Which Cloud Desktop Works for You? Windows 365 vs Azure Virtual Desktop

August 10, 2021

By Rhia Prajes

With the rise of cloud-powered PCs, you can empower your remote workforce to be more productive and connected. Over the last year, Microsoft has released two distinct services for delivering this powerful technology to your team: Windows 365 (W365) and Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD).

So, how does having a Desktop in the Cloud help your business in its day-to-day operations and productivity?

For both W365 and AVD, there are some key benefits to consider:

  • A cloud desktop has native synergy with existing cloud services, and can speed upload/download speeds across your network.
  • It helps your team easily access data and information in your network anytime, anywhere; thus, allowing continuous flow of communication and work in your organization.
  • Since desktops are streamed from the cloud, user hardware requirements are not as demanding to run your applications and services.
    • A good rule of thumb is this: if you can stream Netflix or Disney+, you can use a remote PC without performance issues!
  • It empowers organizations to have a powerful and flexible remote work policy.

Working off a remote PC can offer a number of security benefits to the organizations that use them. For example, when streaming a desktop to a local device via either service, company data remains within  your environment and does not exit the bounds of administrator control; thus, there is a greatly reduced risk of data loss due to user error or theft. Both AVD and Cloud PC also make use of Microsoft security tools to secure your employees and company data, such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Multi-Factor Authentication. Furthermore, both W365 and AVD can be governed by the Security Policy that your organization sets; for instance, you can restrict users logging in to your network according to specific geographic regions or IP addresses.

While these two services at first seem very similar, there are many differences that may affect whether they are a good fit for your business. Overall, Azure Virtual Desktop works for maximum flexibility for virtualization experience while Windows 365 was designed for simplicity, allowing customers to get the benefits of personalized Cloud PCs without requiring VDI or Azure expertise.

Below, see a comparison of the major differences between Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop:


Windows 365

Azure Virtual Desktop

Optimized for Simplicity: combines the power and security of the cloud with the versatility and simplicity of the PC Flexibility: Highly customizable options with the power to access your desktop and applications from virtually anywhere


Platform Type Software-as-a-Service Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
What it does? Securely streams your personalized Windows experience – all your apps, content and settings – to any device Securely delivers virtual desktops and remote apps with maximum control
Remote App Streaming None Yes
Robust Security Features Yes Yes
Security Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Identity Management Azure Firewall, Azure Security Center, Azure Sentinel, Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Citrix, VMWare Integration, Identity Management
Management and Deployment Management and deployment with familiar desktop tools and skills


Full control over management and deployment, plus options for Citrix and VMware integration


Pricing Predictable per-user pricing


Flexible consumption-based pricing


In a post-COVID-19 world, it is imperative to have powerful and flexible tools that to increase productivity and profitability at a lesser expense, but how you achieve that can pose a major obstacle. As dedicated IT providers and a Microsoft Gold Partner, Metro CSG can help determine which of these cloud desktop services is right for you.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you!

Share this:

Leave A Comment