Windows as a Service (WaaS)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: What you need to know about cloud desktops and DaaS providers
Contributor(s): Alyssa Wood

Windows as a Service is the delivery of a Microsoft Windows virtual desktop and applications by a cloud service provider.

In the WaaS delivery model, the service provider manages the back-end responsibilities of data storage, backup, security, patches and upgrades and the customer's personal data is copied to and from the virtual desktop during logon and logoff. Similar to Desktop as a Service, WaaS services are purchased on a subscription basis. According to Microsoft's virtualization licensing policy, the end user is required to hold valid license keys for each Microsoft product that is pushed to the virtual desktop.

This was last updated in January 2013

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