In its simplest form, Windows 365 is a service that allows business customers to access Cloud PCs from anywhere. A similar feature has been available via virtualisation and remote access software in the past, but it’s the first time we’ve seen an official service from Microsoft.
Windows 365 works on any modern web browser or through Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app, allowing users to access their Cloud PC from a variety of devices. “Windows 365 provides an instant-on boot experience,” according to Wangui McKelvey, a general manager for Microsoft 365. This instant access lets workers stream their Windows session with all of their same apps, tools, data, and settings across Macs, iPads, Linux machines, and Android devices. “You can pick up right where you left off, because the state of your Cloud PC remains the same, even when you switch devices,” explains McKelvey.
There are two editions of Windows 365: Business and Enterprise. Both are powered by Azure Virtual Desktop, and individual Cloud PCs can be configured with a single CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage at the low-end, all the way up to eight CPUs, 32GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. Microsoft is offering 12 different configurations for both Windows 365 Business and Enterprise, and businesses are able to scale processing power so there are lots of options to choose from.
“Windows 365 is really going to make a huge difference for organisations that wanted to try virtualisation for various reasons but could not — maybe it was too costly, too complex or they didn’t have the expertise in house to do it,” says McKelvey.
Businesses are able to create Cloud PCs within minutes and assign them to employees, avoiding the need for dedicated physical hardware. That could be appealing for many businesses hiring remote workers or even temporary contract staff that need to securely access a corporate network. As your entire Windows PC is in the cloud, employees don’t need to navigate VPNs or worry about security on personal devices.
New features coming to Windows 365
At Microsoft’s hybrid work event in April 2022, the company announced that Windows 365 will now be directly integrated into Windows 11. This makes it easy to quickly move between your regular desktop and Cloud PC, simulating the experience of multitasking.
A new Task Switcher tool aims to smooth this process, but it’s just one of three new features coming to Windows. If you primarily use Windows 365 instead of the regular operating system, Boot allows you to log directly into the Cloud PC each time you turn on your device.
Windows 365 relies on the internet, but a new Offline feature means it’ll continue working even when your connection drops out. The obvious caveat here is that nothing will be saved until you’re connected once more.
If you would like advice or guidance on how you can implement Windows 365 into your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can arrange a meeting with one of our team here, just choose the time that best suits you below.
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