Image: Microsoft

The prevalence of Windows is about to get even greater with a new product from Microsoft called Windows 365. Announced today by Microsoft 365 general manager Wangui McKelvey, Windows 365 is a service that allows users to run a full version of Windows 10 (and Windows 11, after it debuts) on Mac, iPad, Linux, Android, and other devices through a web browser by leveraging the power of the cloud. While this so-called “Cloud PC” service will only be available to businesses upon its inception, Microsoft has promised that Windows 365 users will be able to stream the full Windows experience, including all apps, data, and settings. Windows 365 will also provide an instant-on boot experience and allow users to pick up wherever they left off.

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. Seasonal workers also can ramp on and off according to the needs of the business, allowing the organization to scale for busy periods without the complicated logistical and security challenges of issuing new hardware. Further, companies can be more targeted in how they outfit specialized workers in creative, analytics, engineering, or scientific roles who need greater compute power and access to critical applications.

Source: Microsoft

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8 Comments

  1. If only when I needed Windows, I only ~needed~ Windows.

    90% of the time – it’s because I have some stupid piece of hardware that only has a Windows driver.

    The only other use case I really have for Windows is gaming, and yeah… cloud gaming isn’t happening through this anyway.

    So a Cloud version of Windows does me no good, unless they happen to have some way to pass hardware through — which if they did, I’d be very interested. But for an everyday desktop … why wouldn’t you just go ahead and use O365, or Google Apps, or Citrix/Remote Desktop, or whatever and skip this entirely.

    I can almost see this as being a thing for businesses… except – they can already do this, and have been for a long time. So I don’t know what this is exactly.

  2. I missed the obvious “Even Windows now runs in the browser” comment that I should have seen.

  3. The pricing option was revealed during a Microsoft Inspire session yesterday, as the company demonstrated how businesses can sign up to the service. For the $31 monthly subscription, Microsoft offers two CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. This is part of the Windows 365 Business option, designed for businesses with fewer than 300 overall users.

    “This is pricing for just one SKU. Microsoft will have many more options, both in terms of configurations and price points, to share when the product becomes generally available on August 2nd,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to [I]The Verge[/I].

    hahahahahahaha

    [URL]https://www.theverge.com/2021/7/15/22578396/microsoft-windows-365-pricing-skus-monthly-subscription-cost[/URL]

    Ok, on the face of it, that price seems absolutely ridiculous. For the ~$400/yr this costs, you could outright buy the crappy PC specs they are offering, and have no reoccurring fee to deal with at all. (not trying to say you’d need a better PC to run Office apps on, this is probaby adequate for 95% of all administrative use cases, but it’s pretty anemic)

    Thinking about it a bit more… maybe, if you didn’t have an IT guy… and Microsoft is taking care of all the security for you as well (this could either be a small thing or a very very big thing)… and you had good internet every place you need to access your PC… and you could only pay-as-you-go rather than being locked into long term contracts so you could spin up and retire PCs as needed… then maybe I could see some marginal use cases.

    Like.. those Halloween stores that are only open for 3 months before Halloween – they don’t need computers year-round. But that’s about the only example I can think of.

  4. [QUOTE=”Brian_B, post: 37740, member: 96″]
    Thinking about it a bit more… maybe, if you didn’t have an IT guy… and Microsoft is taking care of all the security for you as well (this could either be a small thing or a very very big thing)… and you had good internet every place you need to access your PC… and you could only pay-as-you-go rather than being locked into long term contracts so you could spin up and retire PCs as needed… then maybe I could see some marginal use cases.
    [/QUOTE]

    This is Thanos snapping level endgame. Remember, this is just the first shot/attempt. As more stuff is integrated later on, there will be no need for any site infrastructure except for maybe high bandwidth. I can see super cheap laptops/tablets running only a browser either wired or wireless connecting to their Windows desktop and those sessions connecting to their Azure servers and apps. Of course, there will always be places where this isn’t going to work, but it will for huge swaths of small businesses and, as you pointed out, pop up’s. With a single snap, MS wiped out half of IT staff. 😁

  5. [QUOTE=”Shotglass01, post: 37752, member: 4341″]
    This is Thanos snapping level endgame. Remember, this is just the first shot/attempt. As more stuff is integrated later on, there will be no need for any site infrastructure except for maybe high bandwidth. I can see super cheap laptops/tablets running only a browser either wired or wireless connecting to their Windows desktop and those sessions connecting to their Azure servers and apps. Of course, there will always be places where this isn’t going to work, but it will for huge swaths of small businesses and, as you pointed out, pop up’s. With a single snap, MS wiped out half of IT staff. 😁
    [/QUOTE]
    You have a great point. My only pushback against this is that this exact product has been offered by Citrix, Amazon, and even Ms themselves on Azure, and it hasn’t exactly caught the world on fire or put IT folks out of business yet.

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