Microsoft have recently announced the launch of Windows 365, the world’s first Cloud PC. It’s been heralded as a future proof personal cloud computing solution that turns any device into a personalised, productive, and secure digital workspace – ideal for the hybrid workforce. But how does it work on a practical level and what are the real business benefits of cloud-based PCs?
1. What’s different about Windows 365?
Windows 365 (W365) delivers a full PC experience via a cloud-based operating system. This means users can securely access their PC apps, content, and data from any company-owned or personal device. As Microsoft puts it, Windows 365 aims to blur the lines between the device and the cloud, giving users the option to stream the full Windows experience to their chosen device.
The ability to experience Windows 10 and the forthcoming Windows 11 across different platforms and device types though a single access point is a game changer. This flexibility means that non-Windows devices like Android, iOS smartphones, tablets and MacOS can run Windows apps in a Windows environment, making it an attractive option for agile companies.
Windows 365 is not to be confused with the current Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). Microsoft 365 offers the Microsoft suite of collaboration services to its users including Teams and Email but does not offer the full operating system or virtual desktop workspace that W365 offers.
2. What makes Windows 365 a more secure solution?
With the recent shift to working from home and with many employees using their personal devices, businesses have understandably had security concerns. Windows 365 virtual desktop follows high levels of security parameters and thereby enables employees to use their personal devices to work on business resources securely. Windows 365 also leverages the power of Microsoft Azure, which is Microsoft’s cloud solution for hosting and managing MS applications and services. Therefore any corporate resources are held in the company’s cloud infrastructure and importantly not on personal PCs, so employees can access files from any location, while ensuring the security of the organisation’s data.
3. What are the benefits of Windows 365 to your business?
Windows 365 is simple to set up and can be scaled to meet business needs as it works on a subscription basis or a tenancy for business accounts. In short, our team of Microsoft experts can get your business up and running in this environment in a relatively short time frame.
A significant benefit is that the control of desktop is centralised. This allows your IT department or IT service provider to securely manage your employees’ Windows environment, determining which apps and data are available and stopping employees loading personal apps on to the operating system. This centralised approach also alleviates the pressures on your IT service desk as they no longer need to manage individual devices.
Windows 365 also simplifies the process of deployment, updates, and management of apps and services – which all saves time and money. As W365 is optimised for the endpoint, your IT department can easily procure, deploy, and manage Cloud PCs across your business, whatever its size – another compelling reason to move to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and Cloud workspace.
4. What are the benefits of Windows 365 to your employees?
Windows 365 offers remote working employees a secure, productive, and connected solution. The ability to easily stream all applications, tools, data from the cloud, creates an optimal user experience for any employee. So, wherever they may be working, be it at the office or from home, they can log in and pick up where they left off, across any device. Windows is also a familiar environment for many people, so Windows 365 offers a consistent, productive, and future proofed employee experience.
5. What does Windows 365 cost?
Windows 365 is subscription-based so you can scale your requirements according to the size if your workforce. This makes it a good option for businesses of all sizes as organisations can choose the Cloud PC package that works for them with per-user per-month pricing.
Businesses can purchase Windows 365 directly or through their IT services provider as part of their digital transformation solution. Microsoft also continues to develop their Azure Virtual Desktop, which can meet the requirements for organisations with deep virtualisation experience that want more customisation and flexibility.
It’s also important to note that a cloud solution also means a reduced hardware management. Therefore, companies with lots of remote employees, W365 can be a cost saving option for businesses.
Microsoft Gold Partner
Windows 365 is now available to all businesses and is included in our digital strategy recommendations to clients to deliver a future proof managed cloud desktop for businesses. As a certified Microsoft Gold Partner, we can supply and manage all the latest Microsoft solutions via our team of Microsoft experts. Get in touch to see how we can support your move to Windows 365, fast track your digital transformation strategy and provide a secure and productive platform for your hybrid workforce.
Stuart Salt, Services Director