Azure VDI. Licensing for Windows 10 VDI Host

Rusydan (Dan) 121 Reputation points

Hi All

We have a end user who wants to setup Azure VDI environment with a pool of windows 10 enterprise virtual machine.

We browse through the windows 10 usage rights from There are a few clarifications required.

  1. The link above mention "Windows 10 VDA per user". what does this subscription means? Is this alone sufficient?
  2. Is it sufficient for customers to just purchase Windows 10 Enterprise E3?
  3. Is it a yearly subscription?
  4. Can user use existing windows 10 desktop OEM license and use it to host windows 10 enterprise in Azure VDI?
  5. I was made to understand that windows 10 enterprise license are only an upgrade license and customer must have an existing windows 10 pro license to upgrade to windows 10 enterprise. If this is true, then is windows 10 enterprise E3 is only an upgrade subscription? Do I still require and underlying base OS license (like windows 10 pro)?
  6. Is there any additional license/subscription required which I might have miss out?

Appreciate if we can clarify the above.


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Azure Virtual Desktop
A Microsoft desktop and app virtualization service that runs on Azure. Previously known as Windows Virtual Desktop.
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A Windows technology providing a hypervisor-based virtualization solution enabling customers to consolidate workloads onto a single server.
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  1. vipullag-MSFT 25,366 Reputation points

    @Rusydan (Dan)

    If you have Windows devices with Pro OEM preinstalled then attaching the Enterprise E3 license to the primary users of these devices is enough to access virtual Windows instances, e.g. those hosted on AVD, W365, on-premises VDI.

    In case these users do NOT have a primary device with Windows Pro OEM preinstalled, then you need to purchase the Windows VDA E3 license for them.
    This is higher priced than the Windows Enterprise E3 because as you have already mentioned in the question as it is just an upgrade license for a qualifying OS.
    If the latter is not present the Windows VDA E3 includes the Windows Pro and the Enterprise upgrade licenses.

    One more thing to add here is, that if you want to run Office applications in the hosted Windows desktop environment you need Microsoft 365 Apps licenses in addition. For AVD additional charges apply for Azure consumption like compute, storage, network etc.

    Hope this helps.
    Please 'Accept as answer' if the provided information is helpful, so that it can help others in the community looking for help on similar topics.

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