In the past year, organizations increasingly turned to the cloud to survive potential business disruptions. At Microsoft, we partnered with businesses of all sizes, to help them take advantage of the scalability, remote work enablement, and cost efficiencies of migrating to the cloud. As we plan for the future together, we expect customers will continue to leverage cloud investments to refine and reimagine their digital strategies with an eye on remote productivity, sustainability, and security.
Today, we are announcing Extended Security Updates for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, and SQL Server 2012, free only on Azure. Customers running these releases of Windows Server and SQL Server on-premises will have the option to purchase Extended Security Updates.
In addition, for customers who need more time to upgrade and modernize their Windows Server and SQL Server 2008/R2, we will now provide one additional year of free extended security updates for 2008/R2 servers only on Azure.
Customers can take advantage of innovative Azure-only capabilities and ease the operational burden while modernizing Windows Server and SQL Server environments. For example, Azure Automanage improves workload performance and uptime through simplified management for Windows Server and Linux VMs. Azure VMware Solution allows customers to migrate quickly while continuing to take advantage of their VMware investments. Azure Virtual Desktop helps customers modernize their Windows Server Remote desktop services (RDS) based Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments. Similarly, the SQL Server IaaS extension delivers automated management, patching, and backups for SQL Server VMs on Azure. Read more about our end of support offers and the latest in Windows Server and SQL Server innovation.
Azure has the tools and services to support partners in driving application innovation for their customers whether that is modernizing existing applications, building cloud-native intelligent applications, or streamlining the development process with DevOps.
And with hybrid-work places becoming the new reality, more organizations every day are using Azure Virtual Desktop to modernize their virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment and stream apps to their employees and contractors with existing license entitlements. With the new monthly per-user access pricing option, organizations can use Azure Virtual Desktop to deliver apps from the cloud as a SaaS solution to customers. This promotion provides access to Azure Virtual Desktop for no charge until December 31, 2021, to help partners test and scale remote app streaming solutions with their customers.