Microsoft announce that Windows Virtual Desktop is now in public preview.
This new Azure service will allow customers to run Windows 7, Windows 10 or Windows Server desktops and provide free Extended Security Updates for customers choosing Windows 7.
Customers will already be licensed for the client desktops if they have Microsoft 365 F1/E3/E5, Windows 10 E3/E5 or Windows VDA licences, and for Windows Server desktops if they’ve got RDS CALs. Reserved Instances may also be used to optimise costs for the infrastructure.
This site (http://bit.ly/2HPbqo2) has all the information as well as a video that gives an excellent overview of the service.
Since September 2017 there have been two options for customers buying Windows 10 Enterprise E3 User SLs in CSP: a Local Only SKU which (not surprisingly) allowed just local installation of Windows 10 Enterprise E3, and a full SKU which included the additional rights to run Windows 10 Enterprise E3 in a hosted virtual desktop. From 1 October, 2018 the Local Only SKU will be retired and the price of the full SKU will be reduced to an ERP of $7 per user per month to match the previous Local Only SKU price. Find the announcement and a link to an FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2NmAemn.
Microsoft announce a change from the maximum 18-months support for Windows 10 Semi-Annual Channel releases. The diagram below is taken from the announcement page (http://bit.ly/2N3kqty) and shows that there is no change to the support duration for Windows 10 Pro or Home, or indeed Office 365 ProPlus, but the September releases for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education will be supported for 30 months. In addition, all currently supported feature updates of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education editions (versions 1607, 1703, 1709, and 1803) will be supported for 30 months from their original release date.
If you have responsibility for deploying and managing Windows 10 Subscriptions in CSP then there are three interesting documents that you might find useful: An Introduction to Windows 10 Subscriptions in CSP; The Role of Azure AD in Windows 10 Cloud Subscriptions; and Windows 10 Upgrade Benefits for CSP Customers.
Find all of these documents with their overviews here: http://bit.ly/2P1h6ML.
If you’ve got questions on Windows 10 subscription activation then add this article to your reading list: http://bit.ly/2zHV4Lf. There’s lots of useful information including a short history of Windows deployment, the prerequisites and advantages of using the Windows 10 Enterprise subscription model and how it works, and how you enable Windows 10 subscription activation for virtual machines in the cloud. If you’re interested in the differences between acquiring licences in an Enterprise Agreement and CSP then there’s some great information on that too.
Microsoft introduce a new edition of Windows 10 Pro – Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. It’s a high-end edition for server grade PC hardware and is designed to meet the demanding needs of mission critical and compute intensive workloads. It will be available later in the year as part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Find out more here: http://bit.ly/2uP53H5.
Microsoft confirm that from 1 August 2017 organisations licensed with Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5 or VDA E3/E5 User SLs will be able to install Windows 10 Enterprise Current Branch in a virtual machine running on Microsoft Azure or a shared server with a Qualified Multi Tenant Hosting Partner.
See page 42 of the August 2017 Product Terms and read more here: http://bit.ly/2wwUsli.
Microsoft confirm that from September 2017 the Windows 10 servicing branches will be updated. The Long Term Servicing Branch is renamed the Long Term Servicing Channel and both the Current Branch and Current Branch for Business are replaced with the Semi Annual Channel.
This page has more details as well as an excellent video which is well worth a watch: http://bit.ly/2vdBIKT.
Page 43 of the June 2017 Product Terms document confirms that the new Windows 10S operating system is not eligible as a qualifying operating system for a Windows 10 Pro upgrade licence acquired through a Volume Licensing program. There is, however, the usual exception for Academic and Charity customers
Microsoft announce Windows 10 S – a flavour of Windows 10 Pro that is, in Microsoft’s words, “optimised for security and performance”. It does this by working only with apps from the Windows Store and having Edge as its default browser. You can pay to switch to Windows 10 Pro through the Windows Store at any time, but you can’t then go back to Windows 10 S.
This FAQ gives you a good overview: http://bit.ly/2pB32Pt.