Windows Desktop for Personal Use?

Copper Contributor

I'm a bit new to this, so any help and patience is appreciated.


I'm currently in the free 30-day window. Studying Azure Fundamentals as a foundation for getting the developer certs. I'm an experienced .Net developer, but my Azure experience has all been on corporate VMs provisioned and managed by others. To me, Azure has always just been someplace where our servers live.


Is is possible/practical for me to keep a personal Windows Desktop in the cloud, such that I pay nothing (or next-to-nothing) when I'm not using it (turned off), and only pay a compute rate when I turn it on to use it?


I would most likely use this for software development. It would be a better way to configure a work machine without installing a bunch of tools and libraries on a home machine that was built for gaming and multimedia. I'm also aware that there may be overlapping Visual Studio subscriptions that include some Azure resources, but I'm still not ready to give up owning my own VS license. I'm also aware that there are downloadable images that include some tools on them, but I don't want something where I'll lose all my personalization every few months when the license expires.


Finally, can Azure provide a Windows license for such a workstation, or do I have to provide Windows keys?

2 Replies



Seems Windows 365 service does not fit your requirement but under current Visual Studio subscriptions, you may consider subscription with Windows license for a better evaluation


I'm really not looking for a full-time machine online. I guess the better question is whether Azure allows me to configure and work with a machine, and then turn it off to stop billing. Then later I can come back to that machine, restart it and resume billing only as long as I use it.

The question I see is that while not actually computing the system state becomes an image that must be stored at some arguable cost. But performance doesn't matter then, and it's certainly not taking compute cycles. Is there a way to do something like that with Desktop? With any VM?