Windows 365 Cloud PC is a virtualization service that Microsoft introduced in 2021. This service is meant to enable users to stream their Windows 10 or 11 desktop, applications, settings, and content from the Microsoft Cloud to any device. As an organization, this means that your workers can experience the full Windows ecosystem for personal or corporate devices.
Regardless of where they are working from. Microsoft is determined to take the cloud computing experience to a higher level. If you’re familiar with the Chromebook experience, then imagine this being a somewhat similar type of experience.
But, Windows 365 isn’t the first or only virtualization technology that organizations can use. So the question is what are the benefits of Windows 365? Let’s find out.
1. Remote access with Windows 365
The Windows 365 Cloud PC offers organizations the option to establish a more hybrid workforce because of the access that users can get. With ‘desktops’ being hosted on the Microsoft Cloud, workers can access their PCs from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. And they wouldn’t even worry about having to use corporate-owned devices to gain access.
This level of remote access can help to redefine virtualization technology. No longer do workers need to be confined to their workstations or be within certain areas using certain devices.
Undoubtedly, this will be a great development for both businesses and workers alike. A Microsoft survey showed that 73% of workers would still want to work remotely so if Windows 365 can provide the necessary platform to do that then it would be well worth adopting.
2. Lower hardware costs
In the last few decades, computers and mobile phones have evolved to become the extremely powerful devices that we have today. Mobile devices in particular are now so capable it’s basically like carrying around a PC in your pocket.
However, as good as these devices are, they come at a cost. And because of constantly increasing computing needs and the development of new technologies, organizations need to refresh their devices consistently. As one would expect, the costs of this exercise can be rather significant.
By using the Windows 365 Cloud PC, organizations can lower these costs. The heavy computing work will be carried out on the Microsoft Cloud. So you won’t need to worry about constantly purchasing newer, more powerful devices.
3. Adoptable by most businesses
Windows 365 is a service that just about any business can take advantage of. Whether you’re a massive organization or one with less than 300 employees, Windows can cater to you. Microsoft offers two subscription models, Windows 365 Business for smaller businesses and Windows 365 Enterprise for the larger ones. Both these models share the same range of features and give you twelve Cloud PC configurations to choose from.
At the lower end is the first configuration offering 1vCPU, 2GB RAM, and 64GB storage. All at a cost of $20. If the workers in question are frontline staff or only require access to lightweight CRM software, then this configuration will suffice.
At the other end of the spectrum is a $158 option configuration powered by 8 vCPUs. It also comes with 32GB RAM and 512GB storage. This configuration would be ideal for individuals with heavy computing needs such as software engineers. Ultimately, there is an option that would be an ideal fit for your business.
4. Security enhancements with Windows 365
If you’re going to use a platform that allows remote access to corporate resources then you’ll need high-level security. And Windows 365 has that. Microsoft recommends the use of Conditional Access to secure end-user access to Windows 365. To strengthen that even more, you should also use Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication to authenticate users.
Another thing you can do is to connect Microsoft Defender for Endpoint to Cloud PC devices, apply device compliance policies to Cloud PCs, and use Conditional Access. This will help in identifying threats and setting devices as non-compliant. Security updates are critical as a timely patch will significantly enhance the security of your Cloud PC.
Fortunately, Microsoft automatically keeps its Cloud PCs up to date with the latest cumulative updates. All these security features help to ensure that hybrid work can be carried out with the highest level of security.
5. Increased flexibility
One of the great advantages of VDI technology is how it allows workers to move back and forth between home and the office without affecting their work. As already mentioned, Windows 365 is taking this capability to an entirely new level. Being able to use personal devices allows you to be even more flexible in your movements.
To add to that, Microsoft has recently announced that it will be introducing an offline mode to Windows 365. This feature should make it even easier to use and work with your Cloud PC from any device.
Most people have probably been to areas where the internet connection wasn’t so great. And if you happen to be in this situation then normally all your work would have to stop. So this is just the kind of situation that Microsoft is aiming to address by introducing an offline mode.
The latter will come with a built-in sync service that will automatically resync your Cloud PC with the Windows 365 service once you have internet connectivity. As a result, there will be no data loss thus creating a seamless user experience and workflow.
6. Efficient communication
Working remotely requires an efficient communication and collaboration platform if users are to maintain productivity levels. Fortunately, Cloud PC users have access to Microsoft Teams which is designed to address any communication issues that remote work can present.
Management can easily organize departments into various teams depending on the projects they are working on. Within these teams collaborating is relatively easy. Members can share documents, exchange instant messages, and have video or audio calls. Management can also organize meetings when the need arises so they can check in with their teams and discuss any pertinent matters.
And with Microsoft recently announcing that Teams background effects are being introduced to Windows 365, this can help boost attendance for online meetings. Participants will no longer need to worry about their backgrounds and meetings can also be more productive by keeping the focus on the subject of discussion.
7. Windows 365 compatibility
Most of us have certain applications that we cannot do without and that are essential to the way we work. So one would naturally wonder about whether their favorite applications will work on Windows 365.
Fortunately, according to Microsoft, Windows 365 was designed with compatibility in mind. This falls in line with the goal of trying to make clients’ apps compatible with the latest versions of Microsoft software.
So if you have apps that you were using on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10, then you’ll be glad to know that they will work on Windows 365 as well. And if you have any challenges with your apps then Microsoft can help you address them for free with an eligible subscription through the Fast Track App Assure program.
8. Ease of use with Windows 365
Another feature that will help to increase how attractive Windows 365 is to various organizations is how easy the service will be to use. In fact, Microsoft has gone so far as to say that organizations won’t need to hire specialist IT professionals to set up and manage the Cloud PCs. This is something that is going to help organizations to reduce their costs even further because your in-house IT team can handle setting up and managing the Cloud PCs for your staff.
And with features such as easy management and instant start-up, this will enable users to comfortably work as they have done all along without any prior virtual work experience. Microsoft also designed it such that it should be possible to set up a Cloud PC and have it running within a matter of minutes.
Having it this way ensures that you don’t need to worry about significant disruptions as you set up your environment for Windows 365. Ultimately, the Cloud PC shouldn’t be a problem for IT staff because they can manage, deploy, and configure the PC environment just as they have done all along.
9. Reduce your physical footprint
Making the transition to the cloud can significantly reduce your need for physical office space. Granted, you will probably still need to have physical premises for your business but it doesn’t need to be a massive investment in real estate.
The flexibility and remote access that accompanies Windows 365 means that for some organizations it may be possible to have a good part of their workforce working remotely full time. Another area that often requires a fair amount of space is on-premises infrastructure. The necessary network servers can take up a lot of space. Not only that, but the cost of maintaining the servers in addition to the security required can be huge.
10. Disaster prevention strategy
Over the last few years, we have witnessed massive cybercrime events targeting various organizations. The hackers involved are going after both big and small organizations. With this problem seemingly here to stay, it means that businesses need to put in place measures that help to reduce the risk of suffering from such an attack.
By using Windows 365 and having access to the Microsoft Cloud, you can massively reduce the risk of suffering such a disaster. As leaders in the industry, Microsoft will ensure that your data is protected to the highest degree.
Furthermore, the distribution of data centers means that anyone using the Windows 365 Cloud PC won’t have to worry about a data center being possibly taken down. The redundancies in the system will make sure that your data remains secure and available.
The vast resources available to Microsoft mean that they are well placed to withstand just about any unforeseen disruptive events, such as hardware/software failure, natural disasters, and power outages, to ensure high application availability and business continuity.
11. Widen your talent pool
Another great thing that adopting Windows 365 can do for you is improve your talent recruitment efforts. When a business embraces the Cloud PC and all its great features, it can avail itself of the best talent on the market. Individuals with specific skills are in very high demand, especially in the field of IT.
However, a small business in a small town may not always be able to attract the best talent. But, with Windows 365, businesses can begin overcoming this stumbling block. No longer will you be limited by physical location. Because of the accessibility that Windows 365 gives you, businesses can literally hire people from the other side of the planet. And with the communication and collaboration features that come with platforms like Microsoft Teams, team members can easily get projects done regardless of not being in the same physical location. The internet has been bringing the world together for decades. But now with the Cloud PC, anyone with certain skills can potentially get the job without relocating.
When it comes to cloud computing, there are no doubts about the potential benefits of Windows 365. Individuals and organizations stand to gain in a big way. Access can improve, productivity can increase, for example. And you may even see IT expenses go down. These are some of the things that Windows 365 wants to bring to the table. Microsoft can leverage the solid infrastructure and technology it already has with Azure Virtual Desktop, too. It’s a great foundation for the Cloud PC.
This gives clients a service that can significantly change the way organizations work. But it also greatly enhances the work environment. The business environment as we know it is changing and hybrid working conditions are gaining popularity. So, as organizations look to adapt to modern conditions, Windows 365 provides an incredible service that has so much to offer.