Windows Virtual Desktop vs Citrix — Hysolate

System Requirements

Windows Virtual Desktop

  • Microsoft Management Console 3.0 (included in all supported operating systems).
  • Windows PowerShell 3.0 or higher.

Cost Efficiency

One of the biggest differences between Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop is cost. WVD was designed as a low-cost solution for smaller businesses.

Accessibility for Small to Medium Businesses

Compared to Citrix, Windows Virtual Desktop is easier to use for small businesses. While Citrix has many advanced features, the cost of implementation and maintenance is high. However, not all businesses (especially small ones) need or want to pay for these capabilities. WVD offers faster and more affordable setup without requiring advanced IT expertise.

Administration Experience

With Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop, IT administrators can manage their infrastructure in the cloud, with no need to go to or connect remotely to a server room. WVD lets you manage all Microsoft 365 apps, desktops, business applications, security functions and profiles in one web interface. To gain additional capabilities offered by Citrix, you can add Citrix on top of WVD (see the following section).


Citrix provides extensive enterprise security features, including FIPS compliance, Common Criteria certification, Microsoft Credential Guard compliance, multi-factor authentication, smart card integration, ICA proxy, and more. However, WVD provides adequate security measures based on the strong security features of the Azure cloud.


Citrix provides analytics that helps reveal unusual behavior or malicious access to desktops. You can apply Citrix Policies to enable or disable any functionality, and limit application access based on context with Citrix Cloud. Citrix provides a Secure Browser for locked-down access to specific SaaS applications.

User Desktop Experience

What users see on Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktops is completely different.

Combining WVD with Citrix

WVD itself is an ideal choice for many businesses (especially startups and small businesses). For large businesses, Citrix can extend Microsoft’s WVD, offering a management layer that increases flexibility, security and optimizes costs.

  • Hybrid Cloud Model-WVD can only run Windows 10 workloads in multiple sessions on Azure. Citrix provides the ability to also run existing RDSH workloads, either on-premises, on Azure, on any other cloud, or on HCI solutions like Nutanix.
  • Citrix HDX-an improved remoting protocol.
  • Citrix Machine Creation Services (MCS)-provides a hypervisor API that enables quick generation of VMs with minimal infrastructure utilization.
  • AutoScale-quickly adds or removes workloads as needed, with “vertical load balancing” which balances the number of user sessions on a single machine until optimal performance is reached, improving utilization and reducing the number of servers needed.
  • App Layering-this Citrix capability significantly reduces management time for Windows images and applications. It separates the applications from the management infrastructure and the operating system. It lets you install each application and operating system patch only once, then update the appropriate template and reload the image.
  • App Protection-this Citrix feature improves security when using public resources on virtual desktops and Citrix applications.
  • Session Recording-lets users record screen activity during VDA-hosted user sessions for any connection type, in accordance with company policies.
  • Citrix Analytics-security and performance analysis leveraging AI, which can help identify and resolve issues and anomalies.
  • Citrix SD-WAN-Citrix SD-WAN is a next-generation WAN solution that provides better security, and an improved application environment for SaaS, cloud, virtual applications and desktops.
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA)-Citrix integrates with third-party MFA providers, including Okta, OAuth, and RADIUS.

Local Virtual Workspace with Hysolate

Organizations face two key problems with virtual desktop solutions like Windows Virtual Desktop and Citrix:

  • Separate operating systems for high risk users — another solution some organizations have found is to provide a relatively open virtualized desktop for regular use, and another, locked-down desktop for privileged use, for users like administrators or finance staff. This improves security, but degrades user experience and productivity and is impractical or too expensive for most enterprises.
  • Providing secure corporate access from unmanaged user-owned devices, using a strong, VM-based, isolated workspace.



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