What's new in Windows Virtual Desktop for March 2021

We have just updated our What's new in Windows Virtual Desktop document for changes made to the service in March 2021.

Updates to the Azure portal UI for Windows Virtual Desktop

We've made the following updates to Windows Virtual Desktop for the Azure portal:

  • We've enabled new availability options (availability set and zones) for the workflows to create host pools and add VMs.
  • We've fixed an issue where a host with the "Needs assistance" status appeared as unavailable. Now the host will have a warning icon next to it.
  • We've enabled sorting for active sessions.
  • You can now send messages to or sign out specific users on the host details tab.
  • We've changed the maximum session limit field.
  • We've added an OU validation path to the workflow to create a host pool.
  • You can now use the latest version of the Windows 10 image when you create a personal host pool.

Generation 2 images and Trusted Launch

The Azure Marketplace now has Generation 2 images for Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session. These images will let you use Trusted Launch VMs. Learn more about Generation 2 VMs at Should I create a generation 1 or 2 virtual machine. To learn how to provision Windows Virtual Desktop Trusted Launch VMs, see our TechCommunity post.


FSLogix is now preinstalled on Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session images

Based on customer feedback, we've set up a new version of the Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session image that has an unconfigured version of FSLogix already installed. We hope this makes your Windows Virtual Desktop deployment easier.


Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop is now in General Availability

Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop is now generally available to the public. This feature is an automated service that monitors your deployments and lets you view events, health, and troubleshooting suggestions in a single place. For more information, see our documentation or check out our TechCommunity post.


March 2021 updates for Teams on Windows Virtual Desktop

We've made the following updates for Teams on Windows Virtual Desktop:

  • We've improved video quality performance on calls and 2x2 mode.
  • We've reduced CPU utilization by 5-10% (depending on CPU generation) by using hardware offload of video processing (XVP).
  • Older machines can now use XVP and hardware decoding to display more incoming video streams smoothly in 2x2 mode.
  • We've updated the WebRTC stack from M74 to M88 for better AV sync performance and fewer transient issues.
  • We've replaced our software H264 encoder with OpenH264 (OSS used in Teams on the web), which increased the video quality of the outgoing camera.
  • We enabled 2x2 mode for Teams Server for the general public on March 30. 2x2 mode shows up to four incoming video streams at the same time.

Start VM on Connect public preview

The new host pool setting, Start VM on Connect, is now available in public preview. This setting lets you turn on your VMs whenever you need them. If you want to save costs, you'll need to deallocate your VMs by configuring your Azure Compute settings. For more information, check out our blog post and our documentation.


Windows Virtual Desktop Specialty certification

We've released a beta version of the AZ-140 exam that will let you prove your expertise in Windows Virtual Desktop in Azure. To learn more, check out our TechCommunity post.

1 Reply

Any advancements for scanners coming with TWAIN driver support? Despite the proper settings put into WVD Host Pool for USB redirection, our Fujitsu scanners don't work. We had to leverage a 3rd party program called TSScan to make it partially work, but its touch and go at best.

Now even though it's sort of working we're having to use a NAPSv2 which lacks basic features like page counts and barcode scanning and other more robust scanning software that we've tried including the one we currently use in our other VDI environment refuses to work in WVD because the software (ScandAllPro) doesn't see the scanner attached to the machine.