Windows 365: The New Cloud PC

What is Windows 365?

In Microsoft’s 2021 Inspire event, the tech giant unveiled Windows 365, a new OS experience hosted on the Azure cloud. Microsoft attest Windows 365 defines a new category of computing, ‘Cloud PC’. While Microsoft offers a similar service through its Azure Virtual Desktop, the aim of Windows 365 is to simplify the process of accessing virtual machines. Microsoft hopes that Windows 365 is simple to provision for IT and simple to operate for the user. The cloud-based OS can be launched via a browser or a client on any device with a stable internet connection and seeks to meet the complex demands of the emerging hybrid workforce.

How is it going to change work?

Using cloud technologies in the office is now the standard. The ability to work on the same project using multiple environments on the cloud has enabled greater flexibility for the individual and more diversity for collaboration. For Microsoft customers it has proven – in most cases – to be cheaper, more secure, and offers iteratively updated versions of Microsoft’s evolving software.

Windows 365 advances these benefits by pushing the Windows 10 (and soon, 11) OS into the cloud. User settings, desktop layouts, file paths, niche applications preferences, as well as all your documents, files, and projects are available instantly on any machine that can stream Windows 365. While a lot of the benefits of Windows 365 are similar to those of a Microsoft 365 subscription on a traditional device, it’s the immediacy of the OS that make Windows 365 so impressive. When signing out of one machine and signing into another, all the windows, applications, and layouts are saved and displayed exactly as they were left. It is truly, as Microsoft claims, a ‘persistent PC in the cloud’.

Alongside more general users, the utility provided for individuals who travel frequently or those who are required to access isolated communities for work is immense.

 

Faster Operating Speeds

As compute capabilities are also managed in the cloud, the hardware of the machine streaming Windows 365 plays only a minor role in the OS’ performance. If the machine can run a modern browser it is powerful enough for Windows 365. A Windows 365 PC can be configured to have up to 32GB of RAM or as little as 2GB depending on user requirements.

Further, the internet connection of the physical device accessing Windows 365 does not dictate the speeds that the OS has access to. A demo from Microsoft Mechanics looking over the technology confirmed that, to stream the OS, an average, modern internet speed was all that was required. Once signed in, Windows 365 accesses Azure data centres to operate at borderline comical 10,000mbps download speeds.

 

Simple Set Up

Your IT department will be relieved that the provisioning and set up processes required to implement Windows 365 are built with simplicity and ease in mind. Modifying aspects of an employee’s PC, such as RAM or storage, can be done on the fly. Should an employee who usually only performs word processing tasks need to do some urgent, resource intensive video editing work, an Administrator can adjust the employee’s virtual processors and memory for the task and scale across once completed.

 

Versatility?

One drawback Microsoft cannot claim to remedy at this juncture is its ability to support legacy applications in the Windows 365 environment. If your business uses a bespoke or niche piece of legacy software, there is no guarantee that a Cloud PC will be able to run it. However, businesses using just the Microsoft suite and – as a rule of thumb – popular business software, there should be no issues using Windows 365.

Final thoughts

Microsoft has banked on hybrid working emerging as the dominant approach to working post-pandemic. Windows 365 is another offering that helps to consolidate this motion. The strengths of its communications application, Teams, is perhaps the strongest among a series of successes the company has which justify its stance. If this is anything to go by, and if businesses continue to promote the kind of flexibility necessary for hybrid work to succeed, Windows 365 could prove to be the future that Microsoft envisions for the world of work.

ClerksWell offer a variety of services to help your business build a Modern Workplace solution. From Microsoft 365 licenses to SharePoint migrations, ClerksWell are Microsoft Gold Partners with 25 years’ experience using Microsoft technologies. Get in touch today and modernise your workplace.

 

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