Windows Virtual Desktop pricing

The best virtual desktop experience, delivered on Azure

Access Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 7 Enterprise desktops and apps at no additional cost if you have an eligible Windows or Microsoft 365 licence. Get free Extended Security Updates until January 2023 for your Windows 7 virtual desktop – offering more options to support legacy apps while you transition to Windows 10.

Access desktops powered by Windows Server Remote Desktop Services desktops and apps at no additional cost if you are an eligible Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access License (CAL) customer.

You need an Azure account to quickly deploy and manage your virtualisation environment. Only pay for the virtual machines and storage you use and take advantage of options such as one-year or three-year Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, which can save you up to 72 per cent versus pay-as-you-go pricing. Reserved Virtual Machine Instances are flexible and can easily be exchanged or returned.

Type Description Eligibility
Virtualise Windows 10 and Windows 7 Access Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 7 Enterprise desktops and apps at no additional cost if you have an eligible Windows or Microsoft 365 licence. Get free Extended Security Updates until January 2023 for your Windows 7 virtual desktop – offering more options to support legacy apps while you transition to Windows 10. You are eligible to access Windows 10 and Windows 7 with Windows Virtual Desktop if you have one of the following per-user licences*:
  • Microsoft 365 E3/E5
  • Microsoft 365 A3/A5/Student use benefits
  • Microsoft 365 F3
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium**
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
  • Windows 10 Education A3/A5
  • Windows 10 VDA per user
Virtualise Windows Server Access desktops powered by Windows Server Remote Desktop Services desktops and apps at no additional cost if you are an eligible Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access License (CAL) customer. You are eligible to access Windows Server 2012 R2 and newer desktops and apps if you have a per-user or per-device RDS CAL licence with active Software Assurance (SA).

* Customers can access Windows Virtual Desktop from their non-Windows Pro endpoints if they have a Microsoft 365 E3/E5/F3/Business/ A3/A5/Student Use Benefits or Windows 10 VDA per-user licence.

** Microsoft 365 Business Premium was previously named Microsoft 365 Business prior to 21 April 2020.

You need an Azure account and subscription to quickly deploy and manage your virtualisation environment. These are the Azure components that factor into the price of a Windows Virtual Desktop deployment.

  • Virtual machines and operating system (OS) storage
  • Data disk (personal desktop only)
  • User profile storage
  • Networking

Windows Virtual Desktop session host virtual machines (VMs), including Citrix Cloud and VMW Horizon Cloud on Azure deployments, are charged at Linux compute rates for Windows 10 single, Windows 10 multi-session and Windows Server. Learn how to apply your licence to a deployment at the Virtual Desktop documentation.

Take advantage of options such as one-year or three-year Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, which can save you up to 72 per cent versus pay-as-you-go pricing. Reserved Virtual Machine Instances are flexible and can easily be exchanged or returned.

Personal Desktop example scenarios

Sample use cases for single users accessing a persistent virtual desktop

Example workloads Number of users in scenario Type of user vCPUs RAM East US Pricing West Europe Pricing Southeast Asia Pricing
Graphics Workstation 100 Engineers and graphic designers with 3D modelling, simulations and CAD workloads. Users spend 5-6 hours a day requiring workstation capability. 12 112 GB See estimate See estimate See estimate
Microsoft Office 1000 Standard knowledge workers making use of Microsoft Office products. Users work 8-10-hour days. 2 4 GB See estimate See estimate See estimate

Multi-session Desktop example scenarios

Sample use cases for multiple users sharing a pooled (non-persistent) virtual desktop

Example workloads Number of users in scenario Type of user User density East US Pricing West Europe Pricing Southeast Asia Pricing
Microsoft Office 1000 Standard knowledge workers making use of Microsoft Office products. 24/7 RI is used to avoid the need for management of virtual machines. 2 per vCPU See estimate See estimate See estimate
Call centre/data entry 1000 Call centre users with low intensity workloads, primarily engaged in data entry. Users operate in three 8-hour shifts, making a 24/7 RI instance the most cost effective option. 6 per vCPU See estimate See estimate See estimate

FAQ

  • In addition to Azure compute and storage costs, there are potential costs associated with networking and FSLogix user profile storage depending on your environment. For additional details on modelling costs associated with these areas, visit the Networking and Storage sections in the Azure Pricing Calculator.

  • Contact your Microsoft or Microsoft partner account teams for licensing options.
  • You are eligible to access FSLogix Profile Container, Office 365 Container, Application Masking and Java Redirection tools if you have one of the following licences:

    • Microsoft 365 E3/E5
    • Microsoft 365 A3/A5/Student use benefits
    • Microsoft 365 F3
    • Microsoft 365 Business Premium**
    • Windows 10 Enterprise E3/E5
    • Windows 10 Education A3/A5
    • Windows 10 VDA per user
    • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Client Access Licence (CAL)
    • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Subscriber Access Licence (SAL)
  • For most applications, multi-session provides the greatest flexibility and cost savings by sharing the desktop infrastructure, preserving the state of your OS image by operating in a pooled environment, and allowing user data and settings to be saved and accessed using FSLogix.

    Personal desktops are typically chosen for (a) users that require administrative rights to modify the operating system and want those changes to be retained if the VM is restarted and (b) users who run applications that are not compatible with multi-session.

    For determining user density and VM specifications, please consult the guidelines for remote desktop workloads. Please note that your needs will vary and once you’ve set up your virtual machines, you should continually monitor their actual usage and adjust their size accordingly.

  • For multi-session scenarios, the concurrency of your users will affect the total number of VMs that you will need for your workload. This refers to the share of users that log in to the VM at the same time. For example, a 24/7 call centre with three shifts would have a 33% concurrency of usage, so you would need fewer VMs to support those users than if they were all operating at the same time. For most business operating with standard business hours, a concurrency of 0.9 should be a good starting point.

    The pricing calculator has a minimum number of 100 users for Windows Virtual Desktop. Depending on concurrency, VM type and desired user density, deployments with few users may experience some incremental per user cost if VMs are not fully utilised.

Resources

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Review Azure pricing frequently asked questions

Learn more about Windows Virtual Desktop

Review technical tutorials, videos and more resources

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