An Introduction to Microsoft Managed Desktop

Sreeraj Vasukuttan

Even though Microsoft Managed Desktop (MMD) has been part of the Windows 10 scene for over six months, it has been making a buzz recently. To summarize, MMD is a Device as a Service (DaaS) offering in which Microsoft manages your desktops for a monthly fee. It includes the following three components: Microsoft 365 Enterprise subscription, Windows 10 DaaS, and device management as a service by Microsoft.

The device management as a service component is what makes MMD a unique offering. The attractiveness of this solution—for a small or big organization—is the freeing of IT resources from cumbersome modern desktop management. This allows you to focus on the other essential aspects of your overall IT investment. Perhaps, for small organizations, what it means is outsourcing most of their IT. Microsoft is claiming that with the power of Azure, and its Microsoft 365 platform, outsourcing IT has become more affordable. Also, by giving the management job to them, Microsoft thinks that your devices will be more up to date and secure. The analytics that Microsoft gains from MMD will be leveraged to improve the management of the global MMD device population every day. Now, let’s examine what MMD is made of:

Devices on MMD
The devices qualified for MMD are ones that meet Microsoft’s specification and runtime quality bar. Initially, only Surface devices were included in that list. Recently, however, Microsoft added several Dell and HP devices.

Technologies in MMD
Microsoft Office 365 E3, Windows 10 Enterprise E3, and Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 are included in MMD. It also comes with Microsoft AutoPilot as the default deployment technology. And, per Microsoft, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) must either be the source of authority for all user accounts, or user accounts must be synchronized from on-premises Active Directory using the latest supported version of Azure AD Connect. MMD devices require management using Microsoft Intune, and it must be set as the Mobile Device Management authority.

Licensing of MMD
To use MMD, you are required to have a Microsoft 365 E3 license with Identity and Threat Protection (or equivalent licenses).

Check out the MMD introduction blog post by Microsoft to learn more. If you are considering MMD as a potential way to reduce IT complexity, reach out to a Connection Account Manager or our Microsoft Licensing Experts. They can explain the finer details of MMD procurement and servicing.

Sreeraj Vasukuttan is a Technical Marketing Manager at Connection with a passion for technology and marketing. He enjoys writing about cloud, security, and end-user compute. In his free time, he loves watching films, cooking, and traveling with his family.