Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365, and Cloud PCs
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In this course, we take an introductory look at administration within Microsoft 365.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the capabilities of the Microsoft 365 admin center
  • Describe user licensing, roles, and reporting in the Microsoft 365 admin center
  • Explain how Microsoft 365 helps manage applications and devices
  • Understand the Microsoft support structure for Microsoft 365 services

Intended Audience

  • Users new to Microsoft 365
  • Users who want to learn the administrative tools and capabilities available within Microsoft 365


To get the most out of this course, you should have an understanding of general technical concepts. 


Azure virtual desktops and Cloud PCs with Windows 365 are similar, however, they differ slightly in capabilities and cost. Both offer similar benefits, however, organizations may vary in which service they decide to implement. The main benefits to using either of these solutions are similar to that of any cloud solution. Reduced hardware costs, improved security, and quick scalability just to name a few. Azure virtual desktop is a virtualization tool organizations can use to create a cloud environment of Windows Operating Systems or apps. 

Organizations can choose to implement full desktops or individual remote application services from nearly any type of device with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android support. It has features like multi-session which enables organizations more control over their virtual machines to allow multiple users access to the same virtual machine. This alongside cloud scalability saves costs by allowing organizations to scale up or down as needed and only pay for the services they use. And with Azure virtual desktop apps, there is minimal difference for the users. Apps integrate directly into the start menu with the same functionality as full local applications within the Windows OS. 

Windows 365, on the other hand, is a bit different than Azure virtual desktops. Windows 365 is a service which creates a Windows virtual machine users can access through once they are assigned a license. The biggest difference with Windows 365 services is that users have a one-to-one connection with their PC that can essentially be explained as a personal PC in the cloud. Windows 365 has two different additions, being Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise. Windows 365 Business is made for smaller organizations, specifically up to 300 seats and provides cloud PCs with basic and streamlined management options. 

Windows 365 Enterprise is a step above that and allows for unlimited seats. Organizations can customize cloud PCs based on specific device images and has management capabilities integrated with the Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Since Windows 365 Enterprise enables device management through the Microsoft Endpoint Manager, it is worth seeing what other value it provides when deciding which solution is right for your organization. The Microsoft Endpoint Manager combines a bunch of other services which include Microsoft Intune, the Configuration Manager, Desktop Analytics, Core Management, and Windows Autopilot. 

All of these services come together in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager to manage your organization's devices and protect your organization's data. And on top of that, the Endpoint Manager also utilizes Azure AD for identity services to maintain identities across the organization's environment. Now, when considering which service an organization should use, there are a couple of options that they should consider. One: What specific services do they need?

Do they need a complete cloud PC? Do they just need app virtualization, or do you want full control over the environments? Two: Do you have IT to manage infrastructure? Azure virtual desktops provides more customizability but requires managing of the virtualized infrastructure, while Windows 365 desktop infrastructure is all managed by Microsoft. And finally three, the cost. Both services vary in cost depending upon the licenses and services needed. Both solutions provide similar support, however, it is important to consider these questions when deciding which solution will work best for your organization's unique needs.


About the Author
Learning Paths

Lee has spent most of his professional career learning as much as he could about PC hardware and software while working as a PC technician with Microsoft. Once covid hit, he moved into a customer training role with the goal to get as many people prepared for remote work as possible using Microsoft 365. Being both Microsoft 365 certified and a self-proclaimed Microsoft Teams expert, Lee continues to expand his knowledge by working through the wide range of Microsoft certifications.