Beginner’s guide to Windows 365
Windows 365 takes the Windows operating system to the Microsoft Cloud, allowing users to securely stream all their applications, tools, data and settings to any personal or work devices. In this article, we’d like to help you make sense of Microsoft’s new solution by covering what it is, what the benefits are and the impact it’ll have on the way you work.
Why Microsoft launched Windows 365
As the world starts to navigate its way out of the challenges brought about by the pandemic, businesses are once again bracing for massive change and disruption. While Hybrid Working presents some exciting new opportunities, it also comes with its own fresh set of obstacles for security, productivity and collaboration between on-premises and remote employees.
That’s where Windows 365 comes in. As was the case with Microsoft Teams at the start of the pandemic, businesses need to look to the right technology to facilitate their Hybrid Working strategies.
“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” – Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft
So, what exactly is Windows 365?
Windows 365 is Microsoft’s latest cloud solution and the first-ever Cloud PC. What is a Cloud PC? Glad you asked. A Cloud PC is a highly available, optimized, and scalable virtual machine providing end-users with a rich Windows desktop experience. It’s hosted in the Windows 365 service and is accessible from anywhere, on any endpoint.
Each Cloud PC is assigned to an individual user and is their dedicated Windows device. Assigning a Cloud PC to a user is just like assigning an Exchange Online mailbox to a user. When a Windows 365 license is assigned to a user, a new Cloud PC is automatically provisioned and enrolled into Microsoft Endpoint Management.
By taking the Windows operating system to the Microsoft cloud, users can securely stream their Windows experience to any device with an internet connection. By combining the power and security of the cloud with the versatility and simplicity of the PC, Windows 365 enables a wide variety of new Hybrid Working scenarios relating to flexibility, simplicity and security.
Why Windows 365 is the perfect Hybrid Working solution
With Windows 365, Microsoft wanted to create a Hybrid Working solution that was familiar, simple and, most importantly, secure. Let’s take a dive into some of the core benefits of using Windows 365 for Hybrid Working:
Leverage the power of the cloud
By utilising a per-user-per-month pricing model, Windows 365 users have the option of running either Windows 10 or 11 (once it’s available later this year) and the ability to scale the processing power and storage of their Cloud PCs based on their individual needs. Another benefit of having your PC hosted in the cloud is that it’ll come equipped with a gigabit internet connection, allowing you to download and upload critical files at lightning speed.
Simplicity for users and IT teams
Windows 365 allows you to embrace flexibility regardless of when, where or how you work. The state of your Cloud PC always stays the same – meaning that you’re able to pick up where you left off with a consistent Windows experience, irrespective of the device you’re using.
For IT teams, Windows 365 also makes deploying, updating and managing Cloud PCs simple by removing the need for any virtualisation experience. Furthermore, Windows 365 is optimised for endpoints, allowing you to procure, deploy and manage Cloud PCs for your organisation just as you would physical PCs through Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
Small and midsize businesses can purchase Windows 365 directly through Microsoft and set it up in a few clicks or through a cloud service provider (psst… that’s us!), allowing you to focus on scaling your business while we get things up and running for you.
Zero Trust security capabilities
Having been designed for a hybrid world, Windows 365 is built on the principles of Zero Trust and leverages the security benefits of the cloud – allowing users to store and secure information in the cloud as opposed to on their device. In addition to this, your Cloud PC will automatically be kept up to date with the latest patches and updates, building on the strength and capabilities of rich Microsoft security solutions such as Azure Active Directory.
Five practical examples of how Windows 365 could simplify the way you work
There’s no doubt that Windows 365 will form part of many businesses’ Hybrid Working toolkit, so let’s take a dive into some of the practical ways in which Windows 365 might benefit those who adopt it:
Flexible working – With Windows 365, employees will have the ability to get the same work done on a tablet in a waiting room, a laptop in a hotel or on their desktop while they’re at the office with a consistent Windows experience across all devices. The possibilities for flexibility are endless.
Issuing new hardware – Windows 365 makes deploying hardware incredibly simple. Seasonal workers can ramp on and off according to the needs of the business, allowing the organisation to scale for busy periods without the complicated logistical and security challenges of issuing new hardware.
Disaster recovery – Windows 365 ensures continuity and access for your workforce and company data even in the most challenging circumstances allowing you to quickly respond to changing workplace situations to mitigate negative impact and seize opportunities.
Strategic deployment of resources – With Windows 365 companies can be more targeted in how they outfit specialised workers in creative, analytics, engineering, or scientific roles who need greater computing power and access to critical applications.
Securing organisational and customer data – With its built-in Zero Trust capabilities, organisations can address the growing complexity in compliance without sacrificing productivity.
Windows 365 vs Azure Virtual Desktop (a brief overview)
Azure Virtual Desktop has become extremely popular this past year and we’ve been getting a lot of questions about how it compares to Windows 365. There’s a lot to talk about when discussing these two solutions, which is why we’ll be publishing a dedicated article on the topic soon. In the meantime, if you’d like to get some more information about Windows 365 vs Azure Virtual Desktop, please get in touch with one of our experts here.
Windows 365 — A complete software-as-service (SaaS) solution that securely streams your personalised Windows experience – including all your apps, content and settings – to any device with an internet connection.
- Windows 10 and Windows 11 personalised desktops
- Management and deployment with familiar desktop tools and skills
- Predictable per-user pricing
- Optimised for simplicity.
Azure Virtual Desktop — A flexible cloud virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) platform that securely delivers virtual desktops and remote apps with maximum control.
- Windows 10 and Windows 11 personalised and multi-session desktops and remote app streaming
- Full control over management and deployment, plus options for Citrix and VMware integration
- Flexible consumption-based pricing
- Optimised for flexibility.
Test your Windows 365 knowledge with a quiz
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