) option that aims to provide a cloud-based PC experience. It is based on the Azure virtual desktops and uses Windows 10 as the operating system that securely delivers your customized Windows experience, including all of your programs, content, and settings, to any device.

We’re going to take a look at the two solutions and compare them.

A Comparison of the Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365 Cloud PC

Azure Virtual Desktop, and Windows 365 Cloud PC seem to be two of the most popular choices out there when it comes to virtual desktop services. Both systems offer a variety of features and benefits, but there are some key differences between them that you should be aware of before making a decision.  

Here’s a detailed one-on-one comparison of the features and benefits these two solutions offer. 

Here we go:

Management and Deployment

Azure Virtual Desktop Management and Deployment Entity 

  • Hosted in the customer Azure Subscription (Fully customer-managed). 
  • Full control over management and deployment, plus options for Citrix and VMware integration.
  • Windows 10 multi-session, Windows 10 single-session, Windows 7 single-session, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, and Windows Server 2019. 

Azure Virtual Desktop can be challenging to set up and manage, and you’ll need a good understanding of networking and security.

Windows 365 Cloud PC Management and Deployment Entity 

  • Hosted in a Microsoft managed Azure subscription (Microsoft with a customer- managed).  
  • Management and deployment with familiar desktop tools and skills.
  • Windows 10 or Windows 11 personalized desktop.

Quick Recap

Windows 365 Cloud PC is a good choice if you’re looking for an easy-to-use solution that’s already integrated with other Microsoft products.

Functionality offered by the two services

Azure Virtual Desktop is a service that allows you to create a virtual PC in the cloud. It provides all the functionality of Windows 10 Enterprise (single session) and EVD (multi-session).   Windows 365 Cloud PCs are Windows 10 machines that you can access from any device or location. 

Azure Virtual Desktop includes support

  • supports all current versions of Windows, including Windows 10 Enterprise (single session), EVD (multi-session) 
  • offers the ability to run custom applications and workloads

Windows 365 Cloud PC includes support 

  • Windows versions

Azure Virtual Desktop provides the same functionality as a desktop computer, but it does not have any local storage. The applications installed on this virtual machine are all running in the cloud, so they can be accessed from anywhere with internet connection. 

Windows 365 Cloud PC allows you to run your favorite apps, desktops and data from Microsoft Azure in an easy-to-use interface that looks just like Windows 10 but without any of the hardware requirements of a typical PC.

Quick Recap

With Azure Virtual Desktop, users have to be on the same network as their computer, but with Windows 365 Cloud PCs, it doesn’t matter where you are or what device you’re using. 

Pricing Model

Azure Virtual Desktop (and Windows 365 Cloud PC) gives businesses a choice between two different pricing models. 

Azure Virtual Desktop offers unlimited usage and storage space; while Windows 365 offers more customization and flexibility by default, but less storage capacity. 

To determine which cloud desktop solution is best suited for your business’ needs, you need to take into consideration how often it will be used (by how many users), what specific features each offers, and what maintenance costs may be involved with each option. 

Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365 Cloud PC both offer cloud-based desktops, which means that you don’t have to pay upfront for the hardware or software. 

Windows 365 Cloud PC charges a monthly subscription fee to access its cloud offerings, the pricing structure for Azure Virtual Desktop is entirely different: you buy the computing power you need on a per-minute basis.  

Azure Virtual Desktop Pricing Model

Azure Virtual Desktop is a pay-as-you-go service 

  • Charged by Compute / connection : ‘ pay for use ’.

Flexible consumption-based pricing  (Hosted in the customers Azure subscription Consumption-based billing) 

  • There is no additional cost if you have an eligible Windows, Microsoft 365, or Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access License (CAL). It gives you the best price on Windows 10 with Windows 10 multi-session, exclusive to Azure Virtual Desktop. 
  • It’s fully customizable, runs on Azure, and is the most affordable solution. 
  • Optimized for flexibility.

Windows 365 cloud PC Pricing Model

Windows 365 Cloud PC is a subscription-based service.

  •  Peruser, Permonth. 

Predictable per-user pricing (network access consumption based) 

  • It’s simple—predictable per-user pricing, turn-key to buy and deploy, and no special IT skills required. 
  • Optimized for simplicity.

Quick Recap

Azure Virtual Desktop is more expensive than Windows 365 Cloud PC. Windows 365 Cloud PC is a great option for businesses that want to cut costs. It offers the same features as Azure Virtual Desktop but at a lower price. 

General comparisons: Capability

Windows 365 Cloud PC and Azure Virtual Desktop are technologies designed for businesses of all sizes. They offer robust, reliable and cost-effective solutions for more than 500 million Windows devices worldwide.   

These virtual desktops enable companies to scale from the smallest organizations to the largest enterprises with no upfront capital investment, IT skills or bespoke hardware, making them ideal for SMB, SOHO and Enterprise customers. 

The key difference between Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365 Cloud PC:

  • Azure Virtual Desktop is only for virtual desktops while Windows 365 Cloud PC supports both virtual desktops and physical computers.

App Streaming

Azure Virtual Desktop also offers the ability to run custom applications and workloads, while Windows 365 Cloud PC does not.

  • RemoteApp 
  • Pooled Desktops 
  • Autoscaling

Windows 365 Cloud PC 

  • Windows 365 allows one user per license and doesn’t support multiple users on a single Cloud PC. 
  • Autoscaling: Not applicable due to fixed monthly cost.

Quick Recap

Azure Virtual Desktop is a good choice  for app streaming to create a low-latency, high-performance user experience from virtually anywhere on any device.

Key factors to consider when deciding between Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365 Cloud PC

Azure Virtual Desktop is the right solution when: 

  • You are comfortable with VDI solutions. 
  • You want to upgrade to the leading technology at an industry-leading price. 
  • You want the flexibility of fully customized environments. 

Azure Virtual Desktop provides a complete experience by including the same keyboard, mouse, and monitor that you have at home or in the office. 

Windows 365 Cloud PC is the right service when: 

  • You have not been previously serviced by Azure Virtual Desktop. 
  • You have a hybrid/dispersed or elastic (seasonal) workforce that want their PCs managed. 

Windows 365 Cloud PC is an Azure-powered service that gives you access to your Windows applications and desktops from any device. It includes all the features of Azure Virtual Desktop, but also includes Office 365 ProPlus for business customers, who need web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.    

Final Words: Which one is best for your business?

Ultimately, the best option for your business depends on the specific needs and preferences of your business.  Consider all the above options and determine the best option for your needs.      

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