What is Microsoft Managed Desktop?

Microsoft Managed Desktop is a cloud-based service that brings together Microsoft 365 Enterprise (including Windows 10 Enterprise and Office 365 Enterprise) and adds these features:

  • User device deployment
  • IT service management and operations
  • Security monitoring and response

Microsoft Managed Desktop offers a solution for several of the challenges facing businesses and their people today:

  • The transition to the agile world of software as a service is daunting.
  • Users want an empowered, connected work experience.
  • Many current IT management and security processes are outdated, time-intensive, and expensive.
  • Businesses want to focus on what makes them uniquely successful, rather than maintaining digital infrastructure.

Your users will enjoy the latest versions of Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise apps (and more besides), using devices and software that are curated and rigorously tested for best performance and reliability. Also, you'll never have to worry about keeping any of this software up to date because that happens automatically, following a careful rollout sequence that is monitored every step of the way. And registered devices are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week for technical and security issues, so if something goes wrong, help will be on the way.

Unique to Microsoft Managed Desktop

Of course, there's nothing stopping you from obtaining and managing your own devices and Microsoft 365 deployments yourself. So what does Microsoft Managed Desktop offer beyond those things?

Our policies and security baseline offers your users these benefits:

  • Boot times for Microsoft Managed Desktop devices about one-fourth as long.
  • At least twice the battery life
  • About one-third as many device crashes per year
  • Device mobility through Enterprise State Roaming, allowing users to have the same experience no matter what device they sign into

Your IT admins benefit from these features:

  • Insights dashboards constantly keeping you up to date on usage, reliability, device health, and other data on devices and users
  • About one-tenth the amount of time needed to update 95% of devices
  • More time to focus on other IT admin activities, thanks to device management provided by the service.
  • Better awareness of device and app performance and early warning of security issues from device monitoring.

Device management

Microsoft Managed Desktop takes on the burden of managing registered devices and the Microsoft software they use.

  • Hardware: Instead of your IT department having to research and figure out if a device is compatible with the service, we've provided specific hardware and software requirements, tools, and processes to streamline selection so you can choose devices with confidence. You can find recommended devices by filtering for Microsoft Managed Desktop on the Shop Windows Pro business devices site. You can either obtain devices yourself (or work with a partner) or reuse devices you already have. Registering devices is easy and straightforward, and before they're deployed, you can also customize certain aspects of the device experience for your users.

  • Updates: Microsoft Managed Desktop sets up and manages all aspects of deployment groups for Windows 10 quality and feature updates, drivers, firmware, anti-virus definitions, and Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise updates. This includes extensive testing and verification of all updates, assuring that registered devices are always up to date and minimizing disruptions, freeing your IT department from that ongoing task.

  • Apps: As part of Microsoft 365 Enterprise, Microsoft provides (and manages) several key Microsoft apps for you. But you probably also have other apps that you need for your business. Instead of your IT department having to test, package, and deploy those apps, Microsoft helps you deploy them through the FastTrack program. Additionally, Microsoft's App Assure program can help remediate any app compatibility issues that arise when migrating to the latest versions of our products. Learn more at Apps in Microsoft Managed Desktop.

Device monitoring

We help maintain the security of your devices with a dedicated security operations center that monitors your devices and uses data from the unique threats that Microsoft analyzes each month. These security features are built in instead of added on later.

We also monitor device health and provide you with insights about device performance. Learn more at Microsoft Managed Desktop operations and monitoring.

Need more details?

For more about the value of Microsoft Managed Desktop, including customer stories, see Microsoft Managed Desktop. Great places to get started with more are the Roadmap, a Forrester Total Economic Impact case study, and a downloadable one-page summary. You can find the latest news at the Microsoft Managed Desktop blog.

If Microsoft Managed Desktop seems right for your organization, you can delve into further documentation that explains more about the service, how to prepare your organization to enroll, how to get started with the service, and ongoing operations thereafter, including how you and your users can easily get help if needed. If you're already ready to come on board, start with contacting your local account team.

More overview and background Primarily for technical and business decision makers, these articles detail the division of roles and responsibilities between your organization and Microsoft, more about the technologies used in Microsoft Managed Desktop, and how the service fits into a broader strategy as part of the ITIL framework.

Get ready for enrollment These topics describe the steps you'll need to take in your organization to prepare for enrollment, including checking that your environment meets key prerequisites, configuring networks, setting up certificates, and preparing your apps.

Get started Once you're ready to enroll, this section includes the steps to follow to actually join the service, obtain and set up devices, prep your users, and deploy apps.

Working with Microsoft Managed Desktop This section includes information about your day-to-day life with the service, such as how your IT admins can get support if needed, how your users get support, managing your apps once deployed, and how to work the customizable settings on devices.