Microsoft unites Windows 365, Azure Virtual Desktop units

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Microsoft unites Windows 365, Azure Virtual Desktop units

Microsoft is combining its Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365 units under Scott Manchester, a source close to the company told CRN.

Manchester is a 21-year Microsoft veteran who is the architect of the the company's cloud workspace plan.

He has been the Windows 365 director of program management for nearly three years, effectively started the Azure Virtual Desktop march a decade ago as the original group program manager for Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), the source told CRN.

The source expects the shakeup to accelerate sales of both Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365, with Manchester—who holds 24 patents—driving a higher degree of “integration and collaboration across the full Microsoft portfolio and ecosystem.”

The stepped-up Microsoft cloud workspace march comes with Azure Virtual Desktop sales soaring in the wake of the pandemic and amid turmoil with VDI competitors Citrix and VMware.

“Microsoft sees an opening to accelerate even faster versus Citrix and VMware with its own branded VDI and DaaS [Desktop as-a-Service] solution,” the source said.

The shakeup comes as the lines between Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop are blurring, the source told CRN.

“Five to 10 years from now there will be no Azure Virtual Desktop, which is just a gateway to Microsoft 365,” said the source.

“It’s all in the cloud. Microsoft is looking for more speed, innovation and adoption in cloud workspace with a single leader."

"Scott Manchester provided the vision for the Microsoft cloud workspace strategy. He is the right man at the right time.”

Azure Virtual Desktop Director Kam VedBrat, a 24-year Microsoft veteran, said that he is no longer heading up the AVD team.

“This week I celebrated my last day working on Azure Virtual Desktop,” said VedBrat.

“Over the last three years I’ve been humbled by the overwhelming customer response to the service, and seeing organisations around the world use AVD for so many scenarios across so many industries.”

CRN reached out to Manchester and VedBrat but had not heard back at press time.

Microsoft declined to comment.


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