We’re reaching the end of the year and if I summarize what has happened, I can only say it was a stunnishing year, privately as well as from a technology point of view.

I met a lot of people which I wouldn’t like to miss and was living the passion around Azure and WVD even more!

As I’m already talking about the end of the year, it seems that Microsoft is still about to realease some hot features for WVD, which I want to point out in detail (as far as the information has been released already!).

But first of all we start with a fresh and super exciting announcement of today.

Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop public preview

azmonwvd.png
Image from Microsoft https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/image/serverpage/image-id/237083i6E86B584F9C259DD/image-size/large?v=1.0&px=999

Monitoring your environment is key for a long term stable environment. Observing Virtual Machines and critical components in your Azure environment is mandatory to probably see issues before users raise them at the Service Desk. Before you had also the possibility to enroll the Monitoring solution, by creating a Log Analytics Workspace and create a Workbook with all the metrics you want to observe. This is from today not necessary any more and all the manual action turned into a super simple to enroll solution.

Screenshot from my tenant, when clicking on the Sign in to Microsoft Azure Link below

You want to know how easy? Click the link below and you get redirected immediately to the Azure Portal: Sign in to Microsoft Azure (aka.ms)

How it works in very detail can be read here: Use Monitor Windows Virtual Desktop Monitor preview – Azure | Microsoft Docs

And finally, these are the features, we still expect to see in December 2020:

Latency improvement in United Arab Emirates

As we can see from the WVD Community, that people from all over the world are using WVD even more, Microsoft needs to extend its network to improve the latency in the focus areas. After launching the improvements for the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Korea, South Africa and the public preview feature RDP Shortpath, Microsoft is about to launch the improvements also for the United Arab Emirates.

city buildings under blue sky during daytime
Picture by Omar Bakri | Unsplash.com

Great work to onboard even more customers to Windows Virtual Desktop!

This feature is being maintained using Feature ID: 64545

Protection from screen scraping

A feature that was really hitting the rooftop was the possibility to protect content in WVD sessions from being scraped! This adds an additional layer of security to WVD, especially when somebody tries to take screenshots from protected content in the environment.

Picture from: Episode 7: User experience and clients updates with Sandeep Patnaik, WVD PM lead – YouTube

A first preview has been presented in the Desktops in the Cloud podcast, where Sandeep Patnaik, PM lead for WVD presented the feature in a sneak peek. You missed this episode to see what screen scraping can do for you? Check out the video below:

This feature is being maintained using Feature ID: 70197

Enable deallocated VMs to start automatically when a user connects

We are all familar with the AutoScaling capabilities Microsoft gives us to deallocate and allocate resources when needed. This process requires a lot of PowerShell knowledge or at least the basics to enroll this solution on a per Host Pool level. Plenty of tools, such as my WVDLogix AutoScaling script in it’s current release, help those customers without Powershell knowledge to enroll the solution approximately 3 times faster with less errors. You can download the tool here and check out the feature video:

WVDLogix AutoScaling Tool | WVDLOGIX – Windows Virtual Desktop and FSLogix Blog

But Microsoft is about to dramatically simplify this process, by delivering a capability to shutdown and deallocate the VMs during off-peak hours using an Automation Account, and to automatically start Session Hosts if a user tries to log on!

We received a lot of feedback from the community that this feature will change a lot in terms of scaling and we can hopefully expect to see this feature still this year!

This feature is being maintained using Feature ID: 70198

Manage Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session Windows Virtual Desktop VMs with Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM)

Another great feature, which is still on the roadmap for December 2020 is the support for Windows 10 Enterprise Multi-Session for Microsoft Endpoint Manager. This helps to deploy WVD Session Hosts more efficiently while managing and operating the the deployments towards a more secure cloud workstation.

WVD 01.png
Picture from Microsoft Tech Community

Hereby, Session Hosts can be managed like physical devices directly from within the MEM portal. When the feature for Multi-Session Win10 will be in public preview by the end of the year, it will support policies, which can be defined on a per-device level.

This feature is being maintained using Feature ID: 70743

IT admins can use MSIX app attach from the Azure portal to reduce image management overhead

MSIX App Attach is THE modern application delivery mechanismn and one of my personal highlights in 2020. It helps customers to separate the applications from the operating system by delivering applications from a centralized SMB compatible store to the user’s endpoint! This reduces the golden images and use cases dramatically, as applications will be provisioned in a fast, secure and very efficient way to centralize and control the provisioned application versions using MSIX packages, which are containerized.

You are curious and want to learn more about what you can achieve? Then you should return on the 11th December 2020 for a session at the Microsoft Meets Community: Windows Virtual Desktop event, where I’m going to present 45 minutes about the application delivery of today!

If you haven’t registered yet, feel free to do so!

https://aka.ms/wvdevent2020

This feature is being maintained using Feature ID: 71891

Conclusion

It seems that Microsoft wants to present us at the end of the year with a lot of exciting features to improve our user experience on Windows Virtual Desktop. I’m really curious to see those features and I’ll keep you frequently updated!

Stay safe!

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