Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) vs Microsoft Remote Desktop Services comparison

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Comparison Buyer's Guide
Executive Summary
Updated on Sep 1, 2022

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops vs Microsoft Remote Desktop Services

We performed a comparison between Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and Microsoft Remote Desktop Services based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Users of both solutions feel they are easy and straightforward to deploy.
  • Features: Users feel Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops provides great data protection. They are able to easily adjust security protocols to restrict how data can be transferred. The solution is very flexible and can be used on any device. Many users feel the endpoint user and zero trust protocols need some improvement. Additionally, updates should be more timely to respond to Windows updates more efficiently.

    Microsoft Remote Desktop users find the solution stable, reliable, and scales easily. The solution is built into the OS and offers command line interface (CLI) capabilities which make it easy to manage IDs, passwords, credentials, and more. Users feel on-site multi-fact authorization and better integrations with other operating systems are needed.
  • Pricing: Citrix users feel the solution is a bit expensive. Microsoft Remote Desktop Services comes at no cost as part of Microsoft Windows; outside of Microsoft, licensing can be costly..
  • Service and Support: Users of both solutions are satisfied with the service and support they have received.

Comparison Results: Many PeerSpot users use Microsoft Remote Desktop Services as it is already embedded into their Microsoft operating systems (at no additional cost) and can scale on demand. The PeerSpot users that work outside of the Microsoft universe choose Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops due to its excellent virtualization capabilities and that it is a mature, reliable solution.

733,828 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"The product is simple to set up, and its deep integration with Microsoft is also a valuable feature.""The most valuable feature is the desktop experience so that users don't see much difference between the remote desktop and the local desktop... It also provides virtualization for high-end graphics so that they can be displayed. AutoCAD can be done on Citrix. The graphics are very good.""It provides all of the features required for the protection of data. For example, we don't want to allow any copy/paste of data to an outside environment, and we are able to restrict the VDI to not allow any data transfer from the VDI to the local laptop's hard drives. That is one of the greatest advantages the solution provides.""The only thing that is really important for me is being able to connect from wherever I am. It is important for me because sometimes I am in places where there are not enough safe conditions to be able to work safely, in terms of security and confidentiality of my data. Being able to access internal resources from a secure platform allows me to work without fearing that my data has been stolen.""First of all, the manageability of the applications for publishing is valuable. Second, it is about being able to run the applications on all main platforms. Third, its licensing is valuable. You can either switch to the cloud and keep on-prem. You can work with this hybrid scenario.""Citrix has had the top remote display for the last 20 years, and there is a huge technological gap between Citrix and its competitors.""The most valuable feature is how secure the solution is.""For the most part, overall stability is what you would expect."

More Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) Pros →

"The solution is now stable.""We use it to connect to the legacy system.""The technical support is good.""The solution now includes a multi-screen feature which is great.""It's simple to set up.""It's largely stable.""It's built into the operating system and has a command line interface capability to insert credentials, IDs, a password, et cetera.""It's simple and easy to use."

More Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Pros →

"My only issue with Citrix is that they frequently rebrand their products. I'm using the app and everything is fine but after a couple of years, it's entirely different. There were an enormous number of Citrix tools readily available. My immediate concern was selecting the correct ones.""I have to re-enter my user password when I am not using the tool for some time around ten minutes. I want to also improve the need to download other Citrix apps.""Our experience of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is good, but the environment can become complex and difficult to manage at times.""The user profiles could use some improvement.""Their customer support can be improved a lot as it lacks a lot of knowledgeable help.""The support offered by Citrix's partner needs to improve. The partner support platform should aim to provide more technical information to users.""The speed and connectivity of Citrix DaaS could be improved.""Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is a complex solution."

More Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) Cons →

"The biggest reason we don't use the solution for our company's clients is the solution's prices.""I want to connect easily from an external network even when I'm not in my enterprise or company. It should be easy to connect or integrate Microsoft Teams, for example, with Microsoft Remote Desktop Services.""The solution should introduce a chat feature for end users.""We've had issues with security breaches.""It could offer better security for enterprises.""Remote Desktop Services doesn't scale well.""The performance of Remote Desktop Services could be better.""The administrative functionality is not enough for me."

More Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "The purchase price was around $300,000 USD and then the maintenance fees were 20%. There are no other additional fees."
  • "You can buy an on-cloud or on-prem license. You can switch between on-cloud users and on-prem users. Its licensing is cheap. It is from $8 to $15 per user. It is not that expensive when you compare the cost of buying new hardware with the cost of the license. For example, at $15 per user, it costs around $180 for a year, which is cheaper than buying a $600 PC that at a certain stage, you will again have to change because its hardware is not supported. It may also get damaged or stolen. So, you can compare the cost of the actual hardware that you have to buy and the time spent in supporting the clients with the cost of its license."
  • "Citrix solutions cost a lot in comparison with competitors, like Azure Virtual Desktop or VMware Horizon. Those solutions cost around 50 to 60 percent less, per month per user, than Citrix."
  • "The pricing is a little bit high, but it's good value for the product's stability and efficiency."
  • "The price of Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops is approximately $300 for the new version called Dash and the license is approximately $900 annually."
  • "Where Citrix really needs to improve is in their support and in the way that they manage their licenses. Everything else comes second because if I'm not in a position where I can get proper support or manage my own licenses in an easy way, then it is pointless. Today, I am at a point where I may not be able to use Citrix anymore because they want to take away some of the licenses that I bought, pretending they are not valid anymore. That is frankly unacceptable. If they don't solve this, everything comes second because I cannot use my product."
  • "The Citrix license model has changed. It costs around $240 per user for a single username, but a concurrent license costs double."
  • "We recouped 60 to 70 percent of the hardware costs."
  • More Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The solution comes free with Microsoft Windows."
  • "The price of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is reasonable."
  • "I would say it's expensive as there similar products available for free."
  • "Microsoft Remote Desktop Services comes free as part of Microsoft Windows."
  • "I am aware that for Azure we do have an extra license because we are leveraging on different tenants."
  • "Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is less expensive than some other solutions on the market."
  • "I think that Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is expensive compared to Login solution."
  • "I rate the price of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services a three out of five."
  • More Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:It's costly in the market. But it is not expensive for the company. For the company, it's relatively inexpensive because the core of the work is compensated with the price. Secondly, the price is… more »
    Top Answer:Citrix DaaS is pretty slow. In Citrix DaaS, I have to connect to the computer in another form and always have to keep waiting. Sometimes, I click on Microsoft Teams or Outlook, but it doesn't work at… more »
    Top Answer:The installation of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services was easy.
    Top Answer:The solution is expensive. My company pays toward the monthly licensing costs of the solution, though we also have the option to opt for perpetual licensing offered by Microsoft. Microsoft licensing… more »
    Top Answer:The biggest reason we don't use the solution for our company's clients is the solution's prices. In our company, we do our own hosting through a hosting partner since this method offers a much cheaper… more »
    out of 41 in Remote Access
    Average Words per Review
    out of 41 in Remote Access
    Average Words per Review
    Also Known As
    Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, XenDesktop, XenApp (Citrix Virtual Apps)
    Remote Desktop Services, MS Remote Desktop Services
    Learn More

    Enable secure, flexible work with the leader in virtual apps and desktops

    Deliver desktop as a service (DaaS) from any cloud or datacenter

    Get started with Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) in minutes to provide a familiar, high-performance digital workspace experience to your users. We’ll manage the infrastructure and security. You focus on your business.

    Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is a highly regarded remote access tool in addition to being a top-ranked Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution in the marketplace today.

    Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is a suite of valuable elements of the Windows operating system (OS) that serve specific desired objectives. Microsoft RDS integrates various features that allow approved users to gain access to graphical desktops and Windows applications remotely. Approved users are able to deploy applications or even a complete desktop without having to install anything on their devices. Everything remains in the cloud. This ensures that there are never any compatibility issues and keeps the organization's original network secure at all times. Administrators are also able to ensure that data cannot be stored in any unapproved location, such as the local device, unapproved drives, or any other location.

    Microsoft RDS makes it easy for business organizations to access Windows Desktops and other Windows applications remotely to ensure today’s busy enterprise organizations are able to maintain the highest levels of productivity at all times. There are two basic ways organizations can effectively utilize RDS.

    • Microsoft Remote Desktop Component: This allows users to connect with various alternate desktops from their current device. Once the user has gained a secure connection based on the approved administrative permissions, the user can seamlessly access and interact with the remote desktop. Users have the feeling of having this new virtual desktop installed directly on their machine.

    • RemoteApp: Users are able to easily access cloud-based applications via their own personal desktop computers or other approved mobile devices. This application ensures overall application management is centralized and consistent throughout the entire business enterprise.

    Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Benefits

    Microsoft Remote Desktop Services has many benefits. Some of its most valuable benefits include:

    • Access Windows applications remotely from any device
    • Enhanced consistent application performance
    • Increased computing resources
    • Secure cloud-based data storage.
    • Streamlined management processes
    • Reduction in technical administrative resources
    • Reduction in hardware and device costs.
    • Improved employee productivity
    • Cost-effective
    • Improved Profitability
    • Reduce carbon footprint

    Microsoft Remote Desktop Services makes it easy for busy enterprise organizations to stay productive and remain competitive in today’s aggressive marketplace. An organization's end-users can be given access to their own specific desktops from any location, anytime, using any approved device. Additionally, users can access Microsoft applications without having an effect on their device's resource capacity or performance.

    Reviews from Real Users

    “What I found most valuable in Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is accessibility because the solution lets you take control of your computer remotely, and that's a good feature.” Pascal B., IT consultant at Secoptrial

    “The most valuable features of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services are unification, central management, and accessibility.” Jan S. Solution Architect at a tech services company

    “The most valuable features are that it is fast and cost-effective. I am not aware of a replacement currently on the market.” Ramon H. Director at Empaco

    Learn more about Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service)
    Learn more about Microsoft Remote Desktop Services
    Sample Customers
    Exelon, Aeronamic, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Alameda County Medical Center, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, Aloysius Stichting, Amarchand Mangaldas, AmBev, Amnet Technology Solutions, Arval
    Bank Alfalah Ltd.
    Top Industries
    Computer Software Company20%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Insurance Company8%
    Energy/Utilities Company8%
    Computer Software Company14%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Financial Services Firm17%
    Manufacturing Company12%
    Computer Software Company10%
    Healthcare Company7%
    Computer Software Company13%
    Manufacturing Company7%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Company Size
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise56%
    Small Business23%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise62%
    Small Business43%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise34%
    Small Business27%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise58%
    Buyer's Guide
    Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) vs. Microsoft Remote Desktop Services
    September 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) vs. Microsoft Remote Desktop Services and other solutions. Updated: September 2023.
    733,828 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) is ranked 4th in Remote Access with 26 reviews while Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is ranked 2nd in Remote Access with 42 reviews. Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) is rated 7.6, while Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) writes "Consumes less bandwidth, saves time and money, and supports a large variety of devices". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services writes "Light, built into the operating system, and requires no implementation". Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) is most compared with VMware Horizon View, Citrix Workspace, Microsoft App-V, Amazon WorkSpaces and TeamViewer, whereas Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is most compared with TeamViewer, VMware Horizon, VMware Workstation, Citrix Workspace and VMware Horizon View. See our Citrix DaaS (formerly Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops service) vs. Microsoft Remote Desktop Services report.

    See our list of best Remote Access vendors and best Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) vendors.

    We monitor all Remote Access reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.