Microsoft is doing away with passwords for Azure Virtual Desktop

Microsoft is now publicly previewing a single sign-on experience for Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), enabling passwordless authentication for users.

Users will now be able to use Windows Hello and security devices such as FIDO2 keys to sign in, as well as third-party identity management services that integrate with Azure AVD.

In addition, users will be able to use passwordless authentication to sign both into the host computer using Azure ADV, as well as inside the session when using the Windows client.

How can I get started?

This new functionality is currently only available for Windows 10, Windows 11, and Windows Server 2022 session hosts, and only once you’ve installed the September Cumulative Update Preview.

You can follow the instructions from Microsoft on how to configure single sign-on, which will guide you in enabling the new authentication protocol. And if you’d like to get a quick overview of how the new functionality works as a whole, you can check out this intro video on Azure Academy.

In particular, if you’d like to use Windows Hello and security keys inside the session, Microsoft has also supplied instructions for in-session passwordless authentication explaining how to use the new WebAuthn redirection functionality.

If you are interested in trying out a virtual desktop, Microsoft isn’t the only game in town for Azure users.

Citrix has announced that its Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering is now available via Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace, which will reportedly simplify the delivery of Windows and Linux virtual desktops and applications to Microsoft customers.

Oracle VirtualBox users can also now run Windows 11, after the database giant addressed a known issue that caused the virtual machine to crash when it ran the operating system.

  • Want to reduce the time you spend on passwords? Check out our guide to the best password managers

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