Windows 365: A new era of hybrid cloud computing

A game-changer…

Microsoft’s ground-breaking new cloud product, Windows 365, is poised to revolutionise the way that businesses interact with their customers and data.

Read on to find out more about the product, and how we can help

What is Windows 365?

Let’s start from the beginning.

On July 14th 2021, Microsoft announced a new hybrid cloud computing product for businesses called ‘Windows 365’, available to businesses only on August 2nd 2021.

Building on the success of Azure Virtual Desktop and continuing the focus of 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.

As it stands, the technology only supports the streaming of Windows 10 operating systems, but Microsoft have confirmed in their product launch that as and when Windows 11 becomes available later this, year, Windows 365 will offer it alongside Windows 10 as part of its subscription service.

Alongside the standard Windows desktop experience, Windows 365 also offers full support for Microsoft 365 business apps, including Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform.

Windows 365 & Azure: Explained

Yes – they sound the same. No – they’re not.

Windows 365 is built using the same technology as its parent product, Azure Virtual Desktop. The key difference between the two platforms is hardware based. If you have purchased a virtual machine (or group of virtual machines and servers) through an Azure subscription then you’re getting just that – instances of virtual hardware that, for all intents and purposes, function as a physical computer network (albeit hosted in one of Microsoft’s datacentres).

Key differences

When you subscribe to Windows 365, instead of provisioning and networking pieces virtual hardware that can be customised to suit your needs (memory, CPU, GPU and disk size) as is the case in Azure Virtual Desktop, you’re essentially paying to stream the Windows operating system to your device via a concept Microsoft have called the ‘Cloud PC’.

Think of it as ‘Azure lite’, but as you can imagine, it’s slightly more complicated than that!

Key Windows 365 features

  • Instant boot to a personal Cloud PC
  • The full Windows experience in the cloud
  • Stream applications, tools, data and settings direct from the Microsoft cloud across any device.
  • A choice of either Windows 10 or Windows 11 (as and when it’s available)
  • Secure by design, and fully compliant with Microsoft’s Zero Trust principle
  • Flexible per-user, per-month pricing plans
  • A scalable set of virtual hardware parameters that lets you adjust to changing conditions on the fly
  • Fully compliant with Azure Active Directory and Microsoft Endpoint manager
  • Fast setup process that provisions your Cloud PC within minutes

How does Windows 365 work?

Windows 365 subscribers are able to stream all their applications, tools, data and settings from the cloud across any device (Mac, Linux, Windows, Android).

When you purchase a subscription and link your Windows 365 product to an existing Microsoft account, your applications, tools, data and settings will follow you wherever you go.

Fully customisable

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. IT networks are notoriously hard to scale unless managed properly, so the ability to adjust settings on the fly is a great advantage to cost-conscious IT Managers.

Integration with Azure AD and Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM)

If your organisation already operates with virtual desktop infrastructure (VD) via Azure, Windows 365 automatically integrates itself with your Azure Active Directory infrastructure, alongside your other virtual assets. You can apply management and security policies to your Cloud PCs just as you do to all your other devices. Windows 365 is also fully compatible with key networking tools such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

How much does Windows 365 cost?

Windows 365 is only available on a per-user, per-month basis. Unlike most Azure-based virtual products, there is no ability to reserve instances of virtual hardware for 1 or 3 years and benefit from a discount to the overall price.

A Windows 354 subscription can either be purchased directly from Microsoft, or bought through an approved Microsoft distributor.

Call us today to find out more

We’ve been providing award-winning, first-class IT support services to businesses across London for over a decade.

We’ll sit down with you and talk about how harnessing the power of cloud computing in an efficient, cost-effective way can reduce your IT costs and facilitate growth within your organisation.

We work with firms and budgets of all sizes. Contact us  to find out how we can help. Our team of friendly, Microsoft-certified consultants are on hand to assist you in any way they can.