The new Windows 365 App is now available
When Microsoft launched the March 2023 Preview update for Windows 11 yesterday, it included the second feature drop for the operating system in the update.
Closer inspection of the included features reveals that Microsoft updated several apps and also included new apps in the release. One of them is the Windows 365 app, which Microsoft announced back in October 2022.
The Windows 365 App is not included in the Windows 11 update, but it is now available publicly on the Microsoft Store. Microsoft announced the general availability of the app yesterday.
Windows 365 App
The Windows 365 App requires a Windows 365 subscription, which is available for business and Enterprise customers only at this point. It is designed to bring the Windows 365 Cloud PC to any desktop PC, so that personal apps, content, settings and modifications become available on the device. Cloud PCs are streamed to local devices, which means that subscribers may continue their work on any device, provided that it can be connected to the cloud.
Supported by all Windows 11 editions, except for Windows 11 IoT, it is improving the accessibility of Cloud PCs on Windows 11 client systems.
Microsoft highlights the following core features:
- Cloud PCs may be used fullscreen or in a window.
- Restart, reset, restore, rename and troubleshoot options available directly from Windows.
- Single Sign-On experience.
- Support for Azure Active Directory multi-factor authentication and Microsoft Authenticator.
- Screen reader and keyboard shortcuts support.
- Regular and automatic updates.
Windows 365 users may download and install the official app from the Microsoft Store. Since it is delivered via the Microsoft Store, it is updated automatically on end user devices by default.
Microsoft notes that the app may soon ship with Windows 11, which means that it will be pre-installed on Windows 11 devices. It is unclear if Microsoft plans to include the app on all Windows 11 devices, or only those connected to Windows 365.
Windows 11 users may launch the Windows 365 app from the Start Menu. It can also be pinned to the taskbar for faster access. The app displays a short introduction on first start. Microsoft notes that the registration experience is seamless, and that manual subscription of Azure AD accounts is not required.
The new connection progress interface is shown when Connect is selected. There, users see available actions for specific Cloud PCs that they have access to.
Each Cloud PC is listed with the operating system and hardware information, which include information about RAM, storage and the virtual CPU.
Sessions start in fullscreen mode by default, but users may switch to windowed mode instead; this enables them to use the Cloud PC and the local Windows 11 desktop at the same time.
Windows 365 is only available for business and Enterprise customers. Whether it will become available at one point for home users as well remains to be seen. The monthly subscription price starts at US $31 per user and month for a 4 gigabyte of RAM, 128 gigabyte of storage and 2 vCPU Cloud PC.
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