During Microsoft’s latest video presentation ‘Inspire’ yesterday, the tech giant revealed ‘Windows 365’. Much like Xbox’s ‘XCloud’ offering, Windows 365 is a browser-based Windows 10 (and Windows 11 at launch) experience that runs on phones, tablets, laptops and desktops for any sized business from 08/08/2021.
For home workers during Covid lockdowns, its benefits are quite clear from the start. It empowers teams to use cloud computing to complete any task regardless of device. It’s a great proposition, but what does this mean for home consumers?
Thanks to probably the best cloud infrastructure on planet Earth, Windows 365 is completely cloud based. That means any apps, work and settings are securely sitting on a Cloud PC, Microsoft goes on to explain:
“Secure by design and built with the principles of Zero Trust, Windows 365 secures and stores information in the cloud, not on the device, providing a secure, productive experience for workers from interns and contractors to software developers and industrial designers.”
Flexibility And Blurring Lines
If there’s one thing to take away from the last two years, it’s that we all need flexibility when it comes to work and digital environments. Even at a consumer level, we’re getting used to apps/experiences working seamlessly on various devices. We see the power of the IoT (Internet of things) daily without giving it much thought. Smart watches syncing up with SMS, email and social media being good example.
Blurring the line between traditional PC experiences and having access to the same Cloud PC, regardless of device of location, is big. It means people can pick up where they left off without working via a different app interface adapted for said device. A consistent experience regardless of technical limitations saves money and time. The execution of this remains to be seen, but on-demand and cloud-based experiences are becoming the norm. Netflix anyone?
- Powerful: 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.
- Simple: 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 as they manage physical PCs through Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Small and midsize 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 that want more customization and flexibility options.
Microsoft are keen on delivering on three key areas with the launch of Windows 365, judging by the following taken from their press release:
“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:
Secure: 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.”
Will you be trying out Windows 365 or wait for a consumer offering?