Move your Microsoft Office desktop to the cloud

Office for Mere Mortals helps people around the world get more from Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Delivered once a week. free.

Microsoft has announced their own virtual machine version of Windows and Office desktop that you can run from anywhere called Windows Virtual Desktop.

WVD is a virtual Windows machine which runs on Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers.  Users access that machine from their own computer using Remote Desktop software.

move your microsoft office desktop to the cloud 23923 - Move your Microsoft Office desktop to the cloud

Many organizations already do this, either hosting their own servers or using a cloud service company.

Some individuals do a similar thing accessing their, more powerful, desktop computer remotely from a laptop or tablet anywhere in the world.  See the ‘Remote Desktop’ chapter in Windows 10 for Microsoft Office users or Windows 8.1 for Microsoft Office users.

Windows Virtual Desktop is the first time Microsoft has offered a virtual machine service directly.  It’s a multi-user service meaning all the machines are kept updated automatically.

Windows 10, 8.1 and 7 desktops are supported with extended security updates.  The full Office 365 ProPlus suite can be installed on virtual machines.  Of course, Office 365 hosting can be included.


Organizations run virtual machines for staff to centralize administration and secure data.

It’s a lot easier to manage and update ‘computers’ if they are all running on a server or in the cloud.  Documents and other data stay on the main system not distributed to individual computers that could be stolen.

More storage, memory or even CPU resources can be added to a virtual machine with a few changes at the admin portal.

Individual laptops don’t have to be expensive because all they have to do it connect to the Internet and display an image of the virtual machine.

More Info

The usual announcement full of buzzwords and acronyms or the official site. An Azure page has a bit more detail. There will be a public preview that you can now apply for.

Want More?

Office Watch has the latest news and tips about Microsoft Office. Independent since 1996. Delivered once a week.