Why are people excited about moving their entire remote desktop to Windows Virtual Desktop as their new workspace? Isn’t it strange that so many people are excited that they don’t have to change the way they work for a few more years? Because let’s face it: isn’t Windows Virtual Desktop an excuse to easily maintain your remote desktop? Isn’t it just an easy way out of researching a true browser-based workspace?

Is WVD truly a modern workspace or is, in this case, the Dutch saying spot on; even if a monkey wears a golden ring, he will still be an ugly thing?

I challenge you to think differently about Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)

There was a lot of buzz about Microsoft’s release of the Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). Microsoft positions Windows Virtual Desktop as a modern desktop solution, but I’d like to challenge you to think about these questions:

  • What is the difference between RDS and WVD for the people who work with it?
  • Why would you move from one remote desktop to another?
  • Does everyone in your organisation still need a remote desktop?
  • Isn’t it time to make the shift to a browser-based workspace?
  • Isn’t it time to change your way of working after doing the same thing for 10+ years?

We discussed this question with our partners and customers and we’re happy to share the findings.

Move workspace from RDS to Windows Virtual Desktop WVD - ugly monkey

Why move from RDS/Citrix to Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)?

Most companies that are (thinking about) moving completely to Windows Virtual Desktop as their new workspace, do this for the price or for the technological advantages. Below, I’d like to give you a quick overview of some advantages and disadvantages of Windows Virtual Desktop compared to RDS:

Saving costs on your remote environment and Citrix?

As you may have heard, WVD simplifies licensing as it is included for customers who are already on a Windows 10 Enterprise subscription or who are planning to move to it (E.g. Microsoft 365 E3/E5/A3/A5/Business). For those customers, the chances are big that WVD is more cost-efficient than RDS. With RDS they needed a Server OS, RDS and Office ProPlus license, with WVD these are all included. Although, there should be a side note, as your Azure consumption is not included. If you want to understand more about the costs of WVD check this article by Nerdio.

“Citrix is something that many customers want out, because of the costs. As most companies have some legacy apps they hope to optimize their costs”


Why does Microsoft position Windows Virtual Desktop as a modern desktop?

Some benefits of using WVD are that it allows a native Windows 10 desktop experience and that the WVD management service is managed by Microsoft as a PaaS service.

But although these can be advantages, they also bring challenges to some organisations. It can cause issues for applications that are developed specifically for RDS on a Server OS. Furthermore, not all customers and MSPs are happy to give the full ownership to Microsoft, as they want to manage the desktop VMs and the control plane themselves.

There are also still customers and MSPs who want to control their RDS, as they have an on-premises setup while WVD can only be used with Azure.

“We see the WVD proposition as a replacement for RDS / Citrix in our data centre, not as a modern workspace solution”

Remote desktops will die, why move to another remote desktop?

In the past years, I’ve spoken to many Managed Service Providers and customers who are moving away from remote desktops, as all their applications are shifting to the browser.

While some customers completely moved from Citrix XenApp to a browser-based workspace, we also see a lot of customers that use Workspace 365 to create a hybrid workspace.

So why is there so much fuss about WVD?

I get it, WVD simplifies the cost and management of the remote desktop, but isn’t it time to move away from that remote desktop?

The browser is the standard for new applications. Large groups of employees don’t need their remote desktop. That is why I feel that moving all your employees to WVD is not a step forward. It just gives you the option to maintain your old way of working for some more years while your competitors and the market are moving to modern browser-based workspaces.

Don’t get me wrong, I also love Windows Virtual Desktop, we also integrate it within Workspace 365.

Why does Workspace 365 integrate WVD, Citrix Workspace, and RDP?

As mentioned above, we understand that some people in your organisation need a remote desktop to access specific applications. That is why we will soon launch launch a first version of our Windows Virtual Desktop integration (from update 3.7) and already integrate Clientless RDP and Citrix Workspace within Workspace 365.

The reason that we love WVD in your workspace is that it allows you to bring down your infrastructure and licensing costs. Integrating WVD remote applications within Workspace 365 allows you to decrease your total cost of ownership.

In Workspace 365 people will only open the remote applications instead of a complete remote desktop. This allows you to bring down your Azure consumption and its costs. Check out this calculator to discover the Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) costs.

By doing this, you can move to an adaptive browser-based workspace today. A workspace that automatically adapts to your role, location, device and desktop needs.

Everyone in your organisation has the same user-interface for their workspace. Only those who still need applications (or the entire remote desktop) get them based on their role. We even simplify the access to remote applications by offering Single Sign-On.

Customers that still have some hybrid workspaces notice that it allows people to easily work on their device, while still being able to access their remote applications when needed.

About our upcoming WVD integration in Workspace 365

Within Workspace 365, you will be able to open specific applications using Windows Virtual Desktop on your managed devices. After clicking the application within the workspace, people will be prompted to enter their credentials once, which they can save. After doing this, they can simply click on any application from WVD and start it from Workspace 365.

We always advise organisations to research the need for a remote desktop. If people don’t need a remote desktop, it’s better to offer a browser-based workspace in which they also have their intranet components (calendar, contacts, news, social feeds) and information from their web applications in live tiles.

Are you still considering switching between remote desktops?

Read these articles:

Why MSPs choose an adaptive workspace that supports Citrix and RDP?

Do we still need Citrix?

What is a hybrid workspace? And how it differs from an adaptive workspace

Whitepaper: The price and ROI of an adaptive workspace

Mark Grasmayer

Mark Grasmayer

Product Evangelist

Do you have any further questions about the demo environment, Workspace 365 or do you have feedback for us? Send a message to: [email protected]