Microsoft improves its cloud PC offering Windows 365

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 6, 2022

Last year, Microsoft introduced Windows 365 to commercial customers. Windows 365 moves the Windows experience to the cloud so that content that is specific to an employee, including files, settings or applications, can be streamed to local devices.

Windows 365 is compatible with most devices that have an Internet connection, including Windows PCs, Mac OS devices, and iOS and Android mobile devices.

The service is available for business and Enterprise customers only. The price starts at $31 per user and month for the Basic business plan for a 2 virtual CPU, 4 Gigabyte RAM and 128 Gigabytes of storage virtual system. Outbound data volumes are limited and Azure bandwidth pricing applies to data data transfers that exceed the 20 GB, 40 GB or 70 GB limits based on the selected plans.

Microsoft unveiled improvements to Windows 365 on its hybrid work event. The "new experiences" introduce new options to bring the "power of the cloud and familiarity of the PC together".

windows 365 boot

Windows 365 Boot lets users boot right into the Windows 365 Cloud PC on startup of the system. The feature appears to be limited to Windows 11 devices. The device loads the Windows login experience with Windows Hello, and from there the Cloud PC environment.

This makes Windows 365 an even better solution for those temporary or frontline workforces I mentioned, where sharing devices and bring your own device (BYOD) scenarios are common. It allows different users to log in directly to their own personal and secure Windows 365 Cloud PC with their credentials.

windows 365 switcher

Windows 365 Switch adds Cloud PC environments to the desktop switcher on Windows devices; this makes switching between the local environment and the Windows 365 Cloud PC environment easier.

Now we’re adding Windows 365 Switch, which will enable me to move between my Windows 365 Cloud PC and the local desktop just like I do between different desktops today in the Task switcher. I’ll even be able to use the same familiar keyboard commands, as well as a mouse-click or swipe gesture.

The new Windows 365 app adds a new option to run the Windows 365 Cloud PC from the taskbar or the Start Menu on Windows devices. The app will be preinstalled on future Windows 11 releases, and It administrators may install it on Windows 10 devices manually.

A new native Windows 365 app will give me another way to get straight to my Windows 365 Cloud PC from the taskbar or Start menu. All with a desktop path to my Windows 365 Cloud PC, providing a personal, customized welcome experience to tailor my settings, profile, and work style.

windows 365 offline

Windows 365 Offline brings offline access to Windows 365 when there is no connection to the Internet.

We are also working to deliver Windows 365 Offline, which will enable work in Windows 365 even when disconnected. When connectivity is restored, the Windows 365 Cloud PC will automatically resync with the Windows 365 service without data loss so the user experience and workflow are persistent.

Azure AD Join support is leaving its public preview to become available in May 2022 to Windows 365 Enterprise customers.

Now You: do you use Windows 365 already, or would you use it (if Microsoft would launch a Home version)?

Microsoft improves its cloud PC offering Windows 365
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Microsoft improves its cloud PC offering Windows 365
Microsoft unveiled improvements to Windows 365 on its hybrid work event. The "new experiences" introduce new options to bring the "power of the cloud and familiarity of the PC together".
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  1. Anonymous said on April 6, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    Yes M$ we are going to pay more than 30 dollars a month to get spied by your os, pay 10 dollars a month to use office, anything else? Good lord, M$ need to be split as soon as possible.

  2. Harald T. said on April 6, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    The cloud is beatiful, the cloud is fantastic! Until you get locked out of it. And you pay for it!

  3. Anonymous said on April 6, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    you will own nothing yadda yadda grumble grumble. what i’d like to know is when i’m going to start seeing “year of the cloud desktop” evangelists instead of “year of the linux desktop” memers

  4. BM said on April 6, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    With wifi and the recent 5G buildout, this becomes a viable/practical way to manage a workforce.

    I think one item missing from the comments above is that this is aimed primarily at businesses.

    In the US (and probably most western nations) another factor that makes this appealing to them is that a subscription can be expensed vs a one-time license fee (which can only be capitalized and amortized over its “useful life”).

    The relatively low upfront costs, the better tax advantage, along with the other benefits explained in the post make this a competitive offering.

    For us individuals, not so much, plus it triggers privacy concerns for the overly suspicious.

    The panicked/cynical comments reflect more on the commenters than represent reality, imho.

    1. Anonymous said on April 7, 2022 at 2:08 am

      There are always consequences being cheap. You would have to be a fool to trust any big tech giant with your company/personal resources.

  5. Nate said on April 6, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    “Windows 365 Offline brings offline access to Windows 365 when there is no connection to the Internet.”

    So… Windows essentially, but I get to pay 31 bucks a month for eternity? Man, I don’t know how Microsoft hoodwinked people into buying into their subscription madness (this includes O365, M365, BS365 etc…).

    Sadly I actually do, IT peeps are so damn lazy these days.

  6. ElizabethHolmes said on April 6, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    This is scary. Microsoft needs to be broken up before its too late. Microsoft wants full control of your device and data, eventually subscription to use Windows.

  7. Mordor Inc. said on April 6, 2022 at 11:24 am

    I watched their latest presentation. I must say, nevere ever have seen such a bunch of delirious people totally hypnotized by their own creations that they seem to blindly believe are useful or needed for anything. Like if the whole world and every organization is just like their own little cult. That Panos guy gives me the creeps, everything he spews out is just snake oil, everything they are focusing on is SUPPOSEDLY “YOU” and the “cloud”, FOR YOU, but it’s just obvious the only thing they focus on is for YOU to create a Microsoft account and work towards everything needing said account to function. This company has completely lost its mind to GREED and CONTROL. I actually puked in my mouth a little bit knowing I was watching this cult announcement on a Windows 11 computer.. Sweet Lord what have I done..
    Microsoft does not care about YOU one bit, they want to OWN you and suck you dry.
    Ubuntu LTS incoming this month, and after that all the Ubuntu based distros will be released as well. Doesn’t matter which one you pick, all of them are a better and SANE choice than Microsofts overlord spyware advertising OS.

    1. Mordor Inc. said on April 6, 2022 at 11:31 am

      I want an OS where the presentation is not by puppets in love with themselves rambling on about crap, like a car salesman..but instead a some guy/lady who doesn’t give a s**t what he/she wears or looks and goes : “Here, we’ve been working day and night doing this and this is what we got, Here you go, do what the f**k you want with it, I’m gonna go get some well deserved sleep. Hope you like our stuff, we think it doesn’t suck too much” Look at some screenshots and that’s it. 2 minutes, tops.

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