Microsoft has announced Windows 365, a new service which puts Windows into the cloud and lets IT managers allocate/deploy 'Cloud PCs' very much like they would other networked PCs using tools like Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM). Yes, this service is debuting for business only, and will become generally available from 2nd August this year. It will start as a service based upon a personalised cloud hosted Windows 10 machine, but the service will be upgraded to Windows 11 in due course.
In brief, Windows 365 allows users to access a consistent personalised PC in the cloud with all the apps that IT management have OKed/licensed, as well as providing storage for your work files. As it is a hybrid environment, wherever you go you will still have safe/secure access to resources at the office like file servers and so on. In addition, you will enjoy pick-up and continue where you left off across any device with a browser or native support for Microsoft's 365 apps.
"With Windows 365, we're creating a new category: the Cloud PC," said 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."
In the video above you can get an overview of the new streaming Cloud PC service from Microsoft and some interesting background information about deployment, configuration, capabilities - as well as a demo of Windows 365 working across a laptop and iPad. Whichever device you move to, and log into your Windows 365 account with, your personalised Windows experience including your desktop, apps, content - are persistent. It is pointed out that, once logged in and working in a Cloud PC, the internal operations are on Microsoft's servers so are extremely fast (see pic at bottom of this article).
Microsoft says that it had Windows 365 in development before the pandemic, but the virus and WFH movement "really put the firecracker behind". It reckons Windows 365 addresses the problem of feeling connected to the office, while being away, better than ever before. Will it be popular on Chromebooks?