Many businesses in California and the rest of the United States have shifted toward a mix of office and remote work setups during the post-pandemic era. However, it can be difficult for some people to shift from a desktop in the office to a laptop at home. Fortunately, there’s a new cloud-based platform from Microsoft that can make this transition smoother: Windows 365.
What is Windows 365?
Windows 365 is a virtualization solution that allows users to access cloud PCs from any internet-connected device. It runs virtual desktops on remote servers, and the data is transferred via the internet instead of a local hard drive.
How does Windows 365 work?
Think of Windows 365 as a streaming service like Netflix or Disney+. Instead of TV shows and movies, however, users gain access to a Windows 10- or 11-powered PC.
Once a cloud PC is set up, users can sign in through Microsoft’s Cloud PC website using their Remote Desktop app or any modern web browser like Edge, Firefox, or Chrome. From there, users can also get access to Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams.
As of August 2, 2021, Windows 365 is available to businesses of all sizes.
What are the benefits of using Windows 365?
Windows 365 provides a consistent experience on any platform or device. The service also supports Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and Microsoft 365 along with other third-party apps. What’s more, customers with 150 or more users get Microsoft’s App Assure service that helps fix app compatibility issues for free.
What’s more, Windows 365 features an instant-on boot experience that allows users to stream their applications, data, and settings from the cloud using any device. The state of a user’s cloud PC also stays the same even when they switch devices, allowing them to pick up right where they left off.
Finally, Windows 365 allows IT teams to obtain, provision, and deploy cloud PCs in minutes. IT administrators can not only customize cloud PC configurations, but they can also scale their computing resources up or down based on their company’s needs.
How much does Windows 365 cost?
Windows 365 is available under the Business and Enterprise plans.
The most affordable monthly Windows 365 subscription costs $20 per user, which gets you a single virtual CPU (vCPU), 2 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of OneDrive cloud storage. The most powerful configuration goes for $162 per user, which gets you eight vCPUs, 32 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of storage.
Access the full price breakdown here.
What are the requirements for running Windows 365?
Windows 365 is available as part of certain Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) plans, and Microsoft 365 or Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) subscriptions. To take advantage of Windows 365, you need to have the following:
- Licensing requirements:
- Users running Windows Pro: Microsoft 365 F3, E3, E5 or Business Premium (BP), or Windows 10 Enterprise E3 + EMS E3
- Users without Windows Pro: Microsoft 365 F3, E3, F5 or BP, or Windows VDA E3 + EMS E3
- Non-licensing requirements:
Microsoft did not specify the internet connection speed needed to run Windows 365. However, if your connection is fast enough to stream a movie, you may have enough bandwidth to take advantage of the service.
Who maintains and manages Windows 365 cloud PCs?
While cloud PCs are hosted on Microsoft’s servers, businesses will be responsible for managing and maintaining their Windows 365 PCs. These include deploying and deleting cloud PCs, and installing security updates and feature upgrades.
If you want to learn more about how Windows 365 can benefit your business, give Complete Document Solutions a call today. As a Microsoft Certified Partner, we will help you determine the best configuration for your work setup and make sure you’re making the most of Microsoft’s technology.