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Windows Virtual Desktop Updates Boost Data Sovereignty, Security

New Windows Virtual Desktop updates announced at Microsoft Ignite 2021 illustrate the company’s stated emphasis on data sovereignty and improved security.

Virtual desktops have gained a lot of traction in the enterprise thanks to the promise of a portable desktop environment provisioned in the cloud – the ability to onboard employees quickly or scale up remote operations without a lot of corresponding hardware costs or set-up is appealing. Microsoft’s cloud-based virtual desktop, Windows Virtual Desktop delivers a fully functional Windows 10 desktop along with app virtualization capabilities via the company’s Azure cloud service. At Microsoft Ignite 2021 last week, several Windows Virtual Desktop updates were confirmed by the company. These updates touched on the keynote themes outlined by CEO Satya Nadella, chiefly data sovereignty and trust by design.

First, with Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop, Azure administrators can now see all of the telemetry and visualizations for their users on Windows Virtual Desktop. This assists them in solving service-related issues for their users.

Among the Windows Virtual Desktop updates made during the current public preview:

  • Designated report page for customized Azure Alerts
  • Priority view of Windows Virtual Desktop errors and warnings in Host Diagnostics
  • Standardized colors used for all default health thresholds
  • Report export to Excel options for all Windows Virtual Desktop reports

In addition, accuracy and user experience enhancements have been made on the Windows Virtual Desktop portal.

Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop is expected to become generally available in the next few weeks.

In addition, Windows Virtual Desktop users in the European Union (EU) have access to a public preview feature based on geographic metadata; customers can now opt to store the metadata related to their Windows Virtual Desktop usage within Azure servers located in the EU.

Finally, end users utilizing Windows Virtual Desktop client outside of a company network can now preview a feature where they validate their identity using company-issued smartcards. This Windows Virtual Desktop update increases overall security of the service client by adding a layer of access security to reduce the chance of unauthorized users accessing the client.

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