At its Inspire Partner Conference, Microsoft announces Windows 365. This is exactly what it sounds like; it is a paid subscription service for Windows. But let’s get one thing out of the way. It’s not for consumers. This is a business product that lets you stream Windows 10 or Windows 11. It’s like Microsoft did with Xbox Cloud Gaming, but for productivity.
Of course, the first question is why someone needs something like that. After all, your PC is already running Windows, right? The answer is that it allows you to run the same installation of Windows, but from any device. It’s almost like a remote desktop, but if the desktop was on Microsoft Cloud. In fact, the company said that Windows 365 is built on top of Azure Virtual Desktop.
Microsoft calls it a cloud PC, and yes, we’ve heard that name before. There have been many leaks and rumors surrounding this. Cloud PC is meant to be a new category for running an entire PC in the cloud.
The service is for companies of all sizes, and that is an important point. Companies do not need to hire someone with virtualization experience for this to work. It is meant to be easy to set up. If your business is too small to afford an IT department, you can still use the extra security and management capabilities you get from Windows 365.
The whole point of it is that it’s just Windows, and it works as you would expect Windows 10 or Windows 11 (when available) to run. You can use all the apps you are used to, and you can use them the way you are used to. Customers can also choose the size of the Windows 365 installation, as prices will be per user per month.
Microsoft also mentioned some companies and organizations that are already excited about the service. The government of Nunavut, a territory in Canada, must send units to its 3,100 full-time workers and 3,000 contractors. Everything has to be flown because there is no road, so it is an expensive process. With Windows 365, it can be done in less than an hour.
All of this was developed while the employees were working from home, of course. It was here that ideas came from. So many companies have employees who work remotely, that this ends up being a better solution, and one that is just easier to manage.
Windows 365 will be available on August 2, and you can learn more about it here. There will be two SKUs first: Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise.