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Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop's Azure portal integration now generally available

Earlier in May, Microsoft announced a few new features being made available to Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). The enhancements were related to the management and deployment tools, an upgraded Teams experience, and more. Today, the company announced that it is making those features and improvements generally available.

The two major features that the Redmond giant is bringing to users is the integration of the service with the Azure portal and improvements to Teams in the form of A/V redirect for the collaboration app in WVD. As the name suggests, the Azure portal integration makes it easier for admins to manage and deploy apps and virtual desktops to users. This also brings security improvements, as admins can create Azure AD groups and mandate two-factor authentication.

Additionally, those that use the classic model for existing deployments will be soon provided with guidance on migrating to the new portal. The new portal allows for capabilities such as Azure role-based access control (RBAC) for “fine-grained access control”, user management improvements that let admins publish apps and desktops to AAD groups, and monitoring enhancements to effectively analyze logs and troubleshoot issues.

The other major feature that is being made generally available today is the A/V redirect feature for Teams. This lets the system handle audio and video locally for Teams meetings, which reduces latency and improves the quality of the call. You can head here for the full documentation about enabling the optimization for Teams.

With the pandemic resulting in more people working remotely, Microsoft says that Windows Virtual Desktop is helping “customers rapidly deliver a secure Windows 10 desktop experience to their users”. The firm is also reportedly working on a “Cloud PC” operating system offering powered by Azure that is built on WVD.

The improved deployment and management experience through the Azure portal, along with the enhancements to Teams – a service that is also seeing a surge in usage – make it a welcome addition for admins and companies that leverage the service.

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