Microsoft announced Windows Virtual Desktop at Microsoft Ignite. A few weeks out and the world has changed already. Microsoft acquired FSLogix to fill a couple of gaps. As you might remember FSLogix was one of the partners mentioned during the sessions. Read the Microsoft announcement here: https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2018/11/19/microsoft-acquires-fslogix-to-enhance-the-office-365-virtualization-experience/
The FSLogix blog of the announcement is found here: http://blog.fslogix.com/fslogix-joins-microsoft
Read my previous blog about Windows Virtual Desktop right here – https://robbeekmans.net/euc/microsoft-windows-virtual-desktop-an-azure-only-windows-offering/. It gives a good insight in what WVD really is.
FSLogix was founded in 2012 as they saw a gap in the EUC market. FSLogix offers a number of solutions. These days some of those are also offered by Citrix, VMware and Liquidware.
- Office365 container
- OneDrive cache
- Windows 10 indexing and Search
- Profile container
- App Masking
What did FSLogix solve?
With moving Exchange to the Cloud, while customers where still using Outlook locally (or in a virtual desktop), Microsoft created an issue FSLogix and other solved. Outlook had two modes, cached and online. Online was great with Exchange on-premises, cached is great when there is persistent storage for the cache. Moving Exchange away from the desktop killed the online option. Non-Persistent desktops were a nightmare for the cached option. To solve the cache issues FSlogix, Citrix, VMware and Liquidware developed solutions to fix that.
Similar issues and fixes for Windows Search and indexing. Windows features work great when there is a local of persistent device. When there is a non-persistent device this is challenging. For these non-persistent issues FSLogix, Citrix, VMware and Liquidware developed solution. FSLogix was most advanced with this but others were getting closer fast. It was a matter of time someone was buying them.
They also offered a profile solution that took the whole profile to a disk. The disk and the profile would be connected when the user would log on again. This was a faster way of doing it that working with a UEM solution where you would selectively save settings. Loading those still took several seconds while connecting a disk is instantly.
The last functionality that was interesting was the app masking feature that allowed to mask a specific app for a user. An IT admin would install a bunch of apps and mask the ones a user wasn’t allowed to see.
What does it offer Microsoft for WVD?
Microsoft will gain the functionally to offer a more robust profile solution, Outlook and OneDrive cache redirection and Windows search redirection. It will make the DaaS offering
Will it be a WVD only offering?
From the information found on the announcement it seems to be a Office365ProPlus only offering.
Microsoft would piss off a couple of competitors if they did that but from a competitive standpoint it would make sense. Extending the office365ProPlus licenses to use Windows 10 in Azure with FSlogix features makes it a very attractive offer. Very interested to see how the market will react to this license change and offering.
Are partners impacted?
Of course partners with similar functionality are impacted. From the announcements by Microsoft and FSLogix it seems that any customer with an office365ProPlus license can use the functionality. This would mean that it also is applicable on-premises for platforms where Office365 ProPlus is supported.
I made a small overview (picture above) of that. If customers are on Windows 10 and/or on Windows server 2016, they can use it on-premises or in any cloud environment (assuming FSlogix is bundled with O365ProPlus as the announcement seems to hint). So partners are impacted but can also make use of this acquisition. all customer with an O365 ProPlus license (..keeping up my assumption) suddenly have a Office365/Onedrive/profile solution at hand. User experience is on the rise, what bad can come from that?
FSLogix seems to be licensed under O365ProPlus and from what I gather from Microsoft licensing overview (I got lost a few times in that maze) M365 always included Office365ProPlus. That would mean any customer with a M365 license will have access to WVD and FSLogix (and Office). That is a good thing for customers, faster logon, good functional Windows virtual desktop. Now just add something like Citrix to top it off and we’re all set 😉
Let’s see what the next days/weeks/months will bring, interesting times we live.