Windows 365 vs Azure Virtual Desktop

Microsoft’s latest cloud computing platform has a number of similarities to an existing system. Windows 365 at first glance appears very similar to Azure Virtual Desktop. But when you breakdown the two systems, a number of differences become evident and you can see that one system may suit some businesses more than the other.

If your organisation has embraced a BYOD policy, either Windows 365 or Azure Virtual Desktop would be a great option for you. But how can you choose between the two? We’ve broken down the main elements so that you can decide for yourself.

What is the difference between Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop?

Below are the main elements of Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop. See how they differ see you can pick what’s best for you.

Operating system

Windows 365 will be available with Windows 10 or Windows 11 upon release. Azure Virtual Desktop supports Windows 10 enterprise multi session, Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012 R2.


All virtual desktop solutions from Microsoft require an Azure subscription. Windows 365 subscriptions reside fully in Microsoft your subscription, and are fully managed by Microsoft at a fixed cost. Your virtual desktop is managed entirely by customers, through flexible consumption based pricing.


Microsoft fully manages Azure compute for Windows 365 for a fixed cost. There is no direct admin access to the underlying virtual machines. in Azure Virtual Desktop the customer manage is the compute with consumption based costs and additional flexibility for configuring the virtual machines. If you want a very custom setup, AVD is the place to go.


Storage in Windows 365 is fully managed by Microsoft you simply choose the amount of storage you would like as part of your monthly subscription. Azure Virtual Desktop storage is far more flexible and can you can assign a different amount to different users based on their needs.


This is the biggest difference for Windows 365 enterprise and business subscriptions. Enterprise subscriptions have fully customer managed networking with flexible routing, IPS, and security. Windows 365 business is Philly under Microsoft’s management. Azure Virtual Desktop networking is flexible and has no control from Microsoft.

User profile

Windows 365 is a single user desktop solution run in Azure. As a result there is a single user profile and no need for multi user profile management. Azure Virtual Desktop relies on FSLogicx as a profile container holding user profiles. When a user signs in, FSLogix redirect to the data and settings for that user.

Windows 365 versus Azure Virtual Desktop

 Windows 365 BusinessWindows 365 EnterpriseAzure Virtual Desktop Single UserAzure Virtual Desktop Multi-User (pooled)
Control planeAzure Virtual DesktopAzure Virtual DesktopAzure Virtual DesktopAzure Virtual Desktop
Azure SubscriptionMicrosoft ManagedMicrosoft Managed Except NetworkingCustomer managedCustomer managed
ComputeMicrosoft Managed Fixed cost No admin access to VMsMicrosoft Managed Fixed cost No admin access to VMsCustomer managed Usage based cost FlexibleCustomer managed Usage based cost Flexible
StorageMicrosoft Managed Fixed cost Not flexible Difficult to backupMicrosoft Managed Fixed cost Not flexible Difficult to backupCustomer Managed OS Disks FSLogix Flexible Easy to BackupCustomer Managed OS Disks FSLogix Flexible Easy to Backup
NetworkingMicrosoft Managed Fixed cost No admin access No flexibilityCustomer managed Usage based cost Flexible routing IPs SecurityCustomer managed Usage based cost Flexible routing IPs SecurityCustomer managed Usage based cost Flexible routing IPs Security
User ProfilesNo FSLogixNo FSLogixFSLogix OptionalFSLogix Mandatory

If you’re not sure which is the right Cloud computing solution for you, get in touch with one of our consultants to discuss your specific requirements.

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