This week, Microsoft launched a new cloud service, Windows 365 – a Cloud PC that will enhance the flexibility of how, when and where you work.  

The world of work has changed for good and demand for flexible, adaptable, remote working has never been higher. Employees want solutions that are familiar to use, easy to access and available across a range of devices; solutions that support a hybrid working environment.  

The exponential growth of technology adoption over the past 18 months, has however led to a complex cybersecurity landscape. IT leaders need solutions that support collaboration and effective hybrid working practices, while keeping data secure. To answer these challenges, Microsoft have launched a new category of cloud services – Windows 365. 

What is Windows 365?

Windows 365 is a cloud service that allows users to experience Windows 10 or 11 from any device, anywhere, securely. The solution runs the Windows operating system from the Microsoft Cloud, streaming the full PC experience to any corporate or personal device. Windows 365 is a fully functioning PC – with all of your personalised applications, settings and files – based in the cloud.  

How does Windows 365 work?

Windows 365 is built on Azure Virtual Desktop and streams from the Microsoft Cloud. When users log into Windows 365, they are provided with an instant experience that enables them to stream all their personalised applications, tools, data and settings from the cloud.  

With Windows 365, users can access Windows 10 or 11 from any device, including Mac, iPad, Linux and Android. The experience is consistent and familiar, allowing users to pick up right where they left off, even when they switch devices.  

By harnessing the power of the cloud, Windows 365 offers organisations unparalleled flexibility. Organisations can choose the size of Cloud PC that fits their needs, scaling usage or targeting power to employees that need it most, all without the hassle and cost of hardware. 

Does Windows 365 offer high performance?

Yes, without a doubt! With the power of the cloud, Windows 365 can run all of your business applications and tools, such as Microsoft 365Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform. 

IT departments can monitor the performance of Cloud PCs and scale power when needed, optimising user experience. Analytics are built into the service to provide performance and connection health insights across networks. From the Endpoint Analytics dashboard, IT can identify the Cloud PC environments that are not delivering and have the ability to upgrade usage at the touch of a button. Microsoft’s Watchdog Service also continually runs diagnostics and will alert IT teams when any issue arises. 

Is Windows 365 secure?

Windows 365 is highly secure. Built with Zero Trust architecture, Windows 365 stores and secures information in the cloud, rather than on the device. Multifactor authentication (MFA) is embedded in Windows 365, verifying any login or access attempt to a Cloud PC through integration with Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). IT admins can view login risk through Microsoft Endpoint Manager and role permissions can be set.  

Harnessing the strength of rich Microsoft security capabilities and baselines, Windows 365 provides best-in-class security settings and provides actionable recommendations. 

What are the benefits of Windows 365?

Simple pricing

Windows 365 runs with a fixed per-user per-month pricing model. Organisations are able to select the size of Cloud PC that fits their performance needs:  

  • Windows 365 Business – for small to medium-sized businesses  
  • Windows 365 Enterprise – for larger organisations 

Processing power and storage can be scaled-up and scaled-down to suit demand, keeping costs simple.  

Easy to manage

For IT teams, Windows 365 is managed easily alongside physical devices. Through Microsoft Endpoint Manager, IT admins can apply security controls and manage usage to Windows 365 Cloud PCs, alongside all other devices. 

Flexible usage

Windows 365 can be set up and deployed quickly and easily with the support of a cloud service provider such as Incremental. With the power to scale usage up and down, IT teams can manage seasonal workers and contractors without the logistical and security challenges of issuing hardware.  

What is the difference between Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop?

Compared to Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365 is a simplified virtualisation experience. The key differences between the two cloud service options are the pricing model and IT management. 

  • Pricing

Windows 365 is based on pricing per-user per-month and Azure Virtual Desktop is based on consumption. Windows 365 has a simple pricing structure with two tiers available, depending on the needs of the organisation (see section previous). 

  • IT Management

Azure Virtual Desktop provides maximum flexibility to IT admins and relies on Azure management concepts. Windows 365 is designed to simplify management by leveraging the same set of Microsoft tools admins use to manage physical PCs. Azure Virtual Desktop is best for organisations with complex customisation and flexibility requirements.  

Incremental can advise on the cloud service solution best suited to your organisation’s requirements.  

Getting started with Windows 365

Windows 365 is new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11, designed specifically for flexible, hybrid working – the future of working.  

To discover how your organisation could adopt Windows 365, speak to one of our expert consultants today. To learn more about virtualisation download our guide: Desktop virtualisation in a cloud-based world.