Introducing Windows 365

Windows 365

Microsoft has announced a new service that allows you to access Cloud PCs from anywhere, known as Windows 365, and it’s available now.

2021 has been a defining year for Microsoft with the company focusing on software in a way we haven’t seen in a long time.

The biggest announcement has been Windows 11 — a brand new version of Windows that includes an overhauled design, various new multitasking features, and native support for android apps.

Now, it looks like Microsoft wants to build up the software infrastructure around the new OS. This includes Windows 365 — a new business-focused service that is poised to revolutionise the way that businesses interact with their customers, staff, and data by providing a Windows 10/11 experience in the cloud, accessible from almost any device.

What is Windows 365?

Building on the success of Azure Virtual Desktop, Microsoft has decided to continue their focus on cloud-based methods of working in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Windows 365 is essentially a Windows PC hosted in the cloud, operating on a subscription model and accessible from almost any device with a web browser and an internet connection, including Mac, Linux, and Android devices.

Once set up, it’s a simple case of navigating to the Cloud PC website and signing in — all modern web browsers and Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app are supported.

As some parts of the world start to slowly return to normal — the timing of this announcement is no accident.  Microsoft is anticipating that many companies will adopt a hybrid working model. In this hybrid scenario, shifting from a Windows desktop in the office to a personal laptop at home can feel jarring. With the introduction of Windows 365, Microsoft aims to ease this transition and make it easier for employees.

As it stands, Windows 365 only supports the streaming of Windows 10 operating systems, but Microsoft has confirmed that as and when Windows 11 becomes available later this year, Windows 365 will offer it as part of their standard subscription service.

Windows 365 and Azure

The key difference between Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows 365 is hardware-based. If you have purchased a virtual machine, or a group of virtual machines and servers through an Azure subscription, then you will only be getting instances of virtual hardware that function as a physical computer network — hosted in a datacentre.

Cloud PC

When you subscribe to Windows 365, instead of provisioning and networking an entire virtualised network with storage and servers, you are paying to stream the Windows operating system to your device via a concept Microsoft has called the “Cloud PC”.

How does Windows 365 Work?

All Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices will be compatible, and all Windows 365 subscribers can stream all their applications, tools, data, and settings from the cloud across any device running macOS, iPadOS, Linux and Android.

Once set up, it’s a simple case of navigating to the Cloud PC website and signing in — all modern web browsers and Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app are supported.

Windows 365 also allows you to customise the amount of power and storage that your Cloud PC uses, both at the point of subscription and once you start using it. Their plans are split into “Business” and “Enterprise”, and the features vary slightly between them. Business subscribers can manage everything online without the need for a licence and add up to 300 users. The Enterprise tier removes the limit, allowing you to build on existing licences and take advantage of Microsoft’s Endpoint Manager data security software.

Cloud PC’s benefit from a fast internet connection — 10Gbps download and 4Gbps upload. You are also able to use your webcam and other media devices on your Cloud PC — some of these are to be confirmed soon.

Conclusion

Just as important as day-to-day management, security is what most companies will look at more carefully when considering remote and hybrid working solutions using Windows 365. Windows 365 is built on a zero-trust security model, and you can therefore enforce all your Azure security policies on your Cloud PCs or build custom policies that apply to certain devices or users.

Windows 365 is ideal for many different users ensuring a secure working environment for contractors working off personal PC’s, frontline works that don’t need constant access to a PC, and employees working off their personal PCs from home.

Windows 365 is the solution to many modern-day problems since entering the pandemic era. Microsoft has adapted their technology and software to follow through with remote and hybrid working by allowing you to stream the Windows operating system to your device, from any device — on the go.

Our expert team of consultants will be there every step of the way to assist you — ensuring that you end up with a Windows 365 solution that meets your unique business requirements.

Wizard IT are a Microsoft Gold Partner which means you will benefit from the very best that we have to offer in terms of Microsoft products and professional services.

Contact one of our consultants today to find out more about Windows 365.

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