Over the past decade, we have seen Microsoft evolve from the company that makes Windows to one of the top three tech giants, and the second largest cloud services provider behind only Amazon. While Microsoft has been a giant in the industry since the 80’s and 90’s, market share for their Windows operating system has been steadily declining during the rise of mobile devices.
Android and Apple have been slowly taking over the market and edging Microsoft out after a long string of flops. From Groove music, to the Windows phone, Microsoft has been releasing a series of not so great products that get overshadowed by others, and eventually phased out. There is one space they have been excelling in, cloud.
Focusing on the Cloud
With the success of Office 365 and Azure, it’s no surprise that Microsoft is shifting their focus to the cloud. It’s also no surprise that they are shifting the focus of their flagship product to be more in line with their current successes. There have been some major shakeups within the company over the last few years, one of which is to move the Windows operating system operations to the cloud division. Another act that solidifies Microsoft’s intent to bring Windows to the cloud.
Windows Virtual Desktop
Enter Windows Virtual Desktop. The newest iteration of Windows 10 is offered as a remote virtual desktop run in Azure and is accessible from anywhere. Just like every other cloud product MS offers, this means it will always be up to date. No more Windows updates restarting your computer at the most inconvenient times.
The biggest upside of Windows Virtual Desktop will definitely be its impact on IT departments. The fully virtualized OS will bring a lot of benefits with it that were previously only realized through server-based virtualization, which is costly and complicated.
Benefits of Windows Virtual Desktop
- Virtual Desktops will be able to share resources with other Virtual desktops
- Centrally managed through Azure
- Accessible from anywhere, eliminating a lot of networking headaches
- IT departments will be able to deploy new desktops easily and quickly while hardly needing to touch any actual hardware, making it scalable to meet the needs of any company.
- Built in Security and Compliance. Taking a load off any monitoring and protection software
The new virtual desktop will be bundled with Office 365, which will cut costs and ensure companies have everything they need to run in the cloud. The operating system runs on a pay-as-you-go model that Microsoft uses with most of its products.
There are several tiers of this model. Starting with the standard pay-as-you-go, where you can increase compute capacity and storage to fit your needs. You only pay for the virtual machines while they are on. There is also the option to reserve VM instances, which is a fixed price for the VM’s whether they are running or not. While still flexible, this requires a commitment for a length of time.
Redefining the Operating System
In an age of mobile devices, Microsoft is trying to redefine the operating system. They are taking it from a single-device system, to a multi device one. This will allow you to access the same desktop from any device, making it truly mobile.
Though it’s clear that Microsoft has been focusing on other projects, they aren’t leaving Windows by the wayside. The Windows Virtual Desktop may be more suited for business use, but it is a pretty clear indicator of where they want to OS to be in the future. There have been rumors that the next version of Windows will be the last. A single version of Windows that will continue to evolve, but you won’t need to upgrade to the next iteration.
Microsoft isn’t afraid to admit it’s made a few missteps in the last decade, like Windows 8 or the Windows phone. They know where they excel, and the focus has been shifted to cloud. Windows will be another addition to Microsoft’s suite of cloud services, bringing it into the future with the rest of the products that brought about Microsoft’s rise to the top. For almost its entire existence Microsoft has been known for Windows, but times are changing. Windows virtual desktop is a big step towards keeping Windows relevant in the future.