The needs of computer users and the organizations where they work are constantly evolving. With the immense disruption of the past two years, it has created a new world of hybrid work.
Large enterprises were much more prepared for the sudden shift to hybrid work than small and medium-sized organizations. Why? Because their extensive IT staff weren’t new to enabling employees to work from remote locations in a secure manner.
Now, Microsoft is leveling the playing field by making its new hybrid work solution, the Windows 365 Cloud PC, generally available to businesses of all sizes.
What Is the Windows 365 Cloud PC?
Windows 365 Cloud PC is a cloud-based Windows 10 or 11 experience that runs on Microsoft’s infrastructure. It combines the benefits of the cloud, such as its security, scalability, and versatility, with the intuitiveness of Windows on desktop hardware.
“With Windows 365, we’re creating a new category: the Cloud PC,” explains Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “Just like applications were brought to the cloud with SaaS, we are now bringing the operating system to the cloud, providing organizations with greater flexibility and a secure way to empower their workforce to be more productive and connected, regardless of location.”
Microsoft’s Windows 365 Cloud PCs can be bought for a single, predictable monthly price and accessed from any device with a connection to the internet, including personal computers running Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS.
Less Security and Usability Challenges
It’s also a self-contained environment for applications, data, and settings. This means employees and organizations don’t have to worry about the security and usability challenges created by doing work on personal devices and doing personal stuff on work devices. They can simply log in to their Windows 365 Cloud PCs from anywhere, at any time, and using any device, do their work, close the connection, and then use the same device for other purposes.
“The Windows experience is consistent, no matter the device. You can pick up right where you left off, because the state of your Cloud PC remains the same, even when you switch devices. You can get the same work done on a laptop in a hotel room, a tablet from their car between appointments, or your desktop while you’re in the office,” says Wangui McKelvey, general manager of Microsoft 365.
When Does It Make Sense to Use Windows 365?
Running the Windows operating system in the cloud gives employees a secure work environment with access anywhere. This became possible even before the introduction of Windows 365 thanks to highly customizable enterprise-oriented products like Azure Virtual Desktop. However, it required dedicated IT staff to set up and support the environment.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft realized that most customers who could benefit from running Windows in the cloud lack the resources for dedicated IT and don’t have any need for full customization.
Such customers want to overcome the following challenges as easily and cost-effectively as possible:
Thanks to Windows 365, even small and medium-sized organizations can now overcome these and other challenges. More so, it can happen without having to hire in-house IT staff or constantly rely on third-party support.
“Windows 365 is really going to make a huge difference for organizations that wanted to try virtualization for various reasons but could not—maybe it was too costly, too complex, or they didn’t have the expertise in-house to do it,” added McKelvey.
How to Get Started with Windows 365?
Getting started with Windows 365 is as easy as opening a new Gmail account or signing up for Netflix. Microsoft provides multiple subscription plans for smaller organizations and large enterprises, each offering different features, performance, and customer support.
For example, the Standard business plan costs $41.00 per user per month. Meaning, it’s possible to run a full range of productivity tools and line-of-business apps, including the desktop versions of Office apps, Outlook, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams. Customers can cancel their Windows 365 subscription any time directly from the Microsoft 365 admin center. In our opinion, there’s very little risk involved in giving Windows 365 a try.
Generally, Windows 365 is available to businesses of all sizes starting on Aug. 2, 2021. The ability to effortlessly run Windows in the cloud is already making a huge difference for organizations around the world. This includes the Government of Nunavut, a territory in northeastern Canada. They’ve successfully deployed Windows 365 to support its dispersed and elastic workforce.
Does Windows 365 Cloud PC Fit for Your Organizational Needs?
If yes, schedule a consultation with us at TechGen! We will help you assess your current IT needs and determine the best way you can leverage Windows 365. Most importantly, we’ll help to securely stream your Windows experience from the Microsoft cloud to any device.