Q: I notice on my MSDN Azure subscription I have Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 images. Does that mean the client operating system is now supported on Azure?
A: No. Unique to Azure MSDN subscription are Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 images, which can be found in the Visual Studio image section, as the following figure shows. Notice that the images are exclusive to MSDN subscriptions and aren't available for non-Azure subscriptions.
These client images are available to MSDN subscribers so that software can be tested with client operating systems in Azure; however, this doesn't mean client operating systems outside of the MSDN development environment are supported or licensable in Azure. There's still no way to license Windows client operating systems in Azure. If you want Desktop as a Service or publish applications, you have the following options:
- Use Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDP) running in a virtual machine in Microsoft Azure, which allows the publishing of desktops or applications to users over RDP that look and feel just like a Windows client operating system. Citrix XenApp can also be used in Azure.
Use the new Microsoft Azure RemoteApp, which provides a Microsoft service in Azure to publish applications such as Office, as the following figure shows.