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Windows 365 vs Azure Virtual Desktop

Windows 365 vs Azure Virtual Desktop is an interesting topic that we seek to explore in this article. They are both cloud-based virtualisation solutions offered by Microsoft. However, they cater to different users’ requirements and contain key differences such as deployment, scalability, licensing and more. In this article we will compare the two products based on these key factors.


Windows 365 is designed to be a fully managed cloud PC service that streamlines the deployment process. It provides a user-friendly portal where administrators, with ease, can set up and deploy virtual Windows desktops within a few clicks. The underlying infrastructure, including virtual machines, storage, and networking is abstracted from the users. This therefore makes it a straightforward solution for organisations that want a quick and hassle-free setup. On the other hand, Azure Virtual Desktop requires more configuration and management. This involves setting up and managing virtual machines, networking, storage accounts, and Active Directory integration. Therefore, this makes it more suitable for organisations with IT expertise and experience in managing complex virtualisation environments.


Windows 365 vs Azure Virtual Desktop in terms of scalability is a good topic. Windows 365 provides a more streamlined experience. In Windows 365, administrators can easily add or remove users, assign various resources, and manage licenses through the Windows 365 portal. It provides a pay-as-you-go pricing model, allowing organisations to scale up or down based on their requirements. Azure Virtual Desktop, on the other hand, requires much more manual configuration and management for scaling. Such as provisioning additional virtual machines, managing storage accounts, and load balancing. This could require more technical expertise and effort, making it more suitable for larger companies with dedicated IT resources.


Windows 365 includes the licensing for Windows 10 or Windows 11, in addition to Office apps, which provides a comprehensive solution for virtual desktops. It simplifies the licensing process and ensures that companies have the correct licenses to use Windows and Office in their virtual desktop environment. Whereas Azure Virtual Desktop requires separate licensing for Windows and Office. This can be more complex and costly to manage, especially for large deployments. Organisations need to ensure that they have the right licenses for both the virtual machines and the applications running on them. This could require additional licensing management and compliance efforts.


Azure Virtual Desktop provides further customisation options compared to Windows 365. It allows organisations to configure virtual machines based on their specific requirements. Such as choosing different VM sizes, networking configurations, storage options, and even using their existing Azure resources. This increased flexibility makes it suitable for organisations with unique needs, specialised applications, or specific security requirements. However, Windows 365 provides a standardised experience, with limited customisation options. Organisations could have less control over the underlying infrastructure and configurations. This may not be suitable for those with specific customisation requirements.


Windows 365 is designed to be a simplified and managed solution. Microsoft will take care of most management tasks, such as updates, backups, and security patches. Administrators can focus on managing resources and users through the Windows 365 portal, while the underlying infrastructure is abstracted from them. This makes it fitting for companies that favour a hands-off approach to management. On the other hand, Azure Virtual Desktop requires more hands-on management. This includes managing virtual machines, security settings, and networking. Organisations need to have IT expertise to configure, monitor, and manage the various components of Azure Virtual Desktop. This is likely to require more time and effort compared to Windows 365.


In conclusion, Windows 365 is a better option for companies that prioritise simplicity, ease of use, and a managed approach to virtual desktops. It is much more suitable for small to medium-sized businesses or organisations that do not need extensive customisation or have limited IT expertise. In contrast, Azure Virtual Desktop is a more customisable and scalable solution. It is much more suitable for larger organisations or those with unique requirements. However, it requires more technical expertise and effort to configure and manage. Organisations with IT expertise, specific customization requirements, or advanced use cases may find Azure Virtual Desktop to be a better fit. We hope this article on Windows 365 vs Azure Virtual Desktop has helped you in your decision-making process.

If you need help in deciding which is better for you, Windows 365 vs Azure Virtual Desktop, Cambridge Support will be willing to help. Our blog on 4 benefits of Azure Virtual Desktop for 2023 and Windows 365: A new Microsoft Cloud PC platform may help. Feel free to contact us, give us a ring on 01223 921 000 or email us at