We’ve been talking a lot about Windows Virtual Desktop recently, mainly singing its praises. But we are aware there are other hosted desktop and infrastructure options out there! Therefore, we’ve decided to take a look at Citrix vs Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) with a focus on SMB’s and see which one comes out on top.

Cost Efficiency

The cost of Citrix vs Windows Virtual Desktop is probably one of the biggest differences (and pluses) in favour of WVD. Citrix requires several on premise servers to be built first, then get Windows Server operating system, the Windows RDS cals, layer Citrix on top of that and then consultancy to set it all up. You’ll also need Office Pro Plus, hardware and ongoing specialist support services for a Citrix environment. For a 50-user organisation, that’s about £100,000-150,000 upfront.

For the same sized business, 50 users, using Windows Virtual Desktop instead you’ll need an Azure subscription (as this is where WVD is hosted), fewer days of consultancy (we estimate around 4-5) and Microsoft 365 licensing. An estimate for this scenario is about £30,000 per annum – so a lot of cost savings to be made.

If you’d like a more in-depth breakdown of the steps and costings mentioned above, watch the below video.

Accessibility for SMB’s

Windows Virtual Desktop is much more accessible than Citrix for small to medium sized businesses. Citrix has a lot of advanced features that, of course, cost to implement and maintain. However not all businesses, especially those on the smaller end, need these features or want to pay for them. The quick setup and lower cost of WVD makes this a great option for SMB’s who want a hosted desktop environment, but don’t want to wait weeks or pay 10’s of thousands for it.

Administration Experience

With Microsoft Windows Virtual desktop, IT administrators can centrally administer the infrastructure from the cloud. They can access the WVD infrastructure up in Microsoft Azure and administer all of the users from their own machines, so no need to visit a data centre or server room. All the Microsoft 365 applications, Office, any company applications, the security, and the profile for each user can be managed from one platform. This means easy, centralised management and ease of use for IT departments. You can even layer Citrix on top of Windows Virtual Desktop, for an extra fee, if your organisation did want to continue with some Citrix capabilities but also WVD.

User Desktop Experience

What the user see’s with Citrix vs Windows Virtual Desktop is quite different. With Citrix on premise the user is presented with a Windows Server OS, which will look very different for those who are switching over from a Windows 10 operating system. With Windows Virtual Desktop, they see the same Windows 10 desktop. This really helps from a usability perspective as it is very familiar to those already aware of Windows 10. It is possible to present a Windows 10 desktop with Citrix, but there are going to be extra costs to this.

So, as you can see there are a lot of benefits to Windows Virtual Desktop especially in the small to medium sized business arena. The cost is a lot lower and implementation a lot easier and simpler. However, as we mentioned sometimes it isn’t even a case of one or the other, as you can actually use Citrix Cloud on top of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop, if Citrix is something you want to keep. Therefore, when it comes to Citrix vs Windows Virtual Desktop we do think WVD comes out on top for SMB’s, but if you do already have Citrix and are looking to utilise some Windows Virtual Desktop as well – a combination or layering is definitely an option too.

If you enjoyed our quick videos on Citrix vs Windows Virtual Desktop, we have a whole playlist available on YouTube. If you’d like some more information on Windows Virtual Desktop , please get in contact at the details below.

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