is there a difference between a virtual machine and a virtual desktop on azure?
Azure Virtual Desktop is a hosted way for company users to access Microsoft Office and other Windows desktop software over RDP that runs in Microsoft’s datacenters (which may or may not be Azure). Azure VMs are IaaS, and only come with a license for Windows, not Office.
VMs are designed to be part of your infrastructure and can run any kind of application, and you have full control over them. You can choose from a large array of different VMs, depending on what you need to do. Virtual desktop is a purpose built VM that is optimized for desktop usage.
I hope that make sense.