Microsoft wants us to use and remain productive with their products as much as is humanly possible. So, to add to their recent flood of new software, they’ve brought us Windows 365, a potential alternative/complement to their Azure Virtual Desktop cloud solution. So firstly, let’s outline: what is Windows 365?
Windows 365: a brief introduction
It’s “a cloud PC” - a new term from Microsoft - allowing you to access Windows 365 from any device either via virtual desktop or with any web browser; PC, Mac, mobile device, etc. Since it’s a self-contained PC in The Cloud and not a fully customisable cloud computing solution, you pay a per-user, per month subscription fee, as opposed to paying for how much computing power you use. Another important characteristic is that every time you log into Windows 365, you start exactly where you were last, regardless of what device you’re on. Just as though it were an onsite PC.
Windows 365 key features at a glance
- Virtual PC that behaves like it’s your own desktop computer with your own settings.
- Quickly add and remove users
- Works on any device
- No extra technical knowledge required
What Windows 365 means for businesses
To run Azure Virtual Desktop, a certain degree of technical understanding and virtualisation experience is needed; it’s typically delivered by a dedicated admin and time needs to be spent allocating resources. As suggested above, with Windows 365 there’s none of that. Endpoint admins can now do what only expert virtualisation admins could do previously.
Windows 365 means a business doesn’t need to hire new IT personnel or train existing employees. They can use their existing technology - simply plugin and play. This can be particularly useful in our current climate of hybrid and remote working. The resources a team might require can vary depending on how many remote/hybrid workers they have at one time. With Windows 365, a business can scale its virtual computing more easily.
Who is Windows 365 for?
Firstly, it can be great for small businesses. The small business version of Windows 365 allows users to do the kind of centralised admin work right from within the portal. A business with a lot of temporary/freelance personal, that fluctuates in number can also benefit such as seasonal businesses, or agencies that take on projects of varying sizes. And then as mentioned any business that has a hybrid workforce can find Windows 365 useful; they can use it to complement their onsite IT as and when remote workers join.
Finally, it can also be for any business that wants to make the most of cloud computing but with less headache. An admin can onboard, upgrade, and monitor IT performance with much more ease than they would with Azure Virtual Desktop.
For all that Windows 365 has going for it, there’s still a fair amount of room for Azure Virtual desktop. It’s the cloud computing solution that can do anything and it’s the technology that powers Windows 365. Azure Virtual Desktop can be great for say, a business that just needs one or two apps running or has a specific tech stack its employees use. Meanwhile, Windows 365 is better suited to being an all-purpose cloud IT solution for the business that wants to get started quickly. Either way, both have a place in the workplace of the future.
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