Hello Microsoft SMB Partners,
Wanted to make sure you saw the latest news today on Azure RemoteApp. Microsoft announced in blog post today that Azure RemoteApp will be phased out over the next year. New purchases of Azure RemoteApp will end as of October 1, 2016, although existing customers will continue to be supported on the service through August 31, 2017. Microsoft is currently following up directly with existing customers to ensure these options are understood and that they have the support they need through this transition.
Moving forward, partners and customers looking to deliver cloud hosted remote desktops and applications will have a few different options.
Citrix XenApp “express”, which is currently under development, “combines the simplicity of application remoting and the scalability of Azure with the security, management, and performance benefits of XenApp, to deliver Windows applications to any employee on any device”. This is the next step in Microsoft’s broad partnership with Citrix that was recently announced. Stay tuned for more information on this in the coming months. As we get more information we can evaluate the fit of this solution for our SMB customers.
An excellent option that exists today for delivering cloud hosted remote desktops and applications is via Remote Desktop Services deployed on Azure IaaS. And Partners, this provides a great opportunity for you to deliver this solution on behalf of your customers – allowing you to generate services revenue, deepen your relationships with your customers, and build a Desktop as a Service practice. See the link above for guidance on how to deploy RDS on Azure. There are also third party solutions and tools that can help you automate Azure desktop hosting and drive cloud revenue without being an Azure expert. One of those solutions that I have received good feedback from partners on is MyCloudIT. I would encourage you to reach out to them with questions and to see how they can help your business.