Windows 365 on VMware Horizon Cloud Now Available as a Preview Release

VMware Horizon Cloud now supports Microsoft's desktop-as-a-service offering.

Microsoft on Monday announced that its Windows 365 desktop-as-a-service offering is now integrated with the VMware Horizon Cloud virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) service.

It's possible to try this integrated service by signing up for the public preview at this page. The integration uses VMware's Blast Extreme protocol, which can enhance Microsoft Windows 365, per VMware's description:

Through an expanded collaboration with Microsoft, VMware is able to augment the Microsoft Windows 365 experience with our Horizon capabilities, including using the VMware Blast high-definition protocol, a rich set of remote experience features, and a broad range of client support to deliver an enhanced employee experience.

VMware's Blast Extreme is a display communications protocol that supports personalized virtual desktops, data compliance and encryption, GPU support for graphics-intensive applications (including streaming and 3D apps), along with support across "Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, and web (HTML Access) clients," per VMware's document description.

The public preview of Windows 365 on VMware Horizon Cloud has been a long time in arriving. VMware had apparently first announced its partnership with Microsoft to add Windows 365 support back in Nov. 2022.

The two companies aren't strangers when it comes to VDI integrations, though, having previously collaborated on integrating Microsoft's Windows Virtual Desktop VDI service (now called Azure Virtual Desktop) with VMware Horizon Cloud. That collaboration was announced in 2019 when Microsoft commercially launched the Azure Virtual Desktop service. The two companies have also have partnered to run VMware workloads natively on Microsoft Azure infrastructure, including hosting VMware Horizon Cloud on Azure.  

Support for Windows 365 on VMware Horizon Cloud will expand the ability of Windows 365 Cloud PC users and VMware users to access "persistent, cloud-hosted Windows 11 or Windows 10 desktops from anywhere on any device," Microsoft's announcement indicated. It'll also be possible to "handle the provisioning and configuration of these Cloud PCs" using Microsoft Intune, which is Microsoft's mobile management service.

"Microsoft Intune provides a fast, simple way for IT admins to deploy, configure, and manage [Windows 365] Cloud PCs while also automating installation of the Horizon agent," the announcement added.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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