Microsoft announced Windows 365 today, which may seem like an interesting move, given they just a couple of weeks ago announced Windows 11. While it shares the Windows name, Windows 365 is actually a cloud service, like a virtual desktop online, that can run either Windows 10 or Windows 11 and is designed for businesses of all sizes.
Windows 365 offers businesses a way to deliver their employees a ‘Cloud PC’ through any browser, from virtually any device. Typically employers buy (or lease) their employees new machines and cycle them out every few years at great expense. This new proposition with Windows 365, could see employees use virtually any device to connect to their remote Windows 365 experience.
Windows in the cloud can still be managed through Microsoft’s 365 device management, have all the regular configuration, applications and also access to local hardware.
As organisations around the world grapple with the best ways to facilitate hybrid work, this opens the door to employees even using their own devices to connect into the office.
“With Windows 365, we’re creating a new category: the Cloud PC. Just like applications were brought to the cloud with SaaS, we are now bringing the operating system to the cloud, providing organizations with greater flexibility and a secure way to empower their workforce to be more productive and connected, regardless of location.”Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft.
In a new video from Microsoft Mechanics, they provide a great demo of this system in action. While your connection to Windows 365 doesn’t require more than a few Mbps to run the session, once you’re there, it seems these desktops will feature the ability to leverage some amazing internet speeds, as much as 10 Gbps.
A new computing paradigm for hybrid work
As the pandemic begins to ease in parts of the world, a new way of working is emerging, transformed by virtual processes and remote collaboration. In this more distributed environment, employees need access to corporate resources across locations and devices — and with cybersecurity threats on the rise, securing those resources is paramount.
“Hybrid work has fundamentally changed the role of technology in organizations today. With workforces more disparate than ever before, organizations need a new way to deliver a great productivity experience with increased versatility, simplicity, and security.
Cloud PC is an exciting, new category of hybrid personal computing that turns any device into a personalized, productive, and secure digital workspace. Today’s announcement of Windows 365 is just the beginning of what will be possible as we blur the lines between the device and the cloud.”Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Microsoft 365.
Windows 365 helps employers solve challenges they’ve faced since long before the pandemic. Workers expect greater flexibility and more options to work from different locations, while still ensuring the security of the organization’s data.
Seasonal workers can cycle on and off teams without the logistical challenges of issuing new hardware or securing personal devices — allowing the organization to scale for busy periods more efficiently and securely. And companies can easily ensure specialized workers in creative, analytics, engineering or scientific roles have greater compute power and secure access to critical applications that they need.
Versatile, simple, secure: the transformational impact of Windows 365
By building on the power of the Windows operating system and the strength of the cloud, Windows 365 gives any organization greater peace of mind in three key ways:
With instant-on boot to their personal Cloud PC, users can stream all their applications, tools, data, and settings from the cloud across any device. Windows 365 provides the full PC experience in the cloud. The cloud also provides versatility in processing power and storage, enabling IT to scale up or down, based on their needs. With a choice of either Windows 10 or Windows 11 (once it is generally available later in 2021), organizations can choose the Cloud PC that works for them with per-user per-month pricing.
With a Cloud PC, users can log in and pick back up where they left off across devices, providing a simple and familiar Windows experience delivered by the cloud. For IT,Windows 365 also simplifies deployment, updates, and management — and unlike other solutions, Windows 365 doesn’t require any virtualization experience.
With Windows 365 optimized for the endpoint, IT can easily procure, deploy, and manage Cloud PCs for their organization just like they manage physical PCs through Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
Small and mid-size businesses can purchase Windows 365 directly or through a cloud service provider, and set-up their organization with Cloud PCs with just a few clicks. Microsoft also continues to innovate in Azure Virtual Desktop for those organizations with deep virtualization experience who want more customization and flexibility options.
Windows 365 is secure by design, leveraging the power of the cloud and the principles of Zero Trust. Information is secured and stored in the cloud, not on the device. Always up to date and building on the strength of rich Microsoft security capabilities and baselines, Windows 365 simplifies security and recommends the best security settings for the environment at hand.
New opportunities for the Microsoft partner ecosystem
For decades, Microsoft partners have been at the center of how we deliver technologies and business transformation to customers around the world. The depth of Microsoft’s cloud offerings and technology portfolio gives partners the power to build innovative, industry-specific solutions. Windows 365 will allow our partners to continue to make more possible.
From systems integrators to managed service providers to ISVs to OEMs, the new Cloud PC category creates opportunity for our partners to deliver new Windows experiences in the cloud.
Organizations will look to systems integrators and managed service providers to help them get the most out of their entire Windows estate. ISVs can continue to build Windows apps and now deliver them in the cloud to help businesses work in new ways as they continue to digitally transform. And original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) gain an opportunity to integrate Windows 365 into their broad portfolio of services alongside their devices’ robust features and secure hardware.
“To be their best in a new world of work, employees need workplace technology that’s familiar, easy to use, secure and always available. With Windows 365, Microsoft is capitalizing on the power of the cloud to empower productivity anywhere, across any device and elevate the workplace experience.”Veit Siegenheim, global modern workplace lead, Avanade.
Windows 365 will be generally available to businesses of all sizes starting on Aug. 2, 2021. You can learn more at https://Microsoft.com/Windows-365.com.