Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session remote desktops

You can now use Microsoft Endpoint Manager to manage Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session remote desktops just as you can manage a shared Windows 10 client device. When managing such VMs, you must use device-based configurations. Such configurations require user-less enrollments.

Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session is a new Remote Desktop Session Host exclusive to Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure. It provides the following benefits:

  • Allows multiple concurrent user sessions.
  • Gives users a familiar Windows 10 experience.
  • Supports use of existing per-user Microsoft 365 licensing.

Overview

Microsoft Endpoint Manager only supports managing Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session with device configurations. This means only policies defined in the OS scope and apps configured to install in the system context can be applied to Azure Virtual Desktop multi-session VMs. Additionally, all multi-session configurations must be targeted to devices or device groups. User scope policies are not supported at this time.

Prerequisites

This public preview feature supports Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session VMs which are:

  • Running Windows 10 multi-session, version 1903 or later.
  • Hybrid Azure AD-joined or Azure AD-joined.
  • Set up as remote desktops in pooled host pools in Azure.
  • Running a Azure Virtual Desktop agent version of 2944.1400 or later.
  • Enrolled in Microsoft Endpoint Manager using one of the following methods:

Important

If you're using Windows 10, versions 2004, 20H2, or 21H1 builds, be sure that you install the July 2021 Windows Update or a later Windows Update. Otherwise, an issue will cause remote actions in Microsoft Endpoint Manager. For example, remote sync won't work correctly. As a result, any pending policies assigned to devices might take up to 8 hours to be applied.

For more information on Azure Virtual Desktop licensing requirements, see What is Azure Virtual Desktop?

Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session VMs are treated as a separate OS edition and some existing Windows 10 Enterprise configurations won’t be supported for this edition. Using Microsoft Endpoint Manager does not depend on or interfere with Azure Virtual Desktop management of the same VM.

Create the device configuration profile

To configure configuration policies for Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session VMs, you'll usually use the Settings catalog.

The existing device configuration profile templates aren't supported for Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session VMs, with the exception of the following Templates:

Intune won't deliver unsupported templates to multi-session devices, and those policies appear as Not applicable in reports.

To configure policies

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center and choose Devices > Windows > Configuration profiles > Create Profile.
  2. For Platform, select Windows 10 and later.
  3. For Profile type, select Settings Catalog (Preview), or when deploy settings by using a Template, select Templates and then the name of the supported Template.
  4. Select Create.
  5. On the Basics page, provide a Name and (optionally) Description > Next.
  6. On the Configuration settings page, select Add settings.
  7. Under Settings picker, select Add filter and select the following options:
    • Key: OS edition
    • Operator: ==
    • Value: Enterprise multi-session
    • Select Apply. The filtered list now shows all configuration profile categories that support Windows 10 Enterprise multisession. You can see the scope for the policy in parentheses (Device or User). Currently, only device settings are supported for multisession.
  8. From the filtered list, pick the categories that you want.
    • For each category you pick, select the settings that you want to apply to your new configuration profile.
    • For each setting, select the value that you want for this configuration profile.
  9. Select Next when you’re done adding settings.
  10. On the Assignments page, choose the user groups containing the devices to which you want this profile assigned > Next.
  11. On the Scope tags page, optionally add the scope tags you want to apply to this profile > Next. For more information about scope tags, see Use role-based access control and scope tags for distributed IT.
  12. On the Review + create page, choose Create to create the profile.

Administrative templates

Windows 10 Administrative Templates are supported for Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session via the Settings catalog with some limitations:

  • ADMX-backed policies are supported. Some policies are not yet available in the Settings catalog.
  • ADMX-ingested policies are supported, including Office and Microsoft Edge settings available in Office administrative template files and Microsoft Edge administrative template files. For a complete list of ADMX-ingested policy categories, see Win32 and Desktop Bridge app policy configuration. Some ADMX ingested settings will not be applicable to Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session.

Note

Some ADMX settings currently require an insider build. You can hover over the information bubble next to the setting name to see if an insider build is required for a specific setting.

The applicability of some ADMX based settings for applications like Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Office is not based on the Windows edition or version. To add these settings to your policy, you may have to remove any filters applied in the Settings Picker.

Compliance and Conditional access

You can secure your Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session VMs by configuring compliance policies and Conditional Access policies in the Endpoint Manager admin center. The following compliance policies are supported on Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session VMs:

  • Minimum OS version
  • Maximum OS version
  • Valid operating system builds
  • Simple passwords
  • Password type
  • Minimum password length
  • Password Complexity
  • Password expiration (days)
  • Number of previous passwords to prevent reuse
  • Microsoft Defender Antimalware
  • Microsoft Defender Antimalware security intelligence up-to-date
  • Firewall
  • Antivirus
  • Antispyware
  • Real-time protection
  • Microsoft Defender Antimalware minimum version
  • Defender ATP Risk score

All other policies report as Not applicable.

Important

You’ll need to create a new compliance policy and target it to the device group containing your multi-session VMs. User-targeted compliance configurations aren’t supported.

Conditional Access policies support both user and device based configurations for Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session.

Application deployment

All Windows 10 apps can be deployed to Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session with the following restrictions:

  • All apps must be configured to install in the system/device context and be targeted to devices. Web apps are always applied in the user context by default so they will not apply to multi-session VMs.
  • All apps must be configured with Required or Uninstall app assignment intent. The Available apps deployment intent is not supported on multi-session VMs.
  • If a Win32 app configured to install in the system context has dependencies or supersedence relationship on any apps configured to install in the user context, the app will not be installed. To apply to a Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session VM, create a separate instance of the system context app or make sure all app dependencies are configured to install in the system context.
  • Azure Virtual Desktop RemoteApp and MSIX app attach are not currently supported in Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Script deployment

Scripts configured to run in the system context are supported on Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session. This can be configured under Script settings by setting Run this script using the logged on credentials to No.

Windows Update for Business

Windows Update for Business policies are not currently supported for Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session.
We recommend that you swap the OS image in Azure if you need the latest security updates. If you use the Azure Gallery image, you always get the latest security updates and can make sure all VMs are up-to-date and secured.

Remote actions

The following Windows 10 desktop device remote actions are not supported and will be grayed out in the UI and disabled in Graph for Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session VMs:

  • Autopilot reset
  • BitLocker key rotation
  • Fresh Start
  • Remote lock
  • Reset password
  • Wipe

Retirement

Deleting VMs from Azure will leave orphaned device records in Microsoft Endpoint Manager. They will be automatically cleaned up according to the cleanup rules configured for the tenant.

Security baselines

Security baselines are not available for Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session at this time. We recommend that you review the Available security baselines and configure the recommended policies and values in the Settings catalog.

Additional configurations which are not supported on Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session VMs

Out of Box Experience (OOBE) enrollment isn't supported for Window 10 Enterprise multi-session. This restriction means that:

  • Windows Autopilot and Commercial OOBE aren't supported.
  • Enrollment status page isn’t supported.

Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session managed by Microsoft Endpoint Manager is not currently supported for US Government Community (GCC), GCC High, DoD, or China.

Next steps

Learn more about Azure Virtual Desktops.