Introducing Windows 365 – A New Way to Experience Windows in the Cloud
Microsoft recently announced the launch of Windows 365, an innovative cloud service that introduces a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11. With Windows 365, users can stream a personalized Windows experience on any device. This allows you to use your favorite Windows applications, tools, data, and settings across devices by logging in.
What is Windows 365?
Windows 365 brings the full Windows experience to the cloud. Essentially, it provides users access to a cloud PC from Microsoft. This cloud PC streams the complete Windows environment, including apps, data, and settings, to your personal or corporate devices.
You can access the full Windows experience on Windows 365 from any device, including:
- Windows PCs
- Linux devices
- Android and iOS phones and tablets
- Zero clients
All you need is an internet connection and supported web browser or Windows 365 app.
How Does Windows 365 Work?
Instead of having Windows installed and run locally on a device, Windows 365 users stream Windows securely from Microsoft data centers. This allows users to stay productive from anywhere across devices.
After setup, users can access their personalized cloud PC by logging in with their credentials. The Windows interface, apps, content, and settings are delivered securely through the internet. Users see a familiar Windows 10 or 11 experience, except it runs remotely on Microsoft servers.
Inputs like keyboard, mouse, pen, and touch are instantly redirected to the cloud so you can control your cloud PC similar to a locally running device. With fast internet connectivity, actions feel fluid as your apps and content render in Microsoft data centers and stream to your device screen.
Since processing occurs in the cloud, you do not need powerful local hardware. The new service works across a variety of internet-connected endpoint devices.
Key Benefits of Windows 365
There are many advantages to using Windows 365:
- Access your cloud PC and Windows apps anywhere with an internet connection.
- Experience a consistent Windows 10 or 11 environment across devices.
- Leverage powerful cloud computing resources to run resource-intensive apps.
- Easily move between a local and cloud experience on the same device.
- No need to buy expensive hardware as processing occurs remotely.
- Stream your customized settings and content.
- Less worry about the security of on-prem hardware.
- Easily onboard and offboard remote employees.
For most knowledge workers who primarily use apps like Office 365, Outlook, Teams, Chrome or Edge, Windows 365 provides simplicity, security, fast access and a consistent experience across devices.
Use Cases for Windows 365
Windows 365 serves a wide variety of use cases from remote work to simplified device management. Here are some examples:
- Hybrid Work – Easily work remote while maintaining access to apps, content and settings from any device.
- Shift Workers – Workers can securely log in from multiple shared devices as they change locations.
- Contingent Workforce – Easily provision cloud PCs for contractors, temporary hires or employees using their own devices.
- Disaster Recovery – Quickly restore access to apps and data for workers due to disruptive events.
- Streamlined Management – Manage user profiles, policies, updates, apps, and security centrally in the cloud.
- Legacy App Access – Utilize older, legacy apps that require older versions of Windows.
Whether at home, work, or school, Windows 365 provides simplified access to your apps, content and personalized settings on the go.
Windows 365 Plans and Pricing
Microsoft offers both Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise plans. Available configurations range from 1 vCPU, 2GB RAM, and 64GB storage to 8 vCPU, 32GB RAM and 512GB storage.
Pricing starts at $20/month per user. Volume discounts are available. Enterprise plans include additional management features and security options.
As a cloud service, organizations only pay for what they use. There is no need to purchase separate Windows licenses or invest in powerful local devices.
Getting Started with Windows 365
To start using Windows 365, first determine the appropriate cloud PC configuration for your needs. Sign up through Microsoft 365 Admin Center.
Add users and assign subscription licenses. Users can then download the Windows 365 app for their preferred device or access the cloud experience through a browser.
At login, a user customizes their cloud PC setup. Applications, settings, and data leverage Azure Active Directory integration. Ongoing management and endpoint security can be controlled through Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
Overall, Windows 365 makes it simple to experience Windows securely in the cloud across devices. With powerful cloud computing resources, a familiar Windows experience, and streamlined setup, it offers a versatile solution for work, school, or personal use.