With Windows Virtual Desktop, the bad old days are coming back

I’ve been saying for a while now that Microsoft wants you to move from Windows on your desktop to Windows as a service. I’ve rarely gotten so little pleasure from saying I was right.

In the last few weeks, Microsoft rolled out Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD). If you have a fast internet connection to an Azure region, you can run your desktop off Azure today.

Maybe you’re OK with your business running on cloud-based Windows. I’m not.

Once upon a time, we didn’t have PCs. We had dumb terminals connected to mainframes. That put all the IT power in the hands of those who controlled the big iron. I am not going back again. I want to be in charge of my desktop, thank you very much, and I can paint some pretty scary scenarios of why you should as well.

Just as an example: Suppose the United States government decides you can’t use software from a U.S.-based cloud. If you had Windows on a desktop, you just keep going, but if it’s a cloud service, you’re dead in the water.

That’s not a made-up example. Adobe is shutting down its application service for Venezuelan users to comply with a U.S. executive order that prohibits trade with that country. If you live in Caracas, you soon won’t be able to use Acrobat, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop or Premiere. The exact same thing could happen if you relied on Azure for your desktop.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.


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