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Windows Virtual Desktop renamed Azure Virtual Desktop


Microsoft has renamed Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) to Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) and announced a number of new features (currently in preview).  Also to be released is a new licensing option for organisations wishing to use AVD to deliver applications “as-a-service” to customers.


From 14 July to 31 December 2021 customers can access Azure Virtual Desktop to stream first or third-party applications to external users at no charge. From 1 January 2022 this new service will cost USD$5.50 per user/month (Apps) or USD$10 per user/month (Apps + Desktops) – organisations will also need to pay for the underlying Azure infrastructure.


For internal user access to AVD this is licensed through Microsoft 365 E3/E5/F3/Business Premium, Windows 10 E3/E5 or Windows 10 VDA E3/E5 subscriptions.


Read the full announcement here.



Microsoft Teams Rooms Promotion


Microsoft Teams Rooms Standard and Teams Room Premium enables all the licenses needed for Microsoft Teams Rooms. From 1 July 2021 until the end of 2021, Microsoft is offering a 30% discount on Teams Room subscriptions.  This discount will apply for the remainder of the customer’s 12-month term.


Features coming to Teams Rooms over the coming months include:


  • A Front Row feature making interactions between virtual and in-room meeting participants more immersive and natural. The video gallery will be moved to the bottom of the screen, so remote participants are face-to-face with people in the room.
  • Meeting chat will be visible to those in the Teams Room so they can see and respond to comments shared.
  • More Teams desktop features coming to Teams Rooms to bring more attention to remote participants in a meeting including live reactions, spotlight and the ability to pin multiple video streams.
  • More clearly identifying those who speak in meetings via Teams intelligent speakers which are designed for Teams Rooms and use Microsoft voice recognition technology to identify people speaking in the room and apply their names to the meeting transcript.  Partners are also working on AI-powered camera tech to provide new video views to allow all people in the rooms to be seen more clearly.



Windows 11


Microsoft is expected to announce the release of Windows 11 on the 24th of June at their “what’s next for Windows” livestream: Microsoft Windows Event – Watch the June 24 LIVE stream. 


Not much is known yet about what will be different about Windows 11 but a leaked build shows the interface apparently looks similar to Windows 10 with just a few tweaks.


More details to come after Microsoft’s official announcement as to whether it will be a free upgrade and whether Windows 10 will continue to receive feature releases.



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