By ProServeIT on January 03, 2023

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) explained: W365 vs AVD

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is an internet-based computing model that provides users with remote access to virtualized desktops and applications from any device, at any time and from anywhere. DaaS offers enterprises the ability to eliminate their hardware and software investments, as well as the need for a dedicated IT staff to maintain and support these investments.

When it comes to deploying Desktop-as-a-Service, there are two leading options: Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). Both offer reliable service with the ability to access desktops and applications from any device, at any time and from anywhere.

In this blog, you will find:  

What is Desktop-as-a Service (DaaS)?
What is Windows 365?
What is Azure Virtual Desktop?
Choosing the Best DaaS Option for Your Virtual Desktop Environment
Jumpstart Your Windows 365 or Azure Virtual Desktop Project

What is Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)?

In simple terms, DaaS is a high-performing, secure, cost-effective type of desktop virtualization. DaaS frees businesses from tethering their computer operating systems and productivity software to any physical hardware. Instead, businesses can use DaaS to access virtual desktops over the internet from a cloud provider. Cloud providers that offer this service distribute and manage virtual desktops from their own data centers. 

Microsoft’s cloud-based virtualization technologies—Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop—provide reliable, cost-effective virtualized desktops for organizations of all sizes.

What are the benefits of Daas? 💻

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) provides businesses with several benefits, including:

🛡️ Increased Data security: Improve regulatory compliance and intellectual property (IP) protection via data centralization and a reduced threat surface.

👨‍💻 High-capacity computing: Cloud-scale computing and storage to support specialized workloads like design and development. 

📱 Supports BYOPC (Bring Your Own PC) programs: Enable secure Cloud PCs, even on personal devices.

🩹 Disaster recovery: Help ensure continuity and access for your workforce and company data even in the most challenging circumstances.

👨‍🏭 Accelerates deployment and decommissioning: Simplify and accelerate the onboarding and offboarding process for flexible workforces.

When it comes to deploying Desktop-as-a-Service, there are two leading options: Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). Both offer reliable service with the ability to access desktops and applications from any device, at any time and from anywhere. Let's dive deeper into the features and benefits of Windows 365, to help you make an informed decision about which solution would best satisfy your organization's needs.

What is Windows 365?

Windows 365 grants you access to your applications and data from any device, such as a laptop, tablet or desktop computer. This means increased security and reduced IT costs.

Benefits of Windows 365👍

Windows 365 offers many benefits that might be attractive for your organization, including:

📝 Windows 365 supports your hybrid workforce needs

Windows 365 is a complete SaaS service (Software as a Service) that provides a personalized, powerful, simple, and secure full Windows 10 or 11 experience.

• Personalized: all your apps, content and settings streamed from the Microsoft cloud to any device

• Powerful: scalable Cloud PCs bring the Windows 11 experience to you on any device 

• Simple: provision and deploy Windows on a Cloud PC today, right from Microsoft Endpoint Manager or at  

• Secure: enhancing the security benefits of Cloud PCs with new Windows 11 security features 

☁️ Windows 365 works seamlessly with Microsoft Cloud Services 

Windows 365 is designed to provide secure access to Windows apps and data from any device, regardless of the user's location.

• Azure Active Directory Identity: a cloud-based identity and access management service

• Microsoft Defender: improved protection against malware and other threats

• Microsoft Endpoint Manager: provision and deploy your cloud PCs with greater speed and efficiency

• Microsoft 365 Apps: a familiar experience with Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher and more

✨ Windows 365 Cloud PC is a Hybrid Workforce Solution 

Windows 365 is the ideal solution for today's hybrid workforce. You can experience flexibility, security and collaboration and work from anywhere easily and efficiently.

• Your content: wherever you go 

• Compute options for different users

• Consistent settings across devices

• The apps you need when you need them

• Scalable storage based on your needs

• Unified security and identity management 

Windows 365 feature breakdown by edition

Selecting the right Windows 365 Solution: Business vs Enterprise ⚖️

When considering which Windows 365 solution is best for your organization, you should consider the features and benefits of each.

🧑‍💼 Windows 365 Cloud Business 

For smaller organizations that don’t have or need Microsoft Endpoint Manager for device management. Windows 365 Business edition will get you into a ready-made Cloud PC fast and focus administration on key tasks.

• Simple onboarding and administration through

• No licensing prerequisites

• Supports Azure AD Join

• Manage each user

• Limited to businesses with less than 300 users

🏢 Windows 365 Cloud Enterprise

For organizations of all sizes that want deep integration with Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Windows 365 Enterprise edition will seamlessly extend your existing endpoint estate, providing the tools and insights needed to scale into the cloud.

• Deploy and manage through Microsoft Endpoint Manager

• Must be licensed for Windows 11 or 10 Enterprise, Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and Azure Active Directory P1

• Choice of Azure AD Join or Hybrid Azure AD Join

• Manage groups of users

• Choice of Microsoft gallery image or customer-provided image

• Rich reporting and actionable insights

• Unlimited number of users

What is Azure Virtual Desktop?

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) allows organizations to deploy and manage desktops in the cloud with advanced security features. It empowers users to access their desktops, apps and data from any device, anytime, anywhere. 

Benefits of Azure Virtual Desktop👍

AVD allows organizations to experience the full benefits of a cloud-based computing platform.

🎛️ Azure Virtual Desktop delivers the only multi-session Windows 11 experience

AVD provides your users with the only multi-session Windows 11 experience virtualized in the cloud that’s highly scalable, always up to date, and available on any device. 

• Multi-session and single-session Windows 11

• Store and legacy app remoting

• Free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates

📍 Azure Virtual Desktop enables Optimizations for Microsoft 365

With no changes required, you can use Azure VMware Solution to migrate your existing VMware-based workloads and applications to Azure VMware Solution.

AVD delivers the best Microsoft 365 experience with multi-session virtual scenarios to provide your users with the most productive virtualized experience.

• Microsoft 365 containers make Office more efficient in a multi-session environment, including Outlook and OneDrive for Business support.

• Profile containers enable faster and more enhanced experience in non-persistent environments.

🚚 Azure Virtual Desktop mitigates existing Windows Server (RDS) Desktops and Apps

AVD migrates your Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environment for Windows Server desktops and apps with simplified infrastructure management and a smooth deployment experience on Azure.

• Support is available for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Remote Desktop Services 2012R2 and newer

• App compatibility for existing Windows Server images used on-prem

🧑‍💻 Azure Virtual Desktop deploys and scales in minutes 

AVD quickly virtualizes and deploys modern and legacy desktop app experiences in minutes with unified management in the Azure portal. 

• Azure has data centers available in 60 regions, and 140 countries

• Azure management portal available for Azure Virtual Desktop 

• Built-in security and compliance (Windows and Azure)

🏗️ Azure Virtual Desktop is built on Azure, a standardized, Global, and Secure Cloud

📋 Standardized Cloud Benefits

• Consistent infrastructure across regions

• Uniform deployment via serverless architecture

• Purpose-built, standardized infrastructure across geographies

• Modernized workloads for simplified deployment

🌐 Global Cloud Benefit

• Largest geographical footprint of any cloud provider with less than 60 Azure regions

🔒 Secure Cloud Benefits

• Microsoft Cyber Defense Operations Center 

• More than 3,500 full-time security professionals

• 6.5 trillion global signals daily

•  $1 billion annual cybersecurity investment

Deployment Options for Azure Virtual Desktop 📑

Based on your user requirements, you can make an informed decision when selecting the right computing systems, custom profiles, and app solutions for them.

🖥️ Compute

•  You can choose any Virtual Machine (VM) in Azure in your region

•  Lift and shift or establish new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with any compute option

•  Support for personal and pooled Virtual Machines

👩‍💻 User Profile

• Faster login and application launch times with FSLogix  

• Support for Azure Files, NetApp Files and File server clusters

 ðŸ“±  Apps

• Create a single image with all applications for all users

• Use App Masking to ensure the suitable applications are visible to the right users

Choosing the Best DaaS Option for your Virtual Desktop Environment 🧁

Deciding on the optimal solution for your Virtual Desktop Environment requires you to carefully consider all the available options, such as Windows 365, Azure Virtual Desktop, and Azure Virtual Desktop with Citrix or VMWare VDI.

💡 Windows 365 is the best when you care...

• Personalized Windows 365 Cloud PCs are available across devices.

• Simple and turn-key to buy and deploy.

• Predictable per-user, per-month pricing.

• Easily scalable compute and storage capacity.

• No virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) experience or skills are required. 

💡 Azure Virtual Desktop is the best when you care...

• Flexibility and control

• Multi-session Windows VMs

• Data residency and geography requirements

• Remote app streaming

• Specialized GPU and HPC workloads

• Scalable compute and storage to optimize for cost and experience

💡 Azure Virtual Desktop with Citrix and VMWare VDI 

is the best when you care...

• Optimize existing investments and skills in Citrix and VMWare VDI 

• Create a multi-cloud or hybrid architecture with a single control pane

In Conclusion: 

In conclusion, Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) provides businesses with an easy, cost-effective way to access their applications and data from any device, anytime, anywhere. Microsoft’s two DaaS options, Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), each offer its own unique set of features and benefits that can help meet the needs of any organization. When selecting the best DaaS option for your Virtual Desktop Environment, you should consider the features and benefits of each, as well as the specific requirements of your organization, in order to make an informed decision.

What's Next: Jumpstart Your Windows 365 or Azure Virtual Desktop Project 

If you are interested in exploring Windows 365 or Azure Virtual Desktop, Bill Kastner, Azure Solutions Architect and the ProServeIT team can help you with a free 1-hour consultation.

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Learn more about Azure by watching our on-demand 30 minute webinars. For more information, contact us at

Check out these blogs:

Windows 365 vs. Azure Virtual Desktop: Choose the Right Cloud Solution

Differences Between Windows 365 & Azure Virtual Desktop: Comparison

What is Azure Virtual Desktop and What are the Benefits?


Content from: ProServeIT Academy 2022 Azure Course 3 by Bill Kastner

Edited by: Betty Quon & Hyun-Jin Im

Published by ProServeIT January 3, 2023