Azure Virtual Desktop or Windows 365 – which one is right for you?

Digital transformation in the public sector is a top priority and cloud solutions, such as Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) and Windows 365 are key in supporting your organisation’s hybrid working environment. But how do you know which is a better match for your organisation?

While the similarities between Microsoft AVD and Windows 365 could suggest that they are interchangeable, there are key differences between the two that will determine which is best suited to your organisation’s specific requirements, IT admin capabilities, and goals. Read on to find out how you can decide which one is right for you.

AVD vs Windows 365 

Both AVD and Windows 365 are cloud-based virtual desktop solutions, each offering different benefits based on your organisation’s needs. When choosing between the two, you should take into consideration the size of your organisation, your flexible and hybrid working requirements, and your budget.

AVD features 

AVD is a cloud VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) that delivers hosted desktops and apps. It offers the greatest flexibility and relies heavily on Azure management concepts.

AVD is better suited to organisations where cost is a priority and the number of virtual desktop users varies throughout the month. With AVD you are only charged when users are active, while Windows 365 works on a per-user licence model, meaning you are charged immediately for purchasing a licence whether it is used or not. It also allows you to publish single applications remotely to devices rather than a full Windows desktop experience.

AVD provides:

  • Windows 10 or Windows Server multi-session desktops
  • Remote App streaming
  • Citrix, VMware, and native deployment options
  • Full IT controls for VM infrastructure management
  • Flexible consumption-based pricing

Windows 365 features 

Optimised for simplicity, Windows 365 is a complete software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that securely streams a personalised Windows experience to any device, anywhere. It simplifies management by creating an experience very similar to a physical desktop and utilises the same Microsoft tools to manage physical and virtual PCs.

For organisations with fewer than 10 desktops that require a centrally management solution, Windows 365 Business is ideal. However, Windows 365 Enterprise suits organisations of all sizes that require control over network access and centralised management. With per-user fixed monthly costs, Windows 365 is also more cost-effective for organisations where their users need constant access to their virtual desktops.

Windows 365 delivers:

  • Windows personalised desktops
  • A complete end-to-end Microsoft service
  • One stop admin in Microsoft Endpoint Manager
  • Direct self-service models
  • Predictable per user pricing

Download our ‘AVD or Windows 365?’ infographic now for a more in-depth look at the differences between Microsoft AVD and Windows 365.

Need some advice?

As Microsoft Partner of the Year 2021, we will help you to find a desktop-as-service solution that supports your organisation’s digital transformation plans. Book your free consultation with one of our Microsoft AVD and Windows 365 specialists now to get started.

Naomi Busuttil
Naomi Busuttil

Naomi is Phoenix's marketing copywriter with more than ten years' experience creating a variety of content for web, print, social media, and email marketing. With a background spanning all marketing disciplines gained notably within the housing, sustainability, and not-for-profit industries, Naomi is familiar with the challenges the public sector faces and is passionate about producing content with accessibility in mind.

See all posts by Naomi Busuttil