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With the events of the past year still fresh in our minds, it is more important than ever to regard technology as an integral business partner rather than simply a tool. Not only that, it is evident the flexibility offered by technology plays an important role in the overall functionality of the business. Many organizations are struggling to find that perfect solution to bridge the gap between home and office work for their employees. It might be time to investigate Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD).

What is AVD?

Previously known as Windows Virtual Desktop, AVD creates Windows desktops in the cloud. You can then access your desktop from any number of different devices. All major platforms are supported with native apps including Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. Not only that, connections are fully supported on any HTML5-capable web browser so Chromebooks work as well. That means no matter what happens to the device you are working from, your virtual desktop is safe and accessible. Just grab any other device, reconnect, and keep on working.

It is apparent that the line separating phone from computer blurred a little more with each new generation of smart phone. With the release of products like the Samsung DeX, coupled with Azure Virtual Desktop, that line has become virtually nonexistent. Using the DeX as an example, it is now entirely possible to use your Samsung Galaxy device to take your pc desktop literally anywhere. You can use this device to connect these phones to a monitor for a full desktop experience, pairing either Bluetooth keyboards and mice or USB models via a mini-dock, and using the native Android AVD client to connect to your virtual desktop. In short, you may already have the device to connect to AVD sitting in your pocket!

If you do not have a Samsung phone, there’s no need to fret. There are many other “thin clients,” small-form-factor computers whose sole purpose is to connect to a virtual desktop, that allow you to take full advantage of this technology. Listed below are several examples of evaluated thin clients.

  • IGEL
  • Stratodesk
  • NComputing
  • 10ZiG

Why make the switch?

Microsoft AVD can be a more affordable alternative to regular computers because of thin clients. Thin clients are often less expensive because they only possess the compute and storage capacity needed to relay the pixels, sound, and devices (keyboard, mouse, printer, etc.) over a network connection. They are also incredibly easy to manage since they are configured for a single purpose and can be replaced immediately in case of failure. And because AVD supports HTML5 thin clients, Chromebooks work as well.

Not only can it be more cost effective, AVD, as a cloud-based solution, offers increased versatility and cybersecurity. Any work completed while working in AVD is automatically saved to the cloud. This means whatever work you do on your main computer can also be accessed through your phone, tablet, laptop, or any other thin device you use. More importantly, work saved into the cloud is much safer than work saved locally on your computer. There is no fear of file corruption or catastrophic data loss because the cloud is constantly backing up.

Our clients currently using AVD are reporting significant increases in productivity and versatility as a direct result of the switch. In a poll, current clients cited increased cybersecurity as the best feature offered by AVD. It is faster, safer, and more versatile than ever before so whether you’re trying to bridge the gap between home and office work, looking for a more flexible device, desiring an extra level of security, or simply wanting to shave a couple dollars off your bottom line, AVD might be worth further consideration.

The future?

Microsoft AVD has undergone a number of transformations and enhancements in it’s brief two-year existence. Microsoft has been extremely responsive to customers regarding new features. In fact, they released a number of new developments earlier this month. In our next post, we will dive deeper into all the new features announced for AVD.

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