Microsoft and VMware have announced the integration of its Windows 365 desktop-as-a-service offering with VMware Horizon cloud virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) service. This integration allows users to experience the combined benefits of both platforms. The service is currently available for public preview, and interested parties can sign up to try out the integrated service.
The integration leverages VMware's Blast Extreme protocol, which is designed to enhance the Microsoft Windows 365 experience. This protocol supports a variety of features, including personalized virtual desktops, data compliance, encryption, and GPU support for graphics-intensive applications. It also offers compatibility across multiple platforms such as Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, and web clients.
This integration isn't the first collaboration between Microsoft and VMware. The two tech giants have previously worked together on integrating Microsoft's Windows Virtual Desktop VDI service (now known as Azure Virtual Desktop) with VMware Horizon Cloud. This partnership was initiated in 2019 when Microsoft launched the Azure Virtual Desktop service. Additionally, the two companies have collaborated on running VMware workloads on Microsoft Azure infrastructure.
With the integration of Windows 365 on VMware Horizon Cloud, users of Windows 365 Cloud PC and VMware will have the capability to access persistent, cloud-hosted Windows 11 or Windows 10 desktops from any location and on any device. Furthermore, the provisioning and configuration of these Cloud PCs can be managed using Microsoft Intune, Microsoft's mobile management service.
What This Announcement Means for Users
During July 2021, Microsoft introduced Windows 365 Cloud PC, a virtual version of the OS available in the cloud. In August of the same year, Microsoft matured Cloud PC with the launch of Windows 365. Windows 365 brings the Windows platform to Microsoft cloud through Azure. The platform is a secure version of Windows that includes apps, settings, and data. It is available on corporate and personal devices.
According to the official announcement on VMware's blog, the collaboration between Microsoft and VMware aims to provide organizations with solutions that enhance workforce flexibility and security. The integration of Windows 365 with Horizon Cloud offers businesses the ability to access virtual Windows 10 and 11 desktops on any connected device.
Scott Manchester, Director of Product Management for the Microsoft Windows Cloud Experience team, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “Horizon support for Azure Virtual Desktop has played an important role in helping customers manage their hybrid cloud journey. Now, VMware Horizon admins will also be able to provision and stream a more secure, personalized Windows 365 Cloud PC experience for users through Intune or their existing Horizon management console.”
Shikha Mittal, Senior Director of Product Management for VMware Horizon Cloud, also highlighted the long-standing partnership between VMware and Microsoft. She emphasized the benefits of integrating Windows 365 with Horizon deployments to cater to various use cases.
“We are excited to expand our collaboration to include Windows 365 and offer industry-leading VMware value to the new personal computing category and support every type of end user. Customers can now seamlessly add Windows 365 to their Horizon deployments to support different use cases.”