Windows 365’s Microsoft offers a remote Windows desktop that you can access in a web browser. Businesses can offer Windows desktop software that their employees can access from any device, from Macs, Chromebooks, and iPads to iPhones and Android phones.
What is Windows 365?
Windows 365 is a subscription-based cloud PC service. When you, or more likely your employer, sign up and set up, you get a remote Windows desktop that you can access in any modern web browser.
Basically, you are accessing a remote Windows PC through a virtual desktop system. You (or your employer) can install any Windows software you want and access Windows applications and a full Windows operating system environment through the browser.
The desktop environment is “instant” and remembers your state. In other words, if you have multiple application windows open and you disconnect (or close your browser), your desktop will be in exactly the same state when you reconnect. Imagine going from a Mac to an iPad or a Chromebook to a Linux PC and keeping the exact desktop state constant between your devices. Every employee gets their own custom cloud PC, or multiple custom cloud PCs!
It is built on the technology Azure Virtual Desktop from Microsoft and runs on Azure , which is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. Think of it as Microsoft’s answer to Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Here’s another form of “thin client”: Microsoft runs Windows on its computing platform, a company pays a monthly subscription fee for this service, and employees access remote Windows systems running on Microsoft hardware.
What devices can access Windows 365?
All you need to access Windows 365 is any device with a modern web browser. You can also access it through from the Microsoft Remote Desktop application , which is available for a variety of platforms.
In other words, it will work on Macs, iPads, iPhones, Android devices, Chromebooks, Linux PCs, and anything else that can run a modern browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari.
Who is Windows 365 for?
At the time of its launch, Windows 365 is a product for businesses, not for general consumers. However, businesses of all sizes are eligible. Whether you have a one-person business or a large corporation with thousands of employees, you can sign up, pay for the subscription, and use it.
Microsoft says companies will be able to create cloud PCs and assign them to employees in just a few minutes. Businesses can use it to quickly provide a standardized desktop to their employees that they can access from any hardware. Businesses can provide their employees with a consistent and managed desktop environment without providing them with hardware, so that employees can access the remote desktop environment on personal devices, even if those personal devices are not Windows PCs.
Businesses will create, map and manage PCs in the cloud through Microsoft Endpoint Manager .
Is there a consumer version of Windows 365?
At launch, this product is for businesses only, although, as we mentioned, even businesses with only one employee can sign up. This is not intended to be a consumer product so that anyone can quickly sign up and get a Microsoft cloud desktop, and even businesses with a single employee will have to create, assign, and manage that cloud PC via Endpoint Manager.
Moving forward, it’s easy to see how Microsoft could expand this service, offering simple Windows cloud desktops that anyone can access from an iPad, Mac, Chromebook, or any other device for a monthly fee.
When will Windows 365 be released?
Microsoft says that Windows 365 will be released on August 2, 2021. It ad on July 14, 2021.
How much will Windows 365 cost?
Microsoft will bill Windows 365 per user, per month. In other words, companies will pay a fixed amount per employee each month.
There will be two tiers: Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise. Microsoft also said that it will offer different levels of performance. Businesses can choose to pay for more CPU, RAM, and storage resources for certain cloud PCs, depending on their needs.
Microsoft told Bleeping Computer that, at launch, the smallest configuration would be a CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. The largest will be eight CPUs, 32GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.
Once a company has chosen its plan level and performance options, that company will pay a fixed amount each month. This is different from Azure Virtual Desktop, which Windows 365 is based on. With Azure Virtual Desktop, businesses pay based on a usage model, based on how much the remote system is used each month.
Unfortunately, as of the July 14, 2021 announcement, Microsoft had yet to announce specific pricing. We should know more when Windows 365 officially launches.
Update, 8/2/21: Here is the starting price for Windows 365. Plans start at $ 20 per PC per month and go up to $ 162 per month.
Is Windows 365 secure?
Windows 365 involves running the Windows operating system and its applications on Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. A company using this service relies on Microsoft for the security and privacy of critical business information.
Of course, many companies already trust their messages, emails and documents to cloud services such as Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, not to mention the services of other companies like Google Workspace and Slack. If a business is comfortable relying on Microsoft’s cloud platform with its data, it is likely that it is also comfortable relying on Microsoft’s cloud PC platform.
Like Azure Virtual Desktop, on which Windows 365 is based, Windows 365 uses virtualization. You’re not really getting a single PC in a data center somewhere – Microsoft’s cloud computing platform runs virtual PCs side by side on the same server hardware, preventing them from communicating between each other. Yes.
With this type of solution, companies can ensure that their applications run in a standardized, managed desktop environment. Remote employees don’t have to worry about connecting to a VPN to manage corporate resources, install work applications on their personal PCs, or upload large files to the corporate network. They just access the remote desktop environment. Confidential business documents should never be downloaded to an employee’s personal device.
Microsoft says it will have more details to share when the service launches. You can read more at Microsoft’s Windows 365 website .