Microsoft Dev Box – Optimizing Developer Productivity

We have all witnessed the impressive speed at which software has been developing during the last few decades. Businesses and individuals alike now have multiple solutions available to them enabling them to enhance productivity in ways that were previously not possible.

As one would expect, this can only mean great things for the future. Developers, however, have dealt with tremendous hardware challenges and onboarding issues creating stumbling blocks for the work they are trying to do. These problems are precisely what Microsoft is trying to address with the introduction of the Microsoft Dev Box.

By providing high-powered workstations in the cloud, developers can up their game and produce better work. In this article, we’ll go over what this product is and why it’s a potential game-changer.

Introducing Microsoft Dev Box

The Microsoft Dev Box is a new Microsoft product that utilizes the existing Windows 365 infrastructure to stream secure and ready-to-code developer workstations on demand. By now, most will be familiar with the Windows 365 Cloud PC. Additionally, most appreciate how it enables businesses to optimize their operations using highly secure virtual PCs.

So, it makes perfect sense that Microsoft Dev Box would leverage the infrastructure that has already proven successful. The cloud workstations that developers will get are what are known as dev boxes.

You can easily use tools, source coding, and prebuilt binaries specific to a project to configure these dev boxes. And it is because of this type of functionality that users can begin work as quickly as possible.

As far as images go, you’ll have the option of creating a customized one or using a preconfigured one from Azure Marketplace, complete with Visual Studio already installed. Depending on the unique needs of developers, they can use multiple dev boxes for their day-to-day workflows. Accessing these dev boxes is easy and similar to other virtual desktops such as the Cloud PC. So, all you need is a remote desktop client or a web browser.


As with any other product or service, those interested in using Microsoft Dev Box will need to meet a few requirements. Each user needs to have a license for Windows 11 Enterprise or Windows 10 Enterprise, Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and Azure Active Directory P1.

Although clients can obtain these independently, you will also find these licenses included in Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 A3, Microsoft 365 A5, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, and Microsoft 365 Education Student Use Benefit subscriptions.

Key Components of Dev Box

In this section, we’ll be going over the key components of Microsoft Dev Box that you should know. These will help you to set up Dev Box correctly, allowing you to get the best out of it.


When we talk of a dev center, we are referring to a set of projects that will all need the same settings. Dev centers enable platform engineers to use dev box definitions for the effective management of the images and the SKUs available to the projects.

Furthermore, these engineers will be able to use network connections to configure the networks that the development teams consume. Dev centers are also used by Azure Deployment Environments to organize resources. Your business can use the same dev center for both services.


When it comes to the Dev Box service, a project is a team function within the organization. And each project is a collection of pools. Moreover, each pool represents a region or workload.

Once a dev center and a project link, all the settings at the dev center level apply to the project automatically. It’s important to note, however, that a project can only be linked to a single dev center.

Dev managers can configure the dev boxes available for any project by specifying the dev box definitions that are appropriate for their workloads. For developers to create their own dev boxes, they need access to projects for developers.

And you can do this by assigning the Dev Box User role. The projects for Deployment Environments, as well as those for Dev Box resources, can be configurable in the same dev center.


A dev box definition suggests a source image and size, including both compute size and storage size. It’s here you’ll have the freedom to select a source image from Azure Marketplace. Or choose a custom image from your own Azure Compute Gallery instance. Additionally, you’ll be able to use dev box definitions from across multiple projects in a dev center.


IT admins and platform engineers will need to configure the preferred network they use for dev box creation with their organization’s various policies as a guideline. Network connections store configuration information, such as Active Directory join type and virtual network. The dev boxes use the network to connect to network resources. You will also need to choose an Active Directory join type when creating a network connection and the options are as follows:

  • Use native Microsoft Entra ID for scenarios, where your dev boxes only need to connect to cloud-based resources.
  • Alternatively, use hybrid Microsoft Entra ID, when your dev boxes seek to connect to on-premises resources and cloud-based resources.


Every business needs to start by selecting the most ideal region before proceeding with setting up Dev Box. In cases when your region of choice may not be available for Dev Box, it would be a good idea to select a region within 500 miles. You must specify a region for your dev center and projects. You’ll mostly realize that these resources are in the same region as your primary office or IT management center.

The region for a dev box will be determined by the region of the virtual network specified in a network connection. The service allows you to create multiple network connections, based on the areas where you support developers.

After doing that, you can leverage those connections when you’re creating dev box pools so that dev box users create dev boxes in a region close to them. According to Microsoft, opting for a region close to the dev box user is what will allow you to get the best experience.


A dev box pool simply refers to a group of dev boxes that are going to be managed together and to which similar settings will be applied. To enhance productivity, as well as working conditions, your business can create multiple dev box pools. These support the needs of hybrid teams that work in different regions or on different workloads.


Dev boxes are preconfigured workstations that have been designed to be created through the self-service developer portal. Getting set up and starting work can happen immediately. This is because new dev boxes come with all the tools, binaries, and configurations that developers need.

And for those looking to work on multiple workstreams, you can easily create and manage multiple dev boxes. Users will have control over their own dev boxes. And if the need arises they can create more. But, once you’re done using them, you can then delete them.

Pricing table

  SKUPricing per Dev Box instance Max Monthly Price  Hourly Compute  Monthly storage
8 vCPU, 32 GB RAM, 256 GB Storage        $138.20$1.49$19
8 vCPU, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB Storage$157.20          $1.49$38
8 vCPU, 32 GB RAM, 1024 GB Storage$195.20$1.49$76
8 vCPU, 32 GB RAM, 2048 GB Storage$271.20$1.49$152
16 vCPU, 64 GB RAM, 256 GB Storage$257.40$2.98$19
16 vCPU, 64 GB RAM, 512 GB Storage        $276.40$2.98$38
16 vCPU, 64 GB RAM, 1024 GB Storage$314.40$2.98$76
16 vCPU, 64 GB RAM, 2048 GB Storage$390.40$2.98$152
32 vCPU, 128 GB RAM, 512 GB Storage$514.80$5.96$38
32 vCPU, 128 GB RAM, 1024 GB Storage$552.80$5.96$76
32 vCPU, 128 GB RAM, 2048 GB Storage$628.80$5.96$152

Why should you consider Dev Box?


One concern that organizations may rightly have involves integration. Companies want to know how they will integrate Dev Box into their already existing infrastructure. However, there should be no cause for concern. Microsoft’s design allows the Dev Box to fit seamlessly with whatever development infrastructure your business may be using.

Your development teams can deploy dev boxes perfectly tailored to the precise and unique needs of your business. If you’re already familiar with the Microsoft ecosystem, and are using tools such as Microsoft Intune or Azure, then Dev Box will be an excellent addition. It will fit well into your workflow.


Again, on-boarding issues and hardware limitations often pose a problem for developers. This is why the convenience that Dev Box offers can make such a profound impact. Microsoft gives you pre-configured workstations that are available on-demand to meet your needs for various projects.

Dev boxes are configurable with all the key tools that developers need. This enables them to immediately begin work on assigned projects while foregoing the often time-consuming task of setting up a development environment.


Cloud-based solutions enable businesses with staff all across the globe to maintain high levels of productivity. Dev Box can offer region-specific workstations that give developers a high-level experience wherever they may be.

Any new developers you want to bring on can onboard in minutes, rather than days because of project-based configurations. And this can be done on any device, running on just about any operating system. This level of accessibility can raise the ceiling for what your organization may have previously considered possible.


The ease of setting up dev boxes will also make it a cost-effective solution. Similar to using Windows 365 Cloud PCs, users don’t need to purchase new devices or worry about the operating systems they use. Therefore, whether you are on a PC or tablet, you’ll still get to use your favorite productivity software and custom line-of-business tools.


Every business wants to ensure that it can get the most from the available products and services while minimizing costs. Therefore, one of the most common things you’ll see businesses do to keep costs down is to shut down idle VMs to avoid paying for unused compute.

While this may help to reduce operating expenses, it has the disadvantage of shutting down developers’ workstation VMs overnight meaning that when they begin work in the morning they need to start by reopening all their tools. Fortunately, this is one of the issues that Dev Box is addressing

The availability of a hibernation feature will enable you to hibernate 8 and 16 core dev boxes so that when you resume a dev box, your apps, and work are exactly as you left them. This feature is designed to enable admins to schedule hibernations for the end of the work day in a specific region as well as be able to configure dev boxes to hibernate after a user disconnects. To provide greater control, a dev box can always skip an upcoming hibernation from the notifications that appear.

Using Microsoft Dev Boxes

There are various scenarios that Microsoft has provided for which businesses can use their dev boxes. These scenarios are as follows:


With Dev Box, platform engineering teams can allocate the appropriate dev boxes according to the various users’ workloads. The platform engineers can:

  • Create dev box pools, add appropriate dev box definitions, and ensure that access is offered only to dev box users who are working on those specific projects.
  • Leverage auto-stop schedules to control costs.
  • Define the network configuration, which is responsible for determining the region where the dev box is created.
  • Assign the built-in Dev Box User role to grant access to development teams and enable them to self-serve dev boxes.


Here IT admins will be able to manage dev boxes similar to other devices on your network:

  • There is automatic enrollment of Dev boxes in Intune. Management of dev boxes can be done through the Microsoft Intune admin center.
  • Keep all Windows devices up-to-date by using expedited quality updates within Intune to deploy zero-day patches across your organization.
  • Users can minimize downtime because they can be helped to get back up and running on new dev boxes if their dev boxes get compromised and need isolation.

With cloud solutions, security is always of great concern and so Dev Box offers access in a secure environment. Access controls in Microsoft Entra ID organize access by project or user type:

  • Join dev boxes natively to a Microsoft Entra ID or Active Directory domain.
  • Ensure that users are required to connect via compliant devices by setting conditional access policies.
  • Requires multifactor authentication at sign-in.
  • Configures risk-based sign-in policies for dev boxes that access sensitive source code and customer data.


Developer lead teams can begin to help with the management of the project once they have been assigned the DevCenter Project admin role. Project admins can create dev box pools as well as add appropriate dev box definitions. Additionally, they can also leverage auto-stop schedules to control costs.


If your business has development teams spread across the globe then Dev Box can enable them to create their own dev boxes within their closest region. Developers don’t need to wait for admin teams meaning that they can create dev boxes at their convenience.

And once that’s done, users can access their workstations on any device regardless of operating system. Dev Box offers support to any developers who may be working on several projects. To efficiently handle multiple workloads, projects, or tasks, developers can create and utilize separate dev boxes.

From a predefined pool, developers can take advantage and create multiple dev boxes if the need arises and they can later delete them when the work is complete. Not only that, but the service allows your business to define dev boxes for different roles on a team. So for instance, you can enable full-time developers to have greater control by setting up dev boxes with admin rights while simultaneously restricting permissions for contractors.

The developer experience

One of the best things about the Dev Box experience is how developers can take advantage of the available tools to better streamline their work processes. Because of the ease with which you can create secure, ready-to-code workstations, users can easily move between their primary, secondary, and tertiary machines.

When starting on a new project, developers will often want to quickly get up to speed without wasting time waiting on configuration processes. Dev boxes can be preloaded with settings, tools, source binaries, as well as caches that you need.

Moreover, running in Azure also comes with its own benefits. Not only can you access the resources and services that are needed in the cloud, but you’ll also have the option to connect on-premises resources such as file shares and databases.

Handling various tasks and workloads doesn’t have to be so difficult when you can switch between dev boxes allowing you to work more efficiently. Most of us have strong preferences when it comes to the devices we use so developers will certainly like the fact that they can use any device.

You’ll find that there are native clients for Windows and macOS and to mobile platforms like Android and iOS. And when it comes to which browsers you can use for access, most people with modern browsers should have no issues. Your IT admins will also be happy that Dev Box enables them to easily manage their environments while keeping them secure and up-to-date.

What about security?

The information we’ve gone over tells us that Microsoft Dev Box has a lot to offer businesses. But, if you’re an IT admin, you’ll probably be wondering about security measures to protect your organization. Not surprisingly, this is well covered by Microsoft.

The management of dev boxes will be similar to that of any other cloud-to-PC that uses Windows 365 or any other device that uses Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Admins can maintain the standards that their organization requires by ensuring that all standard apps and management tools are installed like any other enrolled device.

All your company’s policy settings will get deployed, meaning that they constantly receive Windows updates that keep them up-to-date.

As you develop your network connections, you can join dev boxes natively, right to your Azure Active Directory, or even to a hybrid Azure Active Directory domain. You can leverage the tools that you’re already familiar with and set up conditional access policies such as MFA.

Admins can also set it up such that all users can only access the service when using devices that comply with the standards that have been put in place by the organization. Additionally, all traffic when connecting to your dev boxes will be encrypted similarly to what you experience with Windows 365.

Wrap up

Developers have had to contend with frustrating challenges that hinder their productivity for years. These challenges also create unnecessary delays for businesses especially when working with deadlines.

In some cases, you hear of instances where it takes well over a week to onboard a new developer. As we can all imagine, this is far from ideal. When looking at the feedback from various organizations, it’s clear to see why Microsoft sees the need for Dev Box.

With the service offering secure, preconfigured, and ready-to-code workstations, the time to productivity is drastically reduced. Developers can be ready to go almost as soon as an assignment is given without having to be burdened with laborious onboarding processes.

You also have the advantage of using devices you’re comfortable with regardless of what operating system is running. Furthermore, as the service continues to improve, we can expect Dev Box to help optimize the work of developers even more.

Windows 365 Boot and Windows 365 Switch: Latest Features

New features and updates are something that we have become accustomed to and regularly expect for several reasons. Take the mobile devices that we carry with us everywhere. When you purchase a new one, one of the most important things you want to know is how many years of support you will receive.

This is because we all want to ensure that our devices can perform to their maximum capabilities for years to come. With this in mind, Microsoft ensures that products like Windows 365 regularly receive new features and updates that will improve the end-user experience.

As a result of this, businesses can expect the Cloud PC environment to often provide them with new and improved functionality. They’ll also address any issues or bugs that need dealing with. For this particular article, our focus will be the new features of Windows 365 Boot and Windows 365 Switch.

Review of Windows 365 Boot

For those who may not be familiar with Windows 365 Boot, let’s start with a review of what it is. Windows 365 Boot improves the overall experience by helping administrators make it easier to sign in for users on physical Windows 11 devices. Administrators can do this by configuring these devices such that:

  • Users won’t need to sign in to their physical devices.
  • Users can sign in directly to their Windows 365 Cloud PC on their physical devices.

Simply, this means is that Windows 365 Boot enables users of Windows 11 (version 22H2 or 23H2) to directly log into their Windows 365 Cloud PC and as the primary Windows experience on the device. Additionally, when single sign-on is turned on for your Cloud PC, you won’t need to sign in again to sign in to your Cloud PC.

This feature speeds up the signing-in process. It also cuts down on the time spent. Moreover, your business should find this to be an excellent solution for shared devices. Logging in with a unique user identity can take you to your personal and secure Cloud PC.


This capability allows multiple users to use the same physical device to sign in to their own personal Cloud PCs. It’s design is such that whenever you sign in to the physical device, your unique identity will take you to your assigned and secure Cloud PC.

It’s great for an organization, such as a hospital or call center where people share physical devices then Windows 365 Boot provides you with an excellent solution. It gives employees added convenience by helping them bypass the often tedious startup process.

Consequently, whenever you want to get back to your device, you can boot directly into your secure Cloud PC. From there, you can pick up right where you left off. Colleagues can:

  • Sign out from their Cloud PC on the physical device. Once you sign out, the device reverts back to the Windows 11 login screen.
  • Hand over the physical device to another colleague at the end of your shift.
  • The individual starting their shift can then use the device to sign in to their Cloud PC.


The objective of Windows 365 Boot physical devices is to enable users to interact with their Cloud PCs without the ability to interact with the physical device. However, to achieve this, you need to set some configuration service provider (CSP) policies.

Administrators should be aware that Windows 365 won’t automatically set these policies to fully restrict end-users from accessing certain resources on the physical device. Therefore, you need to thoroughly review the configuration policies. Understand what applies to your Windows 365 Boot devices. You need to verify that these policies will meet your organization’s security needs for preventing access to the physical device.


The first step will involve configuring the physical device for Windows 365 Boot. To do this, use the Microsoft 365 Boot guided scenario in the Microsoft Intune admin center. The next step, which is optional, would require you to consider restricting access to Windows 365 Boot physical devices.

And then you’ll need to set up each physical device for Windows 365 Boot configuration. Once the device configuration is complete, multiple users will be able to access their dedicated Cloud PCs from the same Windows 365 Boot physical device.

Windows 365 Switch

When working on your desktop, you want to have an ergonomic working environment where everything you need is easily within reach. To achieve that goal, Windows 365 Switch offers users a feature that makes it a lot easier to move between a Windows 365 Cloud PC and your local desktop. The process is even easier by the fact that you’ll get to use the same familiar keyboard commands, as well as a mouse click or a swipe gesture.

From within Windows, 11 using the Task view feature, users will benefit from the seamless experience, too. Windows 365 delivers by optimizing the way you work. As long as you have a Windows 365 Cloud PC on your device, Windows 365 Switch will pop up automatically inside the Task view feature. But, before we discuss pushing Windows 365 Switch feature components to your Windows 11 endpoints, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Windows 11-based endpoints (both Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise)
  • Update to the latest Windows OS Build on your Cloud PC Windows 11 Enterprise or Professional, version 22621.2361 or later
  • Update to the latest Windows OS Build on your physical device Windows 11 Enterprise or Professional, version 22621.2361 or later
  • Windows 365 Cloud PC license.


You’ll first need to ensure that your Cloud PC is updated to the latest Windows OS build on your Cloud PC. Having done that, under Settings, head over to the Windows Update page. Switch on the Get the latest updates as soon as they are available toggle to get the latest Windows OS updates. You can then restart your PC after you get the updates.

Next up, you’ll want to ensure that your physical device is updated to the latest Windows OS build. Then, you’ll head over to the Windows Update page, which is found under Settings, and switch on the Get the latest updates as soon as they are available toggle to get the latest Windows OS updates. After you get the updates, restart your PC.

Once you’ve taken care of all the above, you now have to install the Windows 365 app. Users can download this app from the Microsoft Store on Windows. And you need to verify that it’s version or newer. The Microsoft Store will be extremely helpful to administrators because it’s going to keep the Windows 365 app up to date.

This will reduce the burden on IT admins because they don’t have to worry about maintaining the app. Depending on what is more convenient for your organization, you can have IT admins use Microsoft Intune to download the app for your end-users. Alternatively, these same end-users can follow the steps below to download the app themselves:

  • Navigate to the Microsoft Store for Windows and look up Windows 365.
  • Select Get to install Windows 365.
  • Select Open.

Another option would be to download the Windows 365 app directly from After you’ve completed all the given instructions, you’ll still need to wait a few hours. Then, Switch is fully enabled on your device.

Introducing the new updates

Anyone planning on using the new updates needs to ensure that they are enrolled on the Windows Insider Dev Channel. To do that, you need to follow the steps given below:

  • Under Settings, go to Windows Update > Windows Insider Program. Select Get Started and this will initiate the enrollment process.
  • Sign in with your Microsoft account.
  • Select Dev Channel and Continue.
  • To complete the enrollment process, you need to restart the device.
  • Next, you need to navigate to the Windows Update Settings page and select Check for updates. Here you should select Install all until all the latest Windows updates have been installed.

Your organization can also use Microsoft Intune to enroll endpoints on a larger scale into the Windows Insider Program. To do that, pre-release builds for Windows updates must be enabled. And you must select Dev Channel as the pre-release channel.

What has been added to Windows 365 Boot?

Dedicated mode for Windows 365 Boot

According to the recent announcement, Microsoft is launching a new dedicated mode for Windows 365 Boot. This option, which is now in public preview, allows you to log in to your Windows 365 Cloud PC from your designated company-owned device.

It helps simplify the login process by enabling users. It provides easy log ins to their Cloud PCs from the Windows 11 login screen using password-less authentication methods such as Windows Hello for Business.

Additionally, the new dedicated mode comes with a fast account-switching experience. With this, users can seamlessly switch profiles to log in. They can also personalize the experience with their usernames and passwords, display a picture on the lock and log in screen, and remember their usernames, among other things.

New Microsoft Intune integration for Windows 365 Boot dedicated mode

Going forward, customers will be able to enable the Windows 365 Boot dedicated mode via Microsoft Intune. The integration of Windows 365 with Microsoft Intune allows everyone from IT admins to end-users to have an overall improved experience.

This is because the Microsoft design of both these products is such that they complement each other perfectly. This integration offers multiple benefits that would be pretty difficult to ignore such as:

  • Familiarity with how Microsoft Intune works and the ability to leverage this knowledge to give you an even better Windows 365 experience.
  • Your organization can potentially reduce expenses because of supporting only a single platform regardless of department.
  • IT admins will also get the convenience of using existing profiles as well as deploying existing apps that you already have in your Microsoft Intune inventory.
  • Your organization can benefit from the industry-leading security protocols that Intune uses because it can easily integrate with how the Cloud PC operates.

Among the newly added features, we can find an option to configure that will add Windows Hello support to Windows 365 Boot. You can use the Intune guided flow scenario to access Windows 365 Boot as follows:

  • Go to Devices > Windows 365
  • Under Windows 365 Guides, select Windows 365 Boot or Windows 365 Boot – Public Preview.

New Microsoft Intune integration

When in shared mode, your business can customize the login page to feature your company branding by using Microsoft Intune. If you want to enable customized company logo and name branding in Microsoft Intune:

  • Go to Home > Devices > Windows 365 Boot.
  • In the Settings menu, search for Personalization.

Fail fast mechanism for Windows 365 Boot

I’m sure that many have been frustrated by the experience of having to wait for the sign-in process to the Cloud PC to complete. And then finding out that Windows 365 Boot failed due to network issues or incomplete setup. It’s not exactly the most pleasant way for you to get started on an urgent project.

Fortunately, this issue is being addressed so that you won’t have to wait for the sign-in process to complete. Because of the introduction of the new smart logic, users will be given timely instructions to address any network issues or complete app setup. Doing so will enable you to have a seamless login experience to your Cloud PC.

Manage local PC settings through Windows 365 Boot

From the beginning, the goal with Windows 365 has been ease of use. Microsoft wants to ensure that using the Cloud PC is a comfortable experience that allows users to work at maximum efficiency and thus improve productivity. Something as simple as managing your local PC settings can end up frustrating, especially if you need to make regular changes.

This is why a newly added feature will simplify matters by making it easier to access and manage sound, display, and other device-specific settings of your local PC directly from your Cloud PC in Windows 365 Boot. So, from now on, anything that Cloud PC users need, will not be more than a few clicks away.

New Capabilities for Windows 365 Switch

In addition to the above, there are also a few new features added to Windows 365 Switch. In this section, we’ll be going over what those new capabilities are.

Improved disconnect experience for Windows 365 Switch

Users will now be able to disconnect from their Cloud PCs directly from the local PC. As you would expect, this adds immensely to the concept of ease of use. Cloud PC users gain additional convenience that further simplifies the process of signing in and out. To disconnect from your Cloud PC directly from the local PC, all you have to do is:

  • Navigate to Local PC > Task view.
  • Right-click on the Cloud PC button. Select Disconnect.

To make this even easier for users, Windows 365 also has tool tips that show on disconnect and sign out options in the Cloud PC Start menu. This means they can differentiate between these functionalities.

Desktop indicators differentiate between Cloud PC and local PC for Windows 365 Switch

In an effort to make things easier to see and manage, Windows 365 now has indicators to differentiate between Cloud PC and local PC. So, from now on, when you switch between your respective PCs, you should see Cloud PC and Local PC on the desktop indicator.

Gracefully handling increased connection time for Windows 365 Switch to Frontline Cloud PCs

Another new addition will be the capability to view the updates concerning the Cloud PC connection status and the connection timeout indicator while waiting on the connection screen. If you encounter any error, you can quickly resolve it by copying the correlation ID. Do so by using the new copy button in the error screen. Yet again, adding simplicity will serve to be a great tool for admins and end-users. And everyone can work even more efficiently and improve their productivity.

Windows 365 offers an always up-to-date environment


All the new capabilities we have discussed show that Windows 365 is very much committed to ensuring that customers have a service that is constantly improving. They can depend on this service to get even better to improve the end-user experience.

One of the most important things in this respect is to provide automated updates. This is because it can help minimize disruptions. No one wants to interrupt their workday to deal with updates, especially not knowing how long the update process could take. Even while being aware of the security risks of ignoring updates, people can still continue without actually installing them.

This inspires the need for automated updates. Windows 365 can ensure that your devices remain up-to-date at a time that is convenient and doesn’t cause downtime.

This gives you the scheduling flexibility to plan. Coordinate the installation of automated updates for both the operating system and applications working on your Cloud PCs. And schedule them to occur during non-working hours.

Also, since these updates are automatic, it helps reduce the workload for your IT staff for eliminating those manual tasks. All this while your business gets to leverage the latest features and maintain high security levels.


To complement the automatic update feature that Windows 365 uses, clients will also get a patch management service that can scan and detect security patches before they’re downloaded and installed.

This feature further helps to optimize the Cloud PC environment by enabling IT admins to keep devices that are under their control and constantly up-to-date with the latest security patches. Leveraging the patch management capabilities that Windows 365 provides. It eliminates the overall need for IT admins to manually check each device to see if the necessary patches are applied.

Having automatic feature updates and security patches applied means that you reduce the risk of hacking. Would-be hackers won’t have sufficient time to exploit any known vulnerabilities and security threats. The last thing any organization wants is to give nefarious actors all the time they need to take advantage of weaknesses in your security.

You need features that can help your business significantly reduce attack surfaces. And you need to keep employee productivity levels unaffected by potential security breaches. Additionally, businesses will get to reap the benefits from reduced expenses for device lifecycle management and repairs.

Wrap up

If you talk to any IT professional about updates, you’ll probably get a very long discussion about keeping your devices secure and optimized. Whether we’re talking about the PC you use at work or your personal mobile device, regular software and security updates are extremely important to ensure that these devices perform at optimum levels.

In this article, we’ve been discussing the new capabilities that have been added to Windows 365 Boot and Windows 365 Switch to make the Cloud PC an even better product.

We all know of the long list of great features that were built into the Windows 365 Cloud PC when it was first introduced. In spite of that, however, any device or service needs constant improvement if it’s to keep up with all the innovation that we are witnessing year after year.

This is why features such as the ones we have gone over today are so vitally important for improving the experience for Cloud PC users. And as we move forward, we should only expect even greater features for Windows 365.

Windows 365 Cloud PC and Microsoft Dev Box – A Detailed Comparison

Every business is constantly looking for ways to improve operations, maximize efficiency, and as a result increase revenues. These are precisely the kinds of objectives that cloud solutions can help you meet. They enable businesses to access the computing resources they need when they need them.

Not only do you get excellent computing resources but it also allows you to work remotely whenever it’s convenient for you. In a world where cybercrime is on the rise and physical devices are at risk, cloud services offer an excellent solution that is always available.

With the Windows 365 Cloud PC and the Microsoft Dev Box, Microsoft offers businesses powerful virtual workstations that employees can access from anywhere on any device. These two, however, have their similarities as well as differences. In this article, we shall be doing a comparison of these two services to help you decide which one is most ideal for your business.



Let’s start with an introduction to both of these services so that we know exactly what they are. The first service is Windows 365 Cloud PC, a virtualization service introduced by Microsoft in 2021. This platform enables individuals to stream their Windows 10 or 11 desktop, applications, various settings, and content from the Microsoft Cloud to any chosen device they prefer.

As an organization, this means that your workers can experience the full Windows ecosystem using personal or corporate devices. Cloud PCs offer a secure environment to store apps, files, and documents. Users can access them anytime and on any device with an internet connection. These kinds of features bring a whole new meaning to the term “portable device.”

The service is easy enough to use. Just purchase a subscription to begin. You can then remotely access a Windows desktop in any modern web browser. Once you have your subscription, you can link Windows 365 to an existing Microsoft account. From there, all your apps, tools, data, and settings will become readily accessible at any time.

Cloud PCs provide you with a consistent experience across any device. This thereby helps users to maintain work efficiency even when working remotely. So, imagine you are working on a project with several application windows open and you suddenly disconnect. The exact same state will restore when you reconnect, regardless of whether you’re using the same device.


The Microsoft Dev Box is another virtual computing service from the same tech giant that became generally available in 2023. This particular service was built on the foundation of Windows 365 and was designed specifically with developers in mind. It is meant to help them become more productive by giving them speed and productivity.

What developers get with this solution is access to ready-to-code cloud workstations called dev boxes. These workstations deal with the hardware and onboarding challenges that developers have had to deal with for years.

Dev boxes are configurable with tools, source code, and prebuilt binaries. These are specific to a project, thereby allowing developers to start work as soon as they want.

Comparing cloud services

When trying to decide which cloud solution your business should opt for, it can be a little tricky. First, you need to fully understand what you get from the Windows 365 Cloud PC as well as the Microsoft Dev Box. These two options have several similarities. However, they present different design features for unique user bases.

Again, dev boxes are powerful, pre-configured workstations that allow developers to tackle their tasks almost immediately. Because they are self-service and come ready-to-code, dev boxes eliminate the usual delays that you often face with onboarding.

On the other hand, Windows 365 targets multiple different users and allows them to stream a personalized Windows experience to any device.

Although Dev Box has been built specifically for developers, dev teams are not obliged to use it. Additionally, they can opt for the Windows 365 Cloud PC if they want. Regardless of which you select, you’ll still benefit from the use of Microsoft Endpoint Manager and Intune. And expect to maximize security, compliance, and cost efficiency.

But, the high-performance aspect of dev boxes, among other features, means they will be the ideal option for developer teams. This doesn’t take anything away from the Cloud PC. It still offers businesses virtual desktops that can be set up quickly. Also, they have multiple configurations and can handle various scenarios and workloads.

The multitude of features that Cloud PCs offer mean that businesses can also use them for development purposes. So, if high-performance and self-service access are not prerequisites for your dev teams’ purposes, then Windows 365 could work just fine for you.


Another point in favor of Windows 365 is that it will give you predictable per-user/per-month pricing as we can see in the tables given below.

 Windows 365 BusinessWindows 365 Enterprise
Basic$31/month and provides support for up to 300 users. This option allows you to run light productivity tools and web browsers. Clients will get 2vCPU, 4GB RAM, and 128 GB Storage.$31/month and provides support for unlimited users. This option allows you to run light productivity tools and web browsers. Clients will get 2vCPU, 4GB RAM, and 128 GB Storage.
Standard$41/month and also supports up to 300 users. Clients will get 2vCPU, 8GB, and 128 GB of storage allowing you to run a full range of productivity tools and line-of-business apps.$41/month and also supports an unlimited number of users. Clients will get 2vCPU, 8GB, and 128 GB of storage allowing you to run a full range of productivity tools and line-of-business apps.
Premium$66/month and comes with access to 4vCPU, 16 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage. With this option, you get support for up to 300 users and can run high-performance workloads and heavier data processing.$66/month and gives you access to 4vCPU, 16 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage. With this option, you get support for an unlimited number of users and can run high-performance workloads and heavier data processing.


    SKUPricing per Dev Box instance   Max Monthly Price    Hourly Compute    Monthly Storage
8 vCPU, 32 GB RAM, 256 GB Storage    $138.20$1.49$19
8 vCPU, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB Storage$157.20          $1.49$38
8 vCPU, 32 GB RAM, 1024 GB Storag$195.20$1.49$76
8 vCPU, 32 GB RAM, 2048 GB Storage$271.20$1.49$152
16 vCPU, 64 GB RAM, 256 GB Storage$257.40$2.98$19
16 vCPU, 64 GB RAM, 512 GB Storage        $276.40$2.98$38
16 vCPU, 64 GB RAM, 1024 GB Storage$314.40$2.98$76
16 vCPU, 64 GB RAM, 2048 GB Storage$390.40$2.98$152
32 vCPU, 128 GB RAM, 512 GB Storage$514.80$5.96$38
32 vCPU, 128 GB RAM, 1024 GB Storage$552.80$5.96$76
32 vCPU, 128 GB RAM, 2048 GB Storage$628.80$5.96$152

Having gone over all the above information, however, Dev Box remains unquestionably the best option. This is especially true for development teams that require high-performance workstations. Also, it’s great for teams who need solutions tailored to their specific projects, self-deployed by developers, and ready-to-code on deployment.


For businesses intending to use Windows 365, they will need Intune licenses if they want to manage their devices using Intune. If you’re signing up for Windows 365 Enterprise, then the users should have licenses for Windows E3, Intune, Microsoft Entra ID P1, and Windows 365 to use their Cloud PC.

Alternatively, if you’re signing up for Windows 365 Frontline, users must have licenses for Windows E3, Intune, and Microsoft Entra ID P1. This is in addition to being added to the Microsoft Entra security group in the provisioning policy to use their Cloud PC.

Those interested in using Microsoft Dev Box will also need to meet certain requirements. Each user needs to be licensed for Windows 11 Enterprise or Windows 10 Enterprise, Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and Azure Active Directory P1.

Although clients can obtain these independently, you will also find these licenses included in Microsoft 365 F3, Microsoft 365 E3, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 A3, Microsoft 365 A5, Microsoft 365 Business Premium, and Microsoft 365 Education Student Use Benefit subscriptions.

Common features

Remote access

A lot of organizations are adapting to the idea of a more hybrid workforce because of the increased convenience and access that cloud services can offer. With workstations being hosted on the Microsoft Cloud, workers can access their PCs from anywhere. And it’s brilliantly efficient, as long as they have an internet connection.

Cloud PCs and dev boxes utilize the same infrastructure, enabling users to enjoy excellent remote accessibility. This level of access can revolutionize virtualization technology by freeing workers from being limited to their workstations or specific locations and devices.

This is great development for both businesses and workers alike. Especially if we consider a Microsoft survey that showed that 73% of workers would be interested in working remotely if the option was available. So, if Windows 365 and Dev Box can provide the platform to do that then it would be well worth adopting.


When Windows 365 was first announced, one of the biggest features was ease of use and setup. Businesses don’t need to bring in additional or specialist IT professionals to configure their Cloud PC environments. In-house IT departments can take won’t need days to have users set up with Cloud PCs.

Therefore, once a new employee starts, they will have access to a Cloud PC almost as soon as they need it. Because Dev Box is built on the foundation of Windows 365, it follows the same concept of simplicity and ease of use. Microsoft is offering developer teams ready-to-code workstations, enabling them to start work immediately.

Developers will get the full complement of tools, source code, and prebuilt binaries. As a result, you won’t need to wait weeks or more to begin contributing to the projects that your colleagues are working on.


Keeping data secure is a very high priority for Windows 365. And this is why Cloud PCs are kept up to date with the latest cumulative updates. Wherever an individual may be working, data security exists. Microsoft also recommends using Conditional Access to secure end user access to Windows 365.

If businesses use this as well as multi-factor authentication for all their users, then it becomes significantly less likely that nefarious actors could gain access to organizational resources. Similarly, Microsoft has ensured that robust security measures are extended to the Dev Box. Businesses can enhance security by joining dev boxes natively to their Azure Active Directory, or even to a hybrid Azure Active Directory domain.

Additionally, they can utilize features such as conditional access and multi-factor authentication in the same way they have been doing with other products and services in the Microsoft ecosystem.


Another thing that was crucial for Microsoft to attract clients to the Cloud PC was compatibility. Oftentimes, new services will come with strict hardware requirements that can necessitate significant spending on new devices. Not so with Windows 365. Users can comfortably access their Cloud PCs using whatever devices they prefer.

Although you will get the best experience from using a PC, the choice remains yours whether you use a Windows device or a Mac, an Android device or one running iOS. Developer teams that want to use Dev Box will also benefit from similar compatibility. Businesses don’t need to furnish employees with new devices or worry about changing operating systems.

Dev Box users can get all their favorite productivity software and custom line-of-business tools regardless of the platform they are working on. Not only will this feature help minimize hardware expenditure, but it could potentially improve productivity because developers can use the devices and other tools they are most comfortable with.


Plenty of businesses are putting in place measures to help them operate more sustainably and do what they can for the betterment of the planet. As a responsible organization, Microsoft has committed to becoming carbon negative by the year 2030 as well as putting in place measures to eliminate all the carbon that the organization has emitted directly or by electricity consumption since its foundation by the year 2050.

Services like Windows 365 and Dev Box can play a mission-critical role in achieving these goals. With workstations that run on the cloud, users can keep their devices for longer which is something that can contribute to a reduction in e-waste.

Moreover, using cloud solutions can do even more for long-term sustainability with some research suggesting that migrating to the cloud can reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 60 million tons per year.

Access simplified

Arguably the biggest goal of cloud-based solutions has been to facilitate easier access for clients using various devices and operating systems. Windows 365 and Dev Box are at the forefront of what Microsoft has been doing in the cloud technology space. But, it doesn’t simply end with these solutions.

Microsoft has just recently announced the Windows App which is going to be the gateway to many Windows services that are available to businesses. This new offering has been designed to allow the use of almost any device on any platform.

Not surprisingly, this will be the source of great excitement for a lot of Cloud PC and Dev Box users. If you happen to be one of the unfortunate people who till now have been forced to use certain devices or operating systems, then Windows App will give you the freedom many sorely desire. Because of the way it has been designed, users will be able to run Windows on their devices of choice.

So, whether we’re talking Macs, devices running Linux, Android, etc, the beauty of this service is that it will still give you secure access to Microsoft’s remote services. And something that we are all going to enjoy is using web browsers to connect to remote services.


If you want to use a web browser to connect to your Cloud PC from Windows 365, all you have to do is:

  • Open your web browser and navigate to
  • Sign in with your user account.
  • If it’s your first time using Windows App, navigate through the tour to learn more about Windows App, then select Done, or select Skip.
  • From the Home tab, select Go to devices.
  • At this stage, you are going to see all the Cloud PCs you have from Windows 365 as well as all the other remote resources you have access to. If no Cloud PCs are appearing then you’ll want to contact your administrator.
  • Next, locate the Cloud PC you want to connect to. You can use the available filters to help you find exactly what you need to connect to.
  • Select Connect. A new tab or browser window opens for that device or app.
  • You’re going to see a prompt displaying In Session Settings that will ask you to confirm which local devices or features to use with your Cloud PC. After making your decision, select Connect. You can avoid seeing this prompt every time you connect by checking the Don’t show again box
  • As soon as the connection to your Cloud PC is complete, you can start using it.


If you want to use a web browser to connect to your dev box from Microsoft Dev Box, all you have to do is:

  • Open your web browser and navigate to
  • Sign in with your user account.
  • If it’s your first time using Windows App, navigate through the tour to learn more about Windows App, then select Done, or select Skip.
  • From the Home tab, select Go to devices.
  • At this stage, you are going to see all the dev boxes you have from Microsoft Dev Box as well as all the other remote resources you have access to. If no dev boxes are appearing then you’ll want to contact your administrator.
  • Next, locate the dev box you want to connect to. You can use the available filters to help you find exactly what you need to connect to.
  • Select Connect. A new tab or browser window opens for that dev box.
  • You’re going to see a prompt displaying In Session Settings that will ask you to confirm which local devices or features to use with your Dev box. After making your decision, select Connect. You can avoid seeing this prompt every time you connect by checking the Don’t show again box.
  • As soon as the connection to your dev box is complete, you can start using it.

Wrap up

The future of cloud-based services is bound to have plenty of innovative solutions that will help enhance even further the way businesses interact with technology. Businesses can already benefit from the convenience of having access to powerful virtual workstations without the need to set up their own in-house servers. Microsoft Cloud services provide businesses with solutions such as Windows 365 Cloud PC and Microsoft Dev Box that offer exceptional performance as well as high availability.

Additionally, these cloud services can meet you wherever you are in your journey. There are options available that are tailored to smaller businesses just like you have options for larger businesses. And as you continue to grow, you’ll have the flexibility to scale at a rate that is ideal for your business. So, whether it’s the Cloud PC or the Dev Box that fits your business model better, you can be certain that both will deliver industry-leading technology and world-class service.

Run Legacy Applications with Ease using Windows 365

Businesses tend not to want to implement too many changes to the way they do things when they are already doing very well. As such, this can pose a major stumbling block to the adoption of new products and services.

Migrating to the cloud is something that raises several concerns for businesses. So Windows 365 wants to offer a secure and reliable experience that can alleviate those concerns. It is an easy-to-use virtual desktop environment that also supports legacy applications ensuring that you won’t need to make changes that you are unwilling to make.

You can continue running your preferred applications without worrying about compatibility issues. With that in mind, let’s go over some of those legacy application support features.

Legacy Application Support Features of Windows 365

To allow businesses to use the legacy applications that have been most effective for them, Windows 365 provides users with several legacy application support features. Below are some of these key features:

Compatibility with Older Operating Systems

Newer and more advanced products and services can have significant benefits for most businesses. However, many are not always open to change for plenty of reasons. The potential cost of implementing new systems is one of the main reasons why companies may be hesitant.

But, Windows 365 is built to try and reduce IT expenditure by offering features such as compatibility with older operating systems. This means that your business can continue to use the software programs that you are comfortable with and that brings the most productivity.

Additionally, you don’t need to worry about the time that may be required to train your staff to use new applications. So, what Windows 365 can then offer you are all the benefits of running your desktops on the cloud. And you can do so without completely overhauling everything you currently use.

Another great thing about the compatibility feature is how it means that already overloaded IT departments will not have to deal with additional tasks. Once Cloud PCs have been set up, employees will have available to them the software programs they are familiar with so work can continue as normal.

Integration with Existing Infrastructure

As well as providing compatibility for applications that were running on older operating systems, Windows 365 also seamlessly integrates with existing infrastructure. The benefit of this is that you can continue with some of your legacy applications, without losing access to some of the more modern ones, as well.

As a result, you get the software programs you want and simultaneously benefit from the features of newer applications. Needless to say, the potential of such a setup is not only immense but very cost-effective.

Employees don’t need to have multiple devices running different operating systems to have all the applications they need. Even more importantly, however, this integration allows businesses that want to switch to newer applications to have sufficient time to make the transition.

Cloud PC users can use the software programs that they are familiar with while simultaneously learning about the newer versions. This will provide businesses with considerable flexibility to make gradual changes as they update their virtual desktop environment.

Compatibility with Older Hardware

Hardware limitations can be a massive factor that hinders businesses from migrating to the cloud. So, in some cases, if employees don’t have the latest, most powerful devices, they may not be able to use certain products and services. With Windows 365, this is not an issue because there is support for multiple devices and operating systems.

Consequently, Cloud PC users can stick with their current devices whenever they want to access their virtual desktops. They don’t necessarily need to worry about the specifications of their devices or the operating systems they are running.

As long as the device has either the Microsoft Remote Desktop app or an HTML5-capable browser to access the web, you can access your Cloud PC with no problems. Although Microsoft does clarify that Windows devices will provide the best experience, clients remain free to choose a platform of their choice.

Accordingly, businesses can immediately start preparing to set up their Windows 365 environment. And they can do so without the added concern about first furnishing employees with new devices. Undoubtedly this is something that has been designed to perfectly illustrate how easy using Windows 365 is meant to be.

Support for Multiple Environments

At this point, it’s becoming pretty clear that compatibility is a pretty big issue for Windows 365. Along with older operating systems and hardware, clients also get support for multiple environments. Naturally, you can expect a lot of businesses to have different setups that are tailored to their unique needs.

Therefore, it really should come as no surprise that Windows 365 supports various environments, including cloud, on-premises, and hybrid setups. This gives your business the flexibility to design a virtual desktop environment that can adequately meet the needs of your operations.

Something like a hybrid setup can be hugely beneficial to businesses that are not willing as yet to migrate their entire environment to the cloud. It gives you the time to assess whether or not full cloud migration is the right thing for you. In addition to these different environments, Windows 365 is also compatible with multiple operating systems. It works with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, among others.

It’s for this reason that most businesses can have access to the Windows 365 environment. Limitations are relatively few concerning the platforms that you may want to use. And there is great flexibility in how you operate.

Benefits of Windows 365’s Legacy Application Support

The features that we have discussed above have plenty of benefits that businesses can get concerning legacy application support. Some of these benefits are given below.

Cost Savings

Unquestionably, one of the biggest advantages that come with using Windows 365, is the potential to cut down on IT expenditure. From the get-go, Microsoft presents Windows 365 as a virtual desktop environment that you can set up on your own without additional IT personnel. This reduces the costs that you face when setting up your employees with Cloud PCs.

Also, maintaining the environment and handling any of the tasks will be easy enough for your in-house IT department. This means less time wasted waiting for IT support services, thus potentially increasing productivity.

Features like compatibility with older operating systems are also going to minimize your costs by eliminating the need to immediately change your OS. And the same thing will apply to the devices that Cloud PC users can utilize to access their virtual desktops.

As long as you have the appropriate application or browser, you can easily access your Cloud PC on your device of choice. Because employees can use any of the devices they already have, this can go a long way in reducing the cost of purchasing devices for new employees or refreshing devices now and again.

Improved Compatibility

Microsoft wants Windows 365 to be a solution that can assure clients they’re getting a product that fits seamlessly with their existing infrastructure. Businesses can leverage all the best that the Cloud PC has to offer without having to completely do away with the systems that have brought them this far.

It’s for this reason that Windows 365 provides compatibility on several different levels to address the concerns that you may currently have. And this helps provide employees with an easier transition to the new infrastructure.

So, whether you’re looking at hardware or software, Windows 365 gives you a level of compatibility that caters to your goals. You can get to have the Windows 365 experience with your Windows, Apple, or Android devices, among many others.

This is something that can be an excellent tool in enhancing how employees work and how IT departments increase efficiency. Additionally, businesses can expect to see fewer downtime issues from problems that may otherwise arise from compatibility challenges.

Greater Flexibility

In the same way that Windows legacy application support features can help you reduce IT expenditure, they will also improve flexibility. And this is vitally important considering how remote work and distributed workforces have become integral to the operations of a lot of businesses.

Many now want to have the flexible working conditions that they are now accustomed to as a permanent solution. Hence the need for platforms like Windows 365 that enable you to easily run legacy applications using your current devices.

Coupled with what employees stand to gain, the business as a whole has the flexibility to choose what devices or operating systems are best for improving efficiency. Windows 365 does not have stringent restrictions concerning which devices or operating systems you can use. So, you can choose the best devices on the market to suit the needs of your business. And you’ll be able to use them to access your virtual desktops without any problems.

Enhanced Productivity

Cloud computing presents businesses with a solution that aims to help improve productivity. With Windows 365, you are getting virtual desktops that are easily accessible from remote locations and facilitate collaboration among colleagues.

This means that employees can work from anywhere, making sure that projects are completed on time, even with people collaborating from different countries. Because of the support for multiple environments, operating in this manner becomes very easy to achieve. Not only that, but Windows 365 ensures that all communication and collaboration are extremely secure.

Something else that will help enhance productivity is the fact that Windows 365 can integrate with your existing infrastructure. Doing so enables you to adopt this solution without it costing you unacceptable amounts of downtime that could be used more productively. And we can say the same thing about the compatibility with older hardware.

Cloud PCs are easy to set up and deploy so that work continues seamlessly while simultaneously increasing efficiency. Furthermore, these features also help your business to swiftly adapt to any changes in the market. The regular updates that Windows 365 receives are perfect for ensuring that you always have the best features to potentially give you an edge over other businesses.

Increased Security

Most people will agree that plenty of businesses are reluctant to make the migration to the cloud because of a lack of trust in the security measures. There is a tendency to want to keep all data in-house so that it is kept secure.

And this is precisely why Windows 365 utilizes industry-leading security measures to keep clients’ data as secure as possible. Because of the support availed for multiple platforms, Windows 365 offers regular updates and security patches to maintain high levels of security.

And this, in turn, allows you to run your legacy applications easily with minimal concern about your data being compromised. Moreover, Windows 365 has several redundancies in the system. These ensure that regardless of what disaster you may encounter, your data should remain secure and accessible. Therefore, whether employees are in the office or working from remote locations, you can conduct business operations reliably and securely.


Arguably one of the biggest things that service providers would want to offer clients is a solution that can improve the ease of doing business. It’s these kinds of considerations that have brought about the legacy application support features that Windows 365 offers. They aim to improve accessibility and flexibility for businesses by enabling support for older software run on modern hardware without compatibility issues.

Because of this level of support as well as integration with existing infrastructure, businesses can boost productivity, improve security and efficiency, as well as minimize expenditure. All of these benefits should provide you with more than enough reason to think about making the migration to the cloud.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Windows 365

The state of the environment is a massive topic of discussion all across the globe. Whether it’s in meetings bringing together world leaders or at business summits, the issue of how to reduce our impact on the environment is regularly on the agenda. This responsibility doesn’t fall solely on the shoulders of politicians but on those of business leaders as well.

And when it comes to the IT industry, there is a great need to consider adopting more sustainable solutions. This is because of how this sector has contributed to carbon emissions from data centers, computing devices, and more. Hence the need for a solution like Windows 365.

With this service, customers get a cloud-based virtual desktop infrastructure solution designed to help reduce their carbon footprint. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at how Windows 365 can help you to operate more sustainably.

Energy Efficiency Features of Windows 365

To help various businesses meet their sustainability goals and reduce their carbon footprint, Microsoft has created several features for Windows 365. In this section, we’ll discuss some of those key energy efficiency features.

Cloud-Based Infrastructure

Many businesses envision attaining net-zero sustainability for their operations. Although this is a very ambitious goal, it is not out of reach with solutions like Windows 365. You only have to go through the Microsoft report on the carbon benefits of cloud computing to see how this may be possible.

According to that report, the Microsoft cloud can be anywhere between 22% and 93% more efficient than traditional data centers depending on the comparison. And this would undoubtedly be something that can contribute massively to help reduce your carbon footprint.

The most obvious area where you will see these benefits is with reduced energy consumption. On-premises data centers require a lot of energy to not only power them but cool them as well. So, by leveraging shared cloud infrastructure, such as what Microsoft is offering, you can put yourself in a great position to attain your net-zero targets.

Windows 365’s cloud-based virtual desktops also encourage remote work, and this is something that can potentially reduce transport emissions. Cloud PC users can work from anywhere without being restricted by location.

Dynamic Provisioning

Running a business efficiently requires you to have the computing resources you need at all times to maximize productivity. This is something that Windows 365 values greatly to adequately meet all customers’ needs. With the availability of dynamic provisioning, businesses can easily provision and de-provision virtual desktops as needed.

As you can imagine, this will help you to run your business more efficiently because you do not need to retain any resources that are in excess of requirements. However, if the need for more computing resources arises, you can add more Cloud PCs quite easily.

When running your own data center, you won’t necessarily have the same flexibility to increase or decrease your computing resources with the same ease. And this can be very costly not only financially but in terms of carbon emissions as well. A business with a larger data center than it needs will find it a lot more difficult to meet its sustainability goals. And it may actually increase its carbon footprint.

Automatic Scaling

The business environment can change very suddenly, and organizations need to have solutions available that can help them swiftly adapt. Windows 365 offers businesses automatic scaling to help improve how efficiently they can run their IT operations.

When we talk about scaling, we are simply referring to the ability to increase or decrease computing resources as needed. Because businesses are trying to implement measures to reduce their carbon footprint, having an automatic scaling feature available goes a long way to simplifying that task.

Windows 365 can automatically adjust the computing resources that virtual desktops have access to depending on their various usage needs. By automating this process, Cloud PC users can be more productive. This is because they will have the resources they need when they need them. In addition, by not over-provisioning computing resources, businesses can minimize energy waste. And this moves you closer toward running sustainable operations.

Power Management

The unfortunate reality is that there are plenty of businesses that waste power and are not even aware of it. Consequently, this means that you are unnecessarily spending more as well as increasing your carbon footprint.

Around offices, it’s not uncommon to see devices that are always on, regardless of whether or not they are in use. Some people won’t or may not even know how to set their devices to switch off after a certain amount of idle time.

Fortunately, for Cloud PC users, this is something that you will get assistance with. Windows 365 has power management capabilities that are designed to help businesses minimize the wastage of resources.

By enabling you to automatically power off virtual desktops that are not currently in use, you can easily reduce your energy consumption. This feature gives you an essential management solution. And it can be key to how you monitor energy use within your business.

Benefits of Windows 365’s Energy Efficiency Features

The energy efficiency features discussed in the previous section have several benefits that can be of great importance to your business. These include:

Reduced Energy Consumption

Every business wants to improve how it runs its operations and ultimately improve productivity. And one of the best things about putting in place measures to reduce your carbon footprint is that it allows you to pinpoint inefficiencies in your organization. Addressing issues such as wastage of energy will help create savings that can be invested in other areas.

Other features, such as automatically powering off idle devices, allow you to better assess energy use in your business. This may be an important determining factor if your business is considering scaling your computing resources.

Something else that businesses can benefit from operating more sustainably is increased brand equity. We find that in some studies, 55% of consumers have indicated a preference for products made by businesses that have implemented sustainable practices.

Therefore, reducing your carbon footprint will not only help you to meet your sustainable objectives, but it can boost business as well. And if that is not enough, then you also need to consider current and potential future legislation that may affect your business.

As mentioned earlier, climate change is a hot topic at all different levels. So a lot of regulations are changing, and you may risk finding yourself non-compliant.

Lower Operating Costs

Even if the climate change discussions aren’t something that you are particularly interested in, you cannot ignore solutions that may potentially lower your operating costs. With that in mind, the energy efficiency features of Windows 365 are certainly worth a look.

By providing you with a cloud-based virtual desktop environment, Windows 365 allows you to save costs on purchasing and refreshing devices for your employees. As long as an individual has a device with a modern browser, they can access their Cloud PC relatively easily from any location.

This increased flexibility will also boost operational efficiency and can potentially improve productivity. Additionally, with capabilities such as dynamic provisioning, your business constantly has the resources to operate optimally.

You don’t need to worry about paying for more than you need. This is because if your computing resources become inadequate, you can always scale up. Another recent update that will help reduce costs is the introduction of Windows 365 Frontline. This latest update allows users to share Cloud PCs, which is particularly beneficial for employees that work in shifts.

Improved Scalability

Scalability can prove to be a major challenge for businesses that operate their own data centers. Not only can this be a complex affair, but it’s often very costly. Windows 365 is built to simplify scalability for businesses, regardless of size.

You can easily provision or de-provision virtual desktops as and when they are needed. Having this capability means that scaling up or down your computing resources becomes a quick and easy solution without significant costs. It also means that whatever happens in your section of the market, you’ll be well-placed to swiftly adapt and gain an edge over other companies.

This can also help you grow your profits significantly, especially when compared to other businesses that may face huge costs when scaling. Furthermore, this improved scalability is great for smaller businesses that need to grow at a pace that does not compromise the quality of service.

Windows 365 has a subscription option targeted at smaller businesses that can be scaled up as operations expand. Taking advantage of a system like this is an excellent choice for the long-term because it is going to promote customer loyalty. Whenever you experience an increase in traffic, you can manage it efficiently while still delivering excellent service.

Increased Productivity

Using cloud-based virtual desktops allows more businesses access to technologies that were in the past only available to a few. The degree of accessibility and flexibility that Windows 365 provides enables businesses to run more efficient operations.

In addition to that, Cloud PC users can collaborate with greater ease from anywhere across the world on any number of projects. With the ease with which employees can do this, your business may experience higher levels of productivity.  No longer do you have to contend with the restrictions that often come with working from static locations.

Automation has been a game-changer for users of cloud-computing technologies. Businesses can stop being concerned about a lot of daily tasks that consume time that may be used more productively.

By automating tasks such as scaling, power management, and updates, among others, IT personnel have less to deal with. They can contribute more to core business activities. Moreover, the Windows 365 automation features are crucial in helping to minimize costly errors that compromise efficiency. Virtual desktop users also benefit from the improved data security and disaster recovery measures provided by cloud computing services. Because of this enhanced degree of protection, there is a huge boost in the ease of doing business.

Environmental Responsibility

Cloud computing services are meant to reduce your carbon footprint, minimize emissions, and promote the use of greener energy sources. When you look at large-scale data centers, such as what Microsoft offers, you’ll find that they mostly run on renewable energy sources.

Therefore, businesses that are intent on switching to more sustainable operations can leverage solutions like Windows 365. Using this service also means that your business can reduce what it spends on new devices because most employees will be able to access their Cloud PCs on the devices they currently own.

In the long term, this will create significantly less electronic waste and keep you on track to reaching net-zero sustainability. Similarly, the use of the Microsoft cloud and enhanced power management capabilities means that businesses can start to reduce energy consumption.

Even though many may not see it, utilizing these features can be instrumental to reducing your carbon footprint. Coupled with all this, the ability to work remotely can further reduce emissions by limiting how much commuting employees will need to do and also reducing the need for massive corporate offices.


Cloud computing services are playing a massive role in helping enterprises to operate more efficiently and introduce more sustainable solutions. Service providers like Microsoft run large-scale data centers far more efficiently than the average business. As a result of this, businesses using Windows 365 get a solution that allows them to reduce their carbon footprint overall and contribute to a greener planet.

Users of this service get several energy efficiency features such as cloud-based infrastructure, dynamic provisioning, automatic scaling, and power management. These are going to allow businesses to utilize more sustainable options, reduce operating costs, and become more environmentally responsible. Undoubtedly, if we are to have a better future and create a greener planet, everyone will need to play their part.

Your Windows 365 Questions Answered

A lot of progress has taken place in the domain of cloud computing over the last few decades. And it’s not surprising just how much the technology evolution is out there when you consider the way a lot of businesses operate in modern times. Leveraging the best technology on the market can be integral to the success of your business.

But, businesses like yours also need to be able to do so without breaking the bank. This is why the “as-a-service” sector is thriving. Organizations have access to all the resources they need for significantly less than what it would cost for an on-premises infrastructure.

Seeing the need to ensure clients can get even better service is why Microsoft brought us Windows 365. It’s design revolutionizes what you can get from a desktop-as-a-service platform. Today we’ll be going over the most frequently asked questions about Windows 365. So you can discover how it can benefit your business model.

What exactly is Windows 365?

The best place to start is with questions about definitions. A lot of people have heard about Windows 365. But not everyone understands its capabilities and purpose. Familiarity exists especially because Microsoft also announced Windows 11 in 2021.

Initially, there is some confusion about the two Windows solutions. However, these two are completely different products. Unlike Windows 11 which is an operating system that you install on your device, Windows 365 is a cloud-based service. The latter creates Windows virtual machines for your end users. It is these virtual machines that Microsoft calls Cloud PCs.

So the goal for Windows 365 is to enable business clients to access these Cloud PCs from anywhere. As mentioned above, Microsoft wants the Windows 365 Cloud PC to be the next step in the evolution of desktop-as-service.

Using Windows 365, clients can access their ‘desktops’ on devices running macOS, iOS, Linux, and Android. Ultimately, this means that Microsoft will no longer provide the operating system only. Now it will now be offering ersatz hardware with Windows virtual machines running on its Azure servers. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had this to say:

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.”

Each Cloud PC created will then be assigned to an individual user and thus becomes their dedicated Windows device. Clients will also be able to benefit from the productivity, security, and collaboration provided by Microsoft 365.

As for accessing your Cloud PC, it’s a simple matter of navigating to the Cloud PC website. From there, users sign in using any modern browser. Alternatively, you can also use Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app.

What’s different about Windows 365?

For businesses that already have experience with various VDI platforms, you may rightly be wondering how Windows 365 is different from all the other platforms out there. For starters, simplicity. That’s what Microsoft is aiming for with the Windows 365 service.

When you consider traditional VDI platforms, you’d be looking at setting up servers, installing the necessary applications, and then giving users access. Windows 365 just about eliminates all of the above.

By offering you a Cloud PC, this means that Microsoft alone will take care of the virtualization. Ultimately this will make the deployment of operating systems a lot faster. Moreover, you won’t have to deal with the hassle of hardware and software configurations.

The automation of the various processes also means that there is no need for additional VDI expertise or resources. Microsoft will ensure that you can scale the service as necessary to meet your organization’s needs. And as organizations start to reap the benefits of a highly productive remote workforce, the need for a solution like Windows 365 grows even more.

The ability to customize and provision a desktop based on the users’ needs is beneficial. It means that for the most part, it doesn’t really matter what device an individual is using. It also doesn’t matter whether it’s a corporate-owned device or a personal one. The security measures that come with Windows 365 ensure that end-users can securely access corporate resources on personal devices.

How much will it cost me?

Microsoft’s Windows 366 Cloud PC service provides clients with a range of different fee options. This ensures there is flexibility available for different enterprises. From the small company, only needing a handful of PCs, to the larger enterprises that may require unlimited options, there’s an affordable solution for everyone.

The pricing ranges starts at $20 per user per month for the lowest-end SKU. Fees can go up to $162 per user per month for the most expensive setup.

Clients will also notice that unlike with the consumption-based pricing model that you get with Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365 gives you fixed monthly subscriptions. And if you need to scale, then you have the option to choose a different subscription, as well.

For the Windows 365 Business edition, the $20 per user per month fee is going to get you a single virtual core, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. Although you will require Windows Hybrid Benefit, which is Microsoft’s Bring-Your-Own license model that helps clients apply existing (or new) licenses toward the cost of a product.

Otherwise, if you don’t have Windows Hybrid Benefit then the cost goes up to $24 per user per month. At the other end of the spectrum, clients will be able to purchase the Business SKU that offers eight virtual cores, 32GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage for $158. And similarly to the previous one, without Windows Hybrid Benefit the cost goes up, this time to $162.

Clients that need the Windows 365 Enterprise edition will also have a similar range of pricing. At the lower end, you’ll get a single virtual core along with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for the same $20. However, if your computing needs are a lot greater, then you can choose the option that offers eight virtual cores, another 32GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage at a cost of $158 per user per month.

What about licensing?

Licensing for services similar to Windows 365 is typically where things start to get complicated, and expensive. Although Windows 365 will not attract everyone, Microsoft has tried to make their offering reasonably accessible.

Both Windows 365 Enterprise and Windows 365 Business are going to provide a complete cloud-based offering with multiple Cloud PC configurations depending on the needs of the various organizations.

Clients will be able to buy Windows 365 as a separate license per user for a fixed monthly fee to access and use each Cloud PC. However, in some cases, you may incur additional costs based on your network usage.

Windows 365 Enterprise

For this edition of Windows 365, clients can make their purchases directly from or from their account representative. After this, you can then proceed to provision and manage your Cloud PCs using the fully integrated Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

It’s also worth noting that before an individual can use Windows 365 Enterprise, they need licensing for the following: Windows 11 Enterprise or Windows 10 Enterprise, Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and Azure Active Directory P1. Even though these licenses can be available separately, you’ll also find them included in:

  • Microsoft 365 F3,
  • Microsoft 365 E3,
  • Microsoft 365 E5,
  • Microsoft 365 A3,
  • Microsoft 365 A5,
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium,
  • Microsoft 365 Education Student Use Benefit subscriptions.

So for those who are interested in using Windows 365 Enterprise, but don’t meet the licensing requirements, head over to the Windows 11 Enterprise page or the Microsoft 365 page. There is more information there, along with the ability to purchase the ideal plan to meet your needs.

Windows 365 Business

Similar to the above, clients interested in purchasing Windows 365 Business can also do so directly from Upon purchase, you can then set up your account without a domain. As for provisioning and management of the Cloud PCs, you can do that directly from the Windows 365 homepage on the web.

Moreover, clients should be happy to note that there are no additional licenses that will be required with only your credit card necessary to get you started. If you’re already a client of Microsoft 365, the purchase will complete through the Microsoft 365 admin center. All you simply need to do is get in touch with your global administrator. Alternatively, your billing administrator can assist in completing the purchase.

What are the device requirements?

One of the major benefits Microsoft intends to provide businesses is a reduction in IT costs, especially related to hardware. Because Windows 365 is essentially PC hardware that runs in the cloud, the importance of your actual physical device is significantly less. As long as you have an internet connection, you’ll be able to operate a reasonably powerful Windows PC. And you can do so using just about any device.

Accessing this Cloud PC is easy. You can use any modern browser or the Remote Desktop app. A setup like this is going to be extremely beneficial for organizations, too. More specifically, it’s a game-changer for those with a sizeable remote or seasonal workforce.

Additionally, your organization won’t need to make a massive investment in hardware for all those employees. Even better is the fact that they’ll be able to easily access these Cloud PCs anywhere, without losing any progress.

In short, all Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices are expectedly going to be compatible with Windows 365. The best part, however, is that clients will be able to easily stream a Windows 365 session to hardware running macOS, iPadOS, Linux, and Android.

However, for the best experience, Microsoft recommends devices that have a traditional keyboard and mouse. For the most part, as long as your device has an HTML5 browser and a DSL connection or a wireless internet connection capable of streaming a video, you will be just fine. The amount of bandwidth that you’ll need, however, will depend on your workload.

Which configuration is right for me?

Choosing the right configuration for your business is going to be key. If you want to get the most out of Windows 365, you’ll need to understand your needs. After all, you don’t want to select a configuration that eventually proves incapable of meeting your computing load.

But, you also don’t want to pay for access resources that you do not need. The best way choose is to get in touch with Microsoft Support. From there, you can get advice on how best to set up your environment.

However, there are some examples that we can look to get a good idea of what you may require:

  • 1vCPU/2GB/64GB – the first configuration is ideal for call centers, frontline workers, and education/training/CRM access.
  • 2vCPU/4GB/64GB – in this scenario, the offer is ideal for short-term and seasonal users, those working from home, customer services, mergers and acquisitions, and Bring-Your-Own-PC situations.
  • 2vCPU/4GB/128GB – suits the same scenarios as above.
  • 2vCPU/4GB/256GB – also suits the same scenarios as above.
  • 2vCPU/8GB/128GB – ideal for market researchers, working from home, Bring-Your-Own-PC scenarios, and government consultants.
  • 2vCPU/8GB/256GB – suits the same scenarios as the previous configuration.
  • 4vCPU/16GB/128B – ideal for Bring-Your-Own-PC scenarios, working from home, healthcare services, government consultants, and finance.
  • 4vCPU/16GB/256GB – same as previous configuration.
  • 4vCPU/16GB/512GB – same as previous configuration.
  • 8vCPU/32GB/128GB – ideal for content creators, engineers, software developers, and design and engineering workstations.
  • 8vCPU/32GB/256GB – same as previous configuration.
  • 8vCPU/32GB/512GB – same as previous configuration.

Is it the same as Azure Virtual Desktop?

Any business that has previously considered cloud-based solutions will be aware that Microsoft already has another service that it offers called Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). There are probably plenty of businesses that already use AVD. So understandably they would want to know the advantages of switching. Or is Windows 365 the same as Azure Virtual Desktop?

The simple answer is no. These two products are quite different. Although they do have several similarities. For starters, both of them aim to give clients the latest in what cloud technology has to offer.

This means you’ll have high-end security features, a flexible work environment, and premium remote work experience. And you’ll get this at a relatively affordable price. There are some differences, however. AVD is a cloud VDI that customizes the infrastructure of clients and also manage the resources that support the virtualized infrastructure.

On the other hand, Windows 365 gives you a fully managed desktop-as-a-service solution. It offers you the great Windows experience that you have to come to expect. All without having to deal with the management of infrastructure.

Technical features

When it comes to the technical side of things, there are several differences that you need to know for you to decide which service is right for your business. Some of the differences are as follows:

  • Design – Windows 365 has been designed to be simple and easy to use whereas AVD has been designed more for flexibility.
  • Desktop – clients get personal desktops for Windows 365 and AVD (single session). For AVD (multisession) there are pooled desktops.
  • Pricing – the pricing structure for AVD follows a consumption-based model whereas Windows 365 offers a fixed per-user per-month pricing.
  • Subscription – subscriptions are customer-managed for AVD and fully Microsoft-managed for Windows 365 Business. Windows 365 Enterprise is also Microsoft-managed with the exception of networking.
  • VM SKUs – Windows 365 has various optimized options for multiple use cases. On the other hand, AVD offers any Azure VM including GPU-enabled SKUs.
  • Backup – AVD clients will get to use Azure backup services while Windows 365 users get local redundant storage for disaster recovery.

In summary

Looking at the different services helps us to know that AVD will get you the best price on Windows 10 with Windows 10 multisession, exclusive to AVD. Azure Virtual Desktop is fully customizable and runs on Azure. It would be ideal for you, if you already have experience with VDI solutions. It’s also a good fit if you require industry-leading technology that gives you the flexibility of a fully customized environment.

On the other hand, Windows 365 gives you a solution that is simple and easy to provision. It’s simple to deploy without requiring special IT skills and has predictable pricing. It also gives you the option to scale in either direction, according to the needs of your business.

Therefore, if you have no previous experience with Azure Virtual Desktop, as well as a hybrid or seasonal workforce that needs PC management, then Windows 365 is the choice for you.

How secure is Windows 365?

Arguably one of the biggest concerns for businesses regarding cloud-based solutions is cyber security. Cloud solutions enable businesses to have their employees working from home while using personal devices. This means the risk of compromise is very high if security is lacking.

There are plenty of areas in the network that could be potentially very vulnerable to security breaches. However, Microsoft is well aware of these concerns. And it offers several guidelines to help improve the security of your Cloud PCs. These are as follows.

Conditional Access

Using Conditional Access policies is highly recommended to maintain strict control over the devices and apps that can access company resources. Conditional Access also helps you to secure end-user access to Windows 365. Another way to further enhance that security would be to use Azure AD multi-factor authentication to verify users.

Microsoft Defender

Microsoft advises connecting Microsoft Defender for Endpoint to Cloud PCs devices to help you identify threats and set devices as non-compliant. In addition, you’ll be able to apply device compliance policies to Cloud PCs as well as use Conditional Access for threat identification.

Applicable Blocking

Devices with a high-risk level need to be blocked from accessing corporate resources until the issues are resolved. And you can easily do this by using Intune compliance policies with Conditional Access policies to identify the high-risk devices and users.

Up-To-Date OS

Keeping your OS up-to-date is a key aspect of maintaining high levels of cyber security. Updates bring you enhanced security measures and other new features that serve to improve the user experience while fortifying your corporate network. And when it comes to your Cloud PCs, IT admins can use Endpoint Manager to configure Intune Windows 10/11 updates and policies for Windows Update for Windows.

Admin Security

Another security measure that Microsoft has put in place is that Windows 365 Enterprise end-users will not be admins of their Cloud PCs. This particular feature comes as a default setting.


Lastly, Microsoft has created an integration of Windows 365 with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. What this does is give you a scenario that allows security and endpoint admins to work together managing the Cloud PC environment similar to how they would manage a physical endpoint. Consequently, subscribed Cloud PCs will:

  • Send data through to Microsoft 365 Secure Score.
  • Appear on the dashboards of both Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
  • Security Center and threat analysis when unhealthy.
  • Similar to how other managed devices function, Cloud PCs will also respond to the various remediation measures.

What features does Windows 365 Business have?

Windows 365 Business is the edition made for smaller organizations. More specifically, it is meant for businesses that need to deploy no more than 300 Cloud PCs. As far as technology prerequisites go, Microsoft has made it very simple for businesses.

All you’ll need to do is use the Windows 365 cloud portal to purchase, deploy, and manage Cloud PCs at any time.

Furthermore, because everything works with Azure natively, Windows 365 Business clients aren’t going to require an Azure subscription or domain controller. Your workload will be lighter, as all the components will be running inside the Microsoft cloud and managed by Microsoft.

Purchasing Windows 365 Business can be done directly from the Microsoft 365 admin center. Upon purchase, you can then set up your account without a domain. And you can provision and manage cloud PCs directly from the Windows 365 web portal.

Other Advantages

Another advantage that comes with Windows 365 Business is that no other licenses are needed. So getting started is very easy and may only require a credit card.

The self-service capabilities on offer enable end-users to perform maintenance on cloud PCs via the Windows 365 web portal. The actions supported include Restart, Rename, and Reset (which allows you to remove your personal files, apps, or changes that you may have made to settings).

It’s also important to note that you’ll need to backup all your important files to a cloud storage service or external storage before resetting. This is because the process will delete these files. Windows 365 Business also has native Azure AD support. This means clients aren’t going to require an existing Active Directory domain or Azure subscription.

In addition to Windows 365, Microsoft also announced the successor to Windows 10 in 2021. And given that Windows 11 is the ideal operating system to optimize hybrid work, it’s great to know that new Cloud PCs will come with this OS installed by default. So organizations will benefit from all the new improvements to Windows. They’ll additionally enjoy the enhanced security features that come with it.

What features does Windows 365 Enterprise have?

Windows 365 Enterprise is the ideal edition for larger organizations. Unlike with Windows 365 Business ,which tops out at 300 users, Enterprise clients won’t have any such limits.

If the objective for your business is to manage Cloud PCs with MEM and leverage the integrations with other Microsoft services, then you’d be smart to purchase Windows 365 Enterprise.

By doing so, you benefit from other services such as Azure Active Directory and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. Although this edition may not have a license limit, users will still require a license for Windows 11 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise, Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and Azure Active Directory P1.

Purchasing and Setup

When it comes to purchasing channels and license assignments, the former will be done via Web Direct, Enterprise Agreements (EA), CSP. And the latter via the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. Clients using Enterprise will have networking through their Azure VNet, since it isn’t included in the license.

As for the administration side of things, the provisioning can be configured and customized to meet the specific needs of your organization. Your admins can set up the VNet, configure user permissions, and then assign the policy to an Azure AD group.

After that, the admins can proceed to provision the Cloud PCs with a choice of either standard gallery images or custom images. Clients using this version also get support for Group Policy Objects (GPO), Intune MDM, and application deployment.

End users can restart, rename, and troubleshoot their Cloud PCs on the Windows 365 homepage. In addition, users get assigned standard user roles on the Cloud PCs and this is by default.

However, when the need arises, admins can change this setting in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center. And as with Windows 365 Business, users can access their Cloud PCs via the Remote Desktop app or on using any modern browser.

Furthermore, you enjoy great security measures with Conditional Access that can be implemented using the MEM admin center or Azure AD. In addition, there is support for per-user multi-factor authentication and integration with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint.

How do you deploy Windows 365?

Once you have purchased the Windows 365 licenses that your organization needs, the Windows 365 node in Microsoft Endpoint Manager becomes active for management. So now you can begin provisioning your Cloud PCs. Setting up your system to provision Cloud PCs will require you to follow the steps below.

Assign licenses

For a user to have access to a Cloud PC, they will need to have a Windows 365 license assigned to them. You can use the following methods to assign the licenses:

  • For individual users, you have the option of using the Microsoft 365 admin center.
  • For group license assignments, you have the option of using the Azure AD admin center.
  • Lastly, for the assigning of direct licenses to a list of individual users, navigate to Assign licenses for Windows 365 or alternatively go to Assign license.

Create an on-premises network connection

An on-premises network connection (OPNC) is the crucial element that allows you to provision Cloud PCs that are attached to a virtual network that is under your management. Microsoft allows you to have 10 OPNCs per tenant. Creating an OPNC requires you to meet a few criteria:

  • You need to be an Intune Admin in Azure AD.
  • You also should have Owner permissions on the Azure subscription that contains the VNet with connectivity to your on-prem domain controller and network. 
  • Finally, you should have a PowerShell execution policy that is set up to enable RemoteSigned scripts. And for those that use Group Policy to set execution policy, you’ll need to ensure that the GPO targeted at the Organizational Unit defined in the OPNC is configured to allow RemoteSigned scripts.

Provide users a localized Windows experience

A great way to improve end-user comfort and potentially productivity levels, is by presenting Windows with a language that the user is comfortable with using. Setting up a localized Windows experience can be configured as a provisioning policy or by creating a custom device image.

One of the announcements made by Microsoft in February 2022 regarding Windows 365 Enterprise, talked about an important update that will enhance the user experience for different users from across the globe. The objective is to enable you to configure a Language & Region pack that can be installed on the Cloud PCs during provisioning when you are creating your provisioning policy.

At present, there are 38 languages available. And Microsoft will allow you to change the configured language for existing provisioning policies and subsequently reprovision any desired Cloud PCs.

Add or delete custom device images

Microsoft enables you to use a custom device image by simply adding it into your Azure subscription. From there, you can use it for Cloud PC provisioning. The standard Azure Marketplace gallery is where you’d navigate. Or you could also create your own custom-managed image. For those with a Shared Image Gallery in Microsoft Azure, they can convert one of those images into a managed image.

Create a provisioning policy

The last step in this process will require you to create a Provisioning Policy so that you can provision the Cloud PC with an image of your choice and is based on Azure AD security groups. Provisioning policies hold key provisioning rules and settings, allowing the Windows 365 service to set up and configure the right Cloud PCs for your users. Once the provisioning policies have been created and assigned to the Azure AD user security groups or Microsoft 365 Groups, the Windows 365 service will then:

  • Check the appropriate license for each user.
  • Configure each Cloud PC as necessary.

Why should our organization be interested?

Remote work has been a major topic of discussion, especially over the last few years. Therefore, Windows 365 is available at the best time. The concept of the Cloud PC will help your organization by simplifying the process of having your staff working remotely.

By having a PC running in the cloud, your workforce can access their desktops from anywhere without difficulty. This kind of flexibility is something that can make your organization more attractive when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.

Not only is Windows 365 going to allow you to take advantage of hybrid work. But it’s also going to address what is probably your next concern – security. When using Windows 365, your data will store on the cloud where Zero Trust Principles are in effect.

Moreover, Microsoft Endpoint Manager solutions will help fortify the platform for greater cyber security. Thus, organizations can rest easy knowing that although their workers are not on the premises, they can still remain productive without compromising the security of your data. And if you need to scale, it’s equally simplified without hassle.

Other Benefits

Windows 365 enables you to configure the size, CPU, and RAM of your Cloud PCs according to your needs. This versatility means that if the need arises to increase or reduce the computing resources that you require, you’ll be able to do so.

Windows also aims to help your organization lower your expenses in the hardware department. Because users will have desktops running in the cloud, you won’t face any significant costs regarding purchasing high-end devices.

In addition, you potentially won’t have to refresh your organization’s hardware as frequently. The Cloud PC will be handling the heavy computing on the Azure servers. Your organization may also save costs during the setup process.

Since Microsoft designed Windows 365 for ease of use, setting it up is not going to require you to bring in specialist IT professionals onto your team. Your IT people will be able to deploy and manage the configuration of any PC, much like they have been doing all along. 

What kind of support is available?

Undoubtedly every organization that wants to sign up for Windows 365 would like to know about support. The last thing you need is to run into the kinds of problems that could prevent your organization’s staff from accessing their Cloud PCs. Microsoft has availed support for Windows 365 clients in various ways. Each level of support is available, depending on how your Windows 365 subscription was purchased.

If you made your purchase via the self-service feature, you can request support through the Microsoft 365 admin center. For those who would have made their subscription purchases through volume licensing, they will need to contact their Microsoft account managers for assistance.

And lastly, if your Windows 365 subscription was purchased through a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), the latter can submit support requests for you. These requests, which can be for non-technical issues such as enrollment, membership, billing, subscription, and user management, can be submitted in the Microsoft Partner Center.

Can I use my apps on Windows 365?

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, Microsoft can help you address them for free with an eligible subscription through the Fast Track App Assure program.

Wrap Up

Windows 365 is a service that has plenty to offer your organization. Although it may not be the first such product in the domain of virtualization technology, it intends to perform like no other before it.

One of the key goals is to avail cloud computing technology to as many as possible and make it easy to use. The recent global pandemic showed us what can happen to countless organizations if adequate solutions aren’t available.

Going forward, I believe that the remote workforce will continue to grow and businesses will need to find ways to take advantage of this. Sometimes the ideal person for a particular task may be on the other side of the globe. And by leveraging Windows 365 and its communication channels, collaborating with anyone anywhere can be safe and easy.

And if there’s anything else that you may need answers to, Microsoft will be hosting monthly Windows 365 Ask Microsoft Anything events, on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Now, there’s no denying that the Windows 365 Cloud PC may not be for everyone. But, it’s certainly a product that’s worth taking a good look at.

Simplify Your Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with Windows 365

Businesses need to be constantly looking for different solutions to help them improve their operations. One area that can give businesses a significant advantage is their IT environment. Technology has evolved greatly, and businesses can now easily leverage cloud computing to boost productivity.

Solutions like Windows 365 enable businesses to provide employees with secure and reliable access to virtual desktops anytime and from anywhere. Although cloud computing has been available for a while, Microsoft is offering clients something that is meant to take the cloud computing experience to new heights.

The Windows 365 Cloud has plenty of features designed to help you better manage and simplify your virtual desktop infrastructure. And in this article, we’ll be exploring those features.

Management Features of Windows 365

Windows 365 is a service that is easy to deploy as well as easy to use. Microsoft has built-in several management features that can help your business manage your virtual desktop infrastructure quickly and efficiently. Let’s take a look at some of those features.

Centralized Management

IT admins can often encounter huge challenges with decentralized systems. One of the more common issues that you can face is vulnerability to security threats. When successful, these attacks will compromise the integrity of the entire network and can be quite costly to rectify.

Running a decentralized environment efficiently will probably require a well-staffed IT department to ensure that your business functions smoothly. Without this, ensuring that all desktops are fully up-to-date and secure can prove to be a challenging and time-consuming task.

To make running your virtual desktop environment simpler, Microsoft has developed Windows 365 to be easily manageable without the need for significant IT resources. With the availability of centralized management, your business can comfortably manage your Cloud PC environment from a single location.

What this does is make the task of managing and monitoring your virtual desktops far less complicated for IT admins. This capability will have the additional advantage of enhancing your security posture. This is because using a single console enables you to better secure your environment.

Self-Service Portal

Continuing with the theme of ease of use, Microsoft provides a self-service portal for Windows 365 Cloud PCs. We all know how far too much time can be lost with employees waiting around to get IT support. In some cases, it could be even worse when the help you need is external.

The potential downtime can be very costly in terms of productivity. This is why having a self-service portal makes so much sense. With a self-service portal, employees can manage certain things without having to wait for IT support. Cloud PC users can install applications, set up user accounts, and configure their security settings with relative ease.

Having a feature like this will not only help to boost productivity, but it will empower your employees as well. Furthermore, by allowing Cloud PC users to manage their virtual desktops, IT admins can dedicate more time to more productive work for the business.

IT admins can also use this feature to quickly and easily add or remove virtual desktops. This depends on the organization’s needs. And it can help to simplify the management of your virtual desktop environment without the need for external IT support.

Automated Patching

When it comes to the security of your virtual desktop environment, you cannot afford to neglect regular updates and patches. Malicious actors are getting worse with each passing year, meaning that businesses need to constantly reinforce their cyber security.

Fortunately, Microsoft offers its clients regular updates for its various products and services. This is to ensure that clients get the best and most secure experience. The challenge that can often arise, however, involves updating every single device in an environment. It can have its fair share of complications.

So, even though service providers may be regularly offering updates and security patches, if the task is not carried out, well your environment remains vulnerable. To try and minimize the issues that IT admins can face, Windows 365 has automated patching. And the biggest advantage of this is that it means your virtual desktops will always be up-to-date with the absolute latest security updates and software patches. Moreover, automated patching lightens the burden for IT admins and simplifies the management of your virtual desktop environment.

Customizable Management

Businesses need to know that when they are purchasing a product or service, they get something that is worth the investment. Part of the attraction of Windows 365 is that it offers great value for money in addition to being easy to use. Clients get the option to select a plan that suits the unique needs of their particular business. Microsoft offers businesses a choice between Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise to cater to both small and large businesses. 

These options give businesses the flexibility to customize an ideal subscription plan which eliminates the risk of paying for more than you need or that fails to meet your requirements. And the pay-as-you-go subscription model also allows businesses to continually make changes to their virtual desktop environment as their needs change. This way, you don’t need to make any long-term commitments, but you get access to the computing resources you need at any given time.

Benefits of Windows 365’s Simplified Management

The features that we have gone over have several benefits that they can offer your business. Some of these benefits are the following:

Reduced IT Overhead

The costs that businesses will often have to dedicate to their IT needs can be massive. These include things such as setting up an on-premises infrastructure, issuing devices to employees, and having a well-staffed IT department. One of the goals of Windows 365 is to help businesses minimize these costs.

By getting access to virtual desktops that are easily accessible, you’ll no longer need to worry about the devices you use. Because the heavy computing is done on the cloud, employees can use any device, including smartphones and tablets. And this will immediately help you to spend less on purchasing new devices.

In the long term, you will also reduce your expenses by not having to maintain the same device refresh cycle. Windows 365 is simple enough to use and maintain that you can run it efficiently without needing to bring in additional IT support. Features such as the self-service portal are perfectly designed to make management of your virtual desktop environment easier for IT.

As a result, they will also have a lighter burden meaning they can devote more time to other productive tasks. Additional reductions in IT overhead can also come from not having to maintain on-premises infrastructure because not only is it expensive to set up, but it’s also costly to maintain.

Increased Productivity

Virtual desktops should, by nature, help boost productivity because of how easily accessible they are. Employees have the flexibility to access their Cloud PCs even when traveling using any device they will be carrying. More importantly, remote work can create a more positive work environment by enabling people to work where and how they want.

Over the last few years, the desire to have the option to work remotely has grown significantly. So, if businesses can find a way to offer this to their employees, it could potentially boost productivity. People who feel cared for are far more likely to perform better.

Furthermore, the simplified management features available will allow Cloud PC users to work more efficiently with fewer issues. Features such as automated patching and centralized management give you a virtual desktop environment that is simple to manage. All of these things can contribute to lightening the load for your IT personnel, which can free up time for more critical tasks.

In addition, the security of the Microsoft Cloud as well as the redundancies in place, mean that your Cloud PCs will always be available. You don’t need to worry about facing disasters that can cause significant downtime because your data is highly secured.

Improved Security

With all the remote access that Windows 365 offers users, security needs to be of the highest standard. Recently we have witnessed plenty of businesses suffering from various attacks, so businesses are very wary about cloud computing solutions.

This is why Windows 365 would be a great choice because it leverages the industry-leading security measures that Azure has used over the years. You also get automated patching to ensure that your virtual desktop environment is fully protected by the regular updates that Microsoft delivers. By doing it automatically, it eliminates common issues that you may face with updates.

Monitoring your environment without the features to simplify management can be a complicated task. And this serves to highlight the importance of centralized management for enabling you to run your environment more efficiently.

IT admins can easily monitor all devices under their management from a single console and ensure that they are following all organizational policies. Using features like this will not only enhance your security but improve operational efficiency as well by keeping your virtual desktop environment up-to-date with all the latest features.

Greater Flexibility

I’m sure it’s pretty clear by now that there is a lot of talk about flexibility and its benefits. Businesses that can improve the working atmosphere for their employees, as well as accessibility to virtual desktops, can reap huge benefits. Windows 365 offers features like customizable management to address these areas.

In so doing, Microsoft allows businesses to select subscription plans that can perfectly meet their requirements. As a result of this, you’ll have the flexibility to use Windows 365 to carry out your business operations without any hindrances.

But, this is not only advantageous to the business but to employees as well. Because of the support for multiple operating systems and devices, Cloud PC users can comfortably use whatever device they want. Add to that the fact that the self-service portal allows users to carry out certain tasks that would normally require IT support, and you empower users even more.

So, whether your preference is iOS or Android, Windows or macOS, you can access your Cloud PC and get all your work done. And this you can do for years to come without worrying about purchasing new, more powerful devices.

Cost Savings

Everything that we’ve discussed plays a key role in providing Windows 365 clients with a service that can help businesses cut costs. By providing customizable management, businesses get the option to take full advantage of what Windows 365 Cloud PCs can offer while staying within their budgets. It may actually reduce your IT expenditure because you won’t need to purchase as much hardware or require additional IT personnel to run your Cloud PC environment.

Furthermore, the security of the Microsoft Cloud assures you that you don’t have to worry about cyber-attacks that could result in downtime. Windows 365 is determined to ensure that your Cloud PCs remain available at all times. And if you compare this to other backup systems that may be available to you, you may see just how much you’ll be saving by using Windows 365. Ultimately, the reductions in IT expenditure will help you to invest in other areas of your business thus improving growth and productivity.


Most businesses will be aware of the benefits that can be gained by introducing cloud computing to their businesses. But, as with any new solutions, there will be significant concerns about how viable this would be. With Windows 365, Microsoft wants businesses to have a solution that can alleviate security concerns, reduce operating costs, and increase flexibility among others.

Features designed to simplify Cloud PC management, such as the self-service portal, centralized management, automated patching, and customizable management, will help you function more efficiently. All of these things are crucial for improving employee morale, boosting productivity, and potentially increasing revenues. When all is said and done, Windows 365 may just be the solution you need to get closer to your business goals.

Windows 365 Flexible Pricing – Control Your IT Costs

Cloud computing has been evolving at a very impressive rate over the last few decades. It is now becoming an integral part of how a lot of businesses perform their operations. As you would expect, tech giant Microsoft has contributed a lot to the development that we have witnessed.

More recently, we have seen this with Windows 365, which is a virtual desktop service that Microsoft introduced a few years back. This solution gives businesses the ability to offer their employees desktops that run in the cloud and are always available. Having an option like this allows employees to remain productive wherever they may be.

And one of the best things about Windows 365 is that it offers flexible pricing terms that make it accessible to businesses both large and small. In this article, we’ll be discussing these flexible terms that Microsoft offers and how your business can benefit.

Flexible Pricing Features of Windows 365

To attract large numbers of businesses, Microsoft has had to ensure that Windows 365 has several flexible pricing features that you will find appealing. These features allow you to select the computing resources you need that will fit your unique business strategy. So, let’s take a look at some of these features.

Monthly Subscription

The flexibility that users get from their Windows 365 Cloud PCs does not only apply to how and where they can use their virtual desktops. It also applies to the subscription terms that are available to your organization. Clients that use Windows 365 get to pay for the service on a month-to-month basis.

As you can imagine, this gives you the advantage of not having to make a longer-term commitment that you may not be willing to make. You get to assess the benefits that Windows 365 gives your business every month and make adjustments to your strategies as you need.

Additionally, this also helps you to more efficiently manage your computing resources based on your changing needs. Therefore, if you need to increase or decrease the computing resources that you are using, Windows 365 allows you to do so without any problems. And all of this you can do quickly and seamlessly without having to commit to a long-term subscription that may not suit your business strategy.

Customizable Plans

Within your organization, employees working in different departments can have different computing resource needs. For example, individuals working in human resources departments are unlikely to need the same computing power as people working in an engineering department.

And fortunately for Windows 365 clients, Microsoft appreciates this and enables you to select a plan that can be uniquely tailored to precisely fit your specific computing requirements. That way, you don’t need to worry about getting more or less than your business needs.

Right at the beginning, there are two subscription options available depending on the size of your business. If you are a relatively smaller organization requiring less than 300 Cloud PCs, then you have the Windows 365 Business Edition.

Larger enterprises with employees that require a greater number of Cloud PCs have the option of Windows 365 Enterprise. The great thing about all this, however, is that these options all offer the same range of features. Therefore, small businesses get to have a similar Windows 365 experience to the larger businesses without having to break the bank.


This next feature provides businesses with a lot of flexibility relevant to how they can manage their budgets. With a pay-as-you-go arrangement in place, plenty of businesses, especially the smaller ones, will find it a bit easier to take advantage of what Windows 365 can offer without compromising their budget structures.

As already mentioned before, for some businesses, long-term commitments may not currently be financially viable, so having a service that allows you to only pay for what you are using can be a great solution.

One of the most obvious differences between Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is the payment structure. AVD offers its services on a consumption-based model, whereas Windows 365 uses a fixed per-month/per-user licensing arrangement.

The benefit that Windows 365 clients get from this is that it allows them to plan long-term, knowing exactly what their IT expenditure will be. And in the case of changing computing resource needs, they can easily scale up or down to meet demand without being worried about having to face massive costs to do so.

Self-Service Portal

Windows 365 prides itself on being a service that is easy to deploy and use for any business. By designing it this way, Microsoft has been able to offer clients a product that doesn’t require any additional financial investment to set up and use.

According to Microsoft, you should not need additional IT resources to help you set up your Windows 365 environment. And this is clearly something that is meant to help your business reduce expenditure. But, it’s not only setting up the Cloud PCs that is meant to be simple, but maintaining the environment should be as well.

Hence the availability of a self-service portal. This feature is perfect for helping your IT staff maintain your Windows 365 environment without needing to be dependent on support services. Moreover, if your business needs to add or remove virtual desktops, then your IT admins can leverage the self-service portal to do so easily and securely.

Ultimately, what Microsoft is giving you with this feature is a tool that enables you to adjust your computing resources as your business continues to evolve. Most importantly, you can do this in-house without needing to invest in additional IT resources.

Benefits of Windows 365’s Flexible Pricing

The various features that we have gone over above have several benefits that they can offer your business. In this section, we’ll be looking at some of those benefits.

Cost Control

Having effective cost control measures is essential for any business to minimize the progressive growth of expenses. Implementing such measures can help your business grow with minimal issues. One of the biggest things that a lot of businesses see as a great cost control measure is cloud computing.

Not only is this something that will help your employees remain productive from remote locations, but it can reduce IT expenses. If you consider setting up an on-premises infrastructure, you’ll quickly realize how costly an undertaking that would be. And that’s before considering the additional expenses for maintaining and potentially scaling the environment.

With Windows 365’s flexible pricing options, Microsoft wants businesses to have a virtual desktop service that can help to keep their IT expenses manageable. By signing up for only the computing resources that you need, you avoid having to overpay, especially for unnecessary resources.

This also gives you the advantage of planning an accurate budget well in advance. Moreover, you can also make allowances in your budget that will enable you to scale your computing resources if necessary.


Windows 365 offers two subscription plans to businesses, the Enterprise 365 edition and the Business 365 edition. As mentioned already, this gives large and small businesses options that can meet their unique needs.

Within these two editions of Windows 365, you’ll also find several different options offering different levels of computing resources. This allows businesses to subscribe to options that will suit their needs without being concerned about potentially costly, long-term commitments.

In addition to this, as the needs of your business continually evolve, Windows 365 allows you to easily and quickly adapt to those changes. If your business is experiencing significant growth, you can scale your computing resources accordingly without incurring significant costs to do so.

The pay-as-you-go model that Windows 365 uses gives your IT staff the flexibility to adapt to the business environment when the need arises. Because of this, you can operate at optimal efficiency levels with exactly the computing resources you need at any given time.

Reduced Overhead

Another massive benefit that Windows 365 provides is the ease with which you can deploy, use, and maintain your virtual desktop environment. This gives businesses an excellent cloud computing service that doesn’t require you to bring in additional or specialized IT professionals.

The simplicity of Windows 365 is meant to enable your in-house IT staff to easily set up Cloud PCs for all employees that need them without necessarily bringing in external support. As you can imagine, the potential reduction in overhead can be massive.

By leveraging Windows 365, you already have plenty of benefits gained by providing employees with the flexibility to work from any remote location. And then, the reduced demands on IT admins will also free them up to dedicate more time to essential value creation for the organization. All of this, when put together, provides an excellent foundation for improving the efficiency of the business, increasing productivity, and ultimately keeping your expenses down.

Improved Productivity

Windows 365 can provide greater security for their clients’ virtual desktop environment because of the measures that are in place in the Microsoft Cloud to safeguard data. This will have an additional positive impact on productivity because of how employees can do their work securely regardless of where they are. And unlike with on-premises systems, where you may occasionally have hardware issues, the redundancies in place for Windows 365 Cloud PCs are designed to keep your data accessible at all times.

The flexible pricing terms that you get with Windows 365 are what make this a great productivity tool for a lot of businesses. It’s especially advantageous when you consider that plenty of businesses, particularly the smaller ones, may otherwise find it financially difficult to offer employees this level of flexibility in their work conditions with the security that Microsoft provides. In addition, your Cloud PC environment is regularly updated so that you always have the best features available without the need to increase your IT expenditure.

Customizable Plans

A small startup company is going to have significantly different needs to those of a massive Fortune 500 company, for example. However, that is not to say that Windows 365 can’t be as equally beneficial to the business operations of both.

It’s this need to avail virtual desktops to all who need them that has led Microsoft to allow businesses to pay monthly subscriptions for only the computing resources that they’ll be using. So, businesses can choose between Windows 365 Enterprise and Windows 365 Business, depending on their various computing resource needs.

And within these two editions, you get several customizable and flexible plans that can be tailored to your unique needs and pocket. Therefore, all you have to do is determine the number of Cloud PCs you want and the amount of storage you’ll need. This is all you have to pay for, no more, no less.

Furthermore, having a pay-as-you-go model in place also makes it a lot easier for your business to adapt to a changing business environment. Thus, if the need arises, you can scale up or down with little to no trouble, and this increased control over computing resources will help improve your efficiency.


Most people will probably agree that there has been a massive increase in the acceptance of cloud computing by all businesses, both large and small. It’s not surprising as we have come to realize all the benefits that our businesses stand to gain. Not to mention the work that Microsoft has put into services like Windows 365 to improve security and reliability.

Although not the first of its kind, Windows 365 has been a game-changer for businesses because of its ease of use and favorable payment terms. Having access to a cloud computing environment that can potentially lower your IT expenses while boosting productivity is a great solution for any enterprise. And with all the development efforts that Microsoft continues to pour in, the Windows 365 Cloud PC will only get better.

Windows 365 – Always Up-to-Date Computing for Your Business

Over the last few years, we have witnessed an alarming increase in cybercrime across the globe. Attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and businesses are suffering massive losses. As we take all of this into consideration, it makes us realize the importance of maintaining a secure and always up-to-date environment. Microsoft’s latest cloud computing platform, named Windows 365, is a solution that is meant to provide businesses with a flexible computing environment that adheres to the strictest security measures available.

By providing clients with excellent always-up-to-date features, Microsoft can ensure that clients always have the latest security updates and software versions.

So, in this article, we want to go over the various always-up-to-date features that you get with Windows 365 and why this cloud computing service can give your business the necessary security and reliability.

What Is an Always-up-to-date Computing Environment?

Malicious actors out there are constantly coming up with new tricks. They’re always looking to perpetrate data breaches, hacks, cyber attacks, and identity theft. They are always looking to exploit any potential vulnerabilities that may exist in your network. So, to counter this threat, one of the best tools that services like Windows 365 can offer clients is an always-up-to-date computing environment. This is something that allows businesses to run Cloud PCs that are always up-to-date with not only the latest features but important security patches as well.

Most of us have already experienced the challenges that one can face when trying to maintain an up-to-date computing environment. Although various updates and security patches are regularly availed, it can still prove to be a challenging task.

Hence the need for a system that provides an always-up-to-date environment. It ensures that your business is running the software versions you need to maximize productivity. Additionally, this also enhances organizational security in a way that reduces the risk of successful attacks.

Windows 365 Always-up-to-date Features

To ensure that businesses will consistently have a computing environment that is running on the latest updates, Windows 365 takes advantage of several features. Combining these features helps to ensure that businesses will get an effective and comprehensive updating system. In this section, we’ll take a look at those various features.

Automated Updates

Chances are high that for most people when you encounter that “would you like to update now” prompt, you’ll click on “no.” No one wants the disruption to their workday, especially not knowing how long this update process could take. Even being aware of the security risks of ignoring updates, people will regularly continue without installing them. Actions like this are the reason behind the need for automated updates. Windows 365 can ensure that your devices are updated at a time that is convenient and doesn’t affect any ongoing work.

This gives you the scheduling flexibility to plan for the installation of automated updates. It works for both the operating system and applications on your Cloud PCs to be done during non-working hours. And since these updates are applied automatically, it helps reduce the workload for your IT staff by eliminating some of those sometimes daunting manual tasks. All of this while your business gets to use the latest features and maintain high-security levels.

Patch Management

Patch management involves the scanning and detection of security patches before they can be downloaded and installed. Using this tool helps IT admins to keep the devices that are under their control constantly up-to-date with the latest security patches. Leverage the patch management capabilities that Windows 365 provides. And eliminate the need for IT admins to manually check each virtual device to see if it has the necessary patches applied.

Having feature updates and security patches applied automatically means that you reduce the risk of hackers getting sufficient time to exploit any known vulnerabilities and security threats. This helps your business significantly reduce attack surfaces and keep employee productivity levels unaffected by potential security breaches. Moreover, businesses will also get to reap the benefits from reduced expenses for device lifecycle management as well as repairs.

Centralized Management

Centralized management can play a key role in simplifying your organization’s IT operations. It can help to make user access and data storage easier. It additionally contributes to saving IT admins plenty of time that could be used more productively.

As a result, your security posture can be expected to improve because of how admins can monitor the entire network from a single console. Doing this allows them to quickly detect any issues that may arise and implement the necessary solutions without delay.

This is particularly important in the area of updates and security patches. As already mentioned, manually updating devices can often be a nightmare of a task. So automated updates will come as a welcome relief. Having an always-up-to-date environment means IT admins will get their desired secure computing environments. It also allows the freeing up some of their time. All in all, taking advantage of centralized management for your Cloud PCs gives you a more secure and stable environment from top to bottom.

Integration with Microsoft Azure

One of the things that Microsoft was keen to highlight when it first introduced Windows 365 was this new product’s foundation of existing Azure infrastructure. As such, it could benefit from the tools and features that Microsoft clients would already be familiar with. This means that Windows 365 clients have access to the excellent computing resources that Azure infrastructure can provide.

And we cannot talk about these resources without mentioning security. This includes the highly reliable security measures of the Azure cloud infrastructure. It also includes the identity management protocols that significantly reduce the chances of unauthorized access to devices and, by extension, to your organization’s network.

Industry-leading security is what makes Azure such a great and reliable product. This ensures the protection of all your virtual machines and sensitive data. Most importantly, by keeping the environment always up-to-date, businesses will have any of their security concerns alleviated.

Role-based Access Control

Role-based access control (RBAC) is a method that improves your organization’s security by restricting network access based on the roles and unique responsibilities of employees within your organization. Using this tool helps your business by seeing to it that employees can only access what they need to perform their duties and no more. In addition, it doesn’t just regulate what resources an individual can access. It also determines what they can do with those resources.

By providing Windows 365 users with RBAC, Microsoft enables IT admins to assign permissions to users based on the needs of their duties within the organization. Restricting access to critical software and data is important for protecting the integrity of your network. Moreover, IT admins can enforce compliance especially concerning updates and security patches. And it ensures the organization is operating at optimal efficiency.

Benefits of Windows 365 Always-up-to-date Features

The features that we discuss above are integral to ensuring that your computing environment is kept up-to-date at all times. The benefits of this are several, and we’ll be exploring them below.

Enhanced Security

Cyber attacks have been a thorn in the backside of a lot of businesses in recent years. Take eyewear giant Luxottica as an example, a business that suffered a data breach that exposed the information of over 70 million clients. This kind of attack will be very damaging to any business, and others may not recover from the consequences. As we consider incidences like these, it becomes abundantly clear why businesses must try, by all means, to implement the best security measures available.

A big part of that is maintaining an always-up-to-date computing environment. The features that Windows 365 gives you to achieve this will provide you with security against known security threats. Malicious actors are constantly searching for vulnerabilities, so it’s important to apply the latest security patches and updates. Moreover, having these updates and security patches installed as soon as they become available is important. It will significantly reduce your risk of suffering at the hands of hackers.

Improved Productivity

Anyone who remembers using older devices or any device with older software will probably also notice that they are not as efficient as one would like. They will often run slower than is ideal, and applications may crash far too many times. Undoubtedly, this can be a very frustrating experience for anyone simply trying to get their work done.

As a business, this is something that will cause a noticeable drop in the efficiency of your employees. Individuals cannot be as productive as they want when they have to waste time dealing with software bugs.

The Windows 365 always-up-to-date features are designed to provide your virtual devices with the best available updates. With the improvements that you get from these updates, employees can work better and more efficiently. In some cases, applications will stop working entirely without the necessary updates. Furthermore, the application of security patches reduces your chances of downtime that may be caused by cyber-attacks.

Reduced IT Overhead

Microsoft has designed Windows 365 to be a service that is available to both big and small enterprises. As such, the cost of using the service is meant to be affordable enough to potentially lower your IT expenditure. To begin with, setting up and deploying Cloud PCs is simple enough for you not to require additional IT personnel. So you immediately have fewer costs to worry about. Because of the benefits of features like automated updates and centralized management, maintaining your IT environment is a lot less complex.

The tasks that your IT staff needs to perform become simpler. And they no longer have to spend as much time with manual updates and security patches. As a result, there is a lot more time available to dedicate to better value creation for your business.

Not only that, but with an always-up-to-date environment, IT admins will know that organizational security will significantly improve. This is something that will help them by also reducing the time that could potentially be spent dealing with software bugs or security breaches.


Every business needs to ensure that they have the necessary tools to scale as and when necessary. If your business experiences a sudden surge in customer interest, you need to be well-placed to adequately deal with the traffic. Windows 365 has several tools available that enable businesses to scale up quickly and seamlessly without compromising service delivery. And one of the biggest advantages of this process is that the tools you use are the same ones you’re already familiar with. So the process is a relatively straightforward one.

Most importantly, however, is that this task can be carried out very securely, and your IT environment will remain well-protected. So, utilizing the always-up-to-date features means that your business will always have the best tools for your computing environment. Although we mostly talk about expanding a business, the same also applies to scaling down operations.

If the need arises to reduce the computing resources you are using, then you can scale down just as easily and securely, as well. Microsoft provides a service that can accommodate the needs of your business in a way that allows you to operate under ideal conditions.

Wrap-Up About Windows 365

The security of your computing environment is not something that you can afford to take lightly. As we have discussed in this article, several businesses have been breached. The result is the compromising of information of millions of clients. Windows 365 provides you with a cloud computing platform with the objective to adapt to your organization’s needs. And it simultaneously offers you industry-leading security measures.

With the always-up-to-date features that you get, your computing environment can perform with optimal efficiency. Not to mention the enhanced security posture you’ll benefit from because of the automated security patches available. So, if you’re looking for a cloud computing solution that is secure, won’t break the bank, and is relatively easy to maintain, then Windows 365 deserves consideration.

How Windows 365 Helps Achieve Sustainability

The need for greater focus on more sustainable practices is something that has become of significant importance to most nations. And it’s clear to see why as we look at our environment and see the danger for future generations. Microsoft takes this responsibility very seriously and considers sustainability as part of the organization’s culture. Therefore, it’s important to develop products and services with sustainability in mind. This is why a platform like Windows 365 is so great because of the potential it has. In this blog, I’ll be looking at just how Windows 365 can help in the development and implementation of more sustainable solutions. 

Importance of sustainable practices

Over the twentieth century, we witnessed incredible advances in technology and innovation. And no one can deny the benefits that humanity has reaped from all this development. However, a lot of the time these developments occur without any concern for the environment around us. All around us the results are evident in the depletion of natural resources, pollution, deforestation, poor air quality, etc. If we consider just the United States alone the CO2 emissions are already concerning and could potentially reach very dangerous levels in a few more decades.

Fortunately, over the last few decades, people have become increasingly aware of how terribly our planet has suffered. And now organizations like Microsoft are working tirelessly to develop sustainable technologies that can limit the negative impact that we humans have on the environment. Ideally, these technologies should limit environmental degradation during the manufacturing stage as well as during usage. Unfortunately, a lot of the environmental damage cannot be reversed. But with services like Windows 365, Microsoft is looking to protect our environment from further destruction.  

Impact of technology on the environment

For a lot of folks, when you think about technology what comes to mind are computers, cellphones, tablets, smart gadgets, and anything else that has become a must-have, integral part of our lives. Not many will consider the environmental impact of their cellphone or PC. But, the reality is that the devices we use all require various materials to make them and these include finite natural resources, precious metals, and more. 


Also, we cannot ignore the environmental impact of the mining process itself. It is responsible for deforestation, landscape destruction, and water pollution. And this is long before we even address the often incalculable loss suffered by entire communities that may face displacement.


And then there is the colossal energy consumption and production of gas emissions that are involved. Unfortunately, this doesn’t end with the mining process. We find that manufacturers as well will require huge amounts of energy to turn the products of mining into the modern high-tech devices that end up in our homes. 

After the manufacturers are done, businesses will rely on vast transport networks to get the various products delivered to clients all across the globe. So, as we move along the chain, more and more energy is required and gas emissions keep increasing. To add to all of this, the cost to the environment will keep growing for the lifecycle of these gadgets. Because every time you plug a device into a non-renewable energy source there is a carbon cost incurred. 


Unfortunately, however, the cycle doesn’t end once a device is no longer in use. Tens of billions of dollars (yes, billions) worth of electronic waste is thrown away annually, with most of its remains ending up in landfills or burned. As much as recycling may be gaining traction, not enough old electronic devices are being recycled. 

The carbon emissions from dumping electronics are massive. But we additionally have to worry about the leaching of chemicals which is going to worsen environmental degradation and potentially pollute water. This can be extremely frustrating especially when considering how beneficial it would actually be to the environment if we could reclaim valuable materials through recycling. Not to mention the potential employment creation and economic benefits. 

Why is Windows 365 important?

Windows 365 is a platform that Microsoft has designed to offer an innovative, virtualization service that can help minimize our negative impact on the environment. Announced in 2021, Windows 365 enables users to access Cloud PCs from anywhere.

As businesses increasingly continue to embrace the idea of a hybrid work environment, Windows 365 wants to be the solution and hybrid platform of choice for those workers looking to migrate to the cloud. By streaming Windows 10 or Windows 11 to almost any available device, Microsoft will offer users the ability to take their desktops anywhere. And Microsoft assures clients that Cloud PCs are highly secure so users can work remotely with greater peace of mind.


Immediately you begin to see how Windows 365 is hugely beneficial to the environment. Because all your computing needs are taken care of on the Microsoft Cloud, you don’t necessarily need a powerful device. As a result, it means that organizations may not need to keep purchasing devices for new employees. And they also won’t need to keep refreshing devices every few years. To make accessing Cloud PCs convenient and easy, Microsoft allows you to use most devices.

All you need is a decent internet connection and you’ll be able to operate a reasonably powerful Windows PC using just about any device. So, all Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices should be compatible with Windows 365. The best part, however, is that clients will be able to easily stream a Windows 365 session to hardware running macOS, iOS, Linux, and Android. Ultimately what this will mean is that businesses won’t need to be potentially throwing away PCs as often as they do now. In addition to the environmental benefits, the financial upside for businesses would be massive.


Network servers are key infrastructure and have a tendency of taking up a lot of on-site space. That’s not all but the hassle of maintaining said servers including the security personnel to oversee and monitor them can drive costs sky high. Fortunately, Windows 365 has made it possible for organizations to reduce both this expenditure and the business’ physical footprint.

The fact of moving operations to the cloud means the amount of office space needed is significantly decreased. A modest business premise will probably be all that’s necessary instead of the vast swathes of corporal real estate typical of pre-pandemic offices. 

Furthermore, thanks to the remote working models adopted by companies during the pandemic and the flexibility Windows 365 affords, it may be possible for a sizable part of the workforce to continue working remotely full-time. 

Reducing consumption

One of the biggest selling points when it comes to Windows 365 is that you pay only for what you need. Organizations, both big and small, can pick the subscription model that best fits them.

The subscription models available are Windows 365 Business for smaller businesses and Windows 365 Enterprise for larger ones. Regardless of which you choose, you get the same range of features and an extensive 12 Cloud PC configurations from which to make your selection. For those looking for a bargain, the first configuration is worth considering. For just $20 you get 1vCPU, 2GB RAM, and 64GB storage. If your employees are frontline workers or only require access to basic CRM software then this configuration is ideal. For more demanding operations, the $158 option gives you access to 8 vCPUs, with 32GB RAM and 512GB storage. This setup works best for those dealing with heavy computing scenarios like software engineers. Whether you’re looking for a lightweight or heavy-duty option, there is a solution for you.

The reason why this is so important is that having access to the computing resources you need and no more can help to reduce electricity consumption. When you look at traditional data hardware systems, they require a consistent power supply to run the infrastructure efficiently. Not to mention things like cooling fans, alarm systems, etc. All these elements combined consume a significant amount of electricity. 


And the bigger the organization, the larger the infrastructure will be, and consequently the greater the electricity consumption. Windows 365 offers organizations the option to migrate their operations to the cloud and start saving energy. Some reports have suggested that cloud migration has the potential to reduce energy consumption by up to 65%. If accurate this would undoubtedly be a great step towards achieving sustainability goals. And if you can reduce energy consumption by that much then that will also reflect very favorably in the organization’s finances.


In addition to the potential reduction in energy consumption, there is some research that appears to suggest that organizations can reduce their carbon emissions by 72 to 98% by moving their IT infrastructure from traditional data centers to the cloud. In this Microsoft white paper, we are told:

“Microsoft Cloud is between 22 and 93% more energy efficient than traditional enterprise data centers, depending on the specific comparison being made. When taking into account our renewable energy purchases, the Microsoft cloud is between 72 and 98% more carbon efficient.” 

Typically, we expect cloud data centers to help reduce carbon emissions because they will generally have newer, more efficient equipment and are increasingly relying on renewable energy. Although measuring and reducing carbon emissions presents significant challenges, a lot of research is still going on to aid the development of more sustainable solutions.   

Assessing your sustainability

With an increasing number of organizations being concerned about sustainability, it may be time for your business to start planning an assessment. Especially considering the public interest in sustainable businesses. Before you start looking at sustainable solutions and how to implement them, you need to do an assessment of your business operations and the impact on the environment. Once you have that information and a clear picture of your business’ operations, you can develop baselines that you can build on. There are various assessments that can be carried out and below are some of them.


Businesses often have massive energy consumption, although some will obviously utilize far more than others. By doing a thorough assessment, you can see how your business is operating and this will enable you to not only reduce energy consumption but greenhouse gas emissions as well, among other things. A good way to complete this assessment may include working alongside engineers and other experts in sustainable practices.


When looking at how businesses emit greenhouse gases that list is often a very long one. The most obvious would be powering your premises, manufacturing processes, transportation of staff, distribution of products, etc. As we can see from the few listed examples, carrying out this assessment is far from a simple exercise. However, it’s an extremely important process if you want to see what your business carbon footprint looks like.

Unlike with the energy audit, measuring your carbon footprint requires the calculation of the greenhouse gases emitted by your business premises and the various operations. The energy audit and carbon footprint measurement work hand in hand since they expectedly affect each other. And similar to the energy audit, measuring your greenhouse gas emissions is easy when executed by a professional team/service.

Working remotely

A lot of businesses have been adopting hybrid working setups in the last few years. After the pandemic, as things slowly started to return to normal, businesses were discovering that some employees still preferred to work from home. And the great thing about the Windows 365 Cloud PC is that it allows users to work easily from anywhere without compromising the organization’s security. 


But, the benefits of the Cloud PC go beyond the flexibility afforded to employees. If people are given the option to work from home, they will. And this reduces their need for commuting and consequently the demands on the transportation sector. In a report by The Global Workplace Analytics, they made the assessment that remote workers can contribute massively to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by removing over half a million cars from the road. In addition, they go on to state that even working from home half the week can see an emissions reduction of up to 54 million tons every year.

Something else that we could potentially benefit from is a cleaner atmosphere. There’s no denying that the fuel used by cars or the emissions from buses have played a massive role in the rapidly declining quality of the air we breathe. So sustainable solutions that can help improve the quality of air would be most welcome. 

At the height of the pandemic during the lockdowns, a lot of people would have noticed how the quality of air appeared to improve, albeit temporarily. Therefore, adopting platforms like Windows 365 could do a lot to mitigate the effects of environmental degradation. In addition to the environmental benefits, there’s plenty more to like when you look at the features of Windows 365.


And it’s these features that enable this service to be an attractive option for organizations looking to minimize their environmental footprint.  Among these features we can list: 

  • Instant boot to a personal Cloud PC.
  • Clients get the full Windows experience in the cloud.
  • Clients can also stream various applications, tools, data, and settings directly from the Microsoft Cloud across any device.
  • You get a choice of running either Windows 10 or Windows 11.
  • Secure by design, and fully compliant with Microsoft’s Zero Trust principle.
  • Flexible per-user, per-month pricing plans at flat subscription rates.
  • A scalable set of virtual hardware parameters that lets you adjust to changing conditions whenever necessary.
  • Fully compliant with Azure AD and MEM.
  • Fast setup process that provisions your Cloud PC within minutes.

Sustainability solutions

Microsoft is clearly playing a significant role in trying to help businesses achieve their sustainability goals and accelerate that progress. And another key element is the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability which combines environmental, social, and governance (ESG) capabilities across the Microsoft cloud portfolio to enhance the way businesses are operating. This is in addition to the solutions from Microsoft partners who they’re working with to enable organizations to get the necessary transparency and insights for the effective management of their environmental footprint.

These efforts should also allow organizations to implement sustainability throughout their entire organizations and value chains. As a result, businesses will be able to develop new value in this changing landscape. By leveraging Unify data intelligence, you’ll be able to get the visibility required for you to push business transformation, sustainability efforts, and sustainability reporting. What this means is that your organization can streamline data ingestion, integration, and calculations as well as analyze and report environmental impact and sustainability progress.


Next, we can talk about how to build a sustainable IT infrastructure. This approach enables businesses to identify opportunities to swap out their existing suite of solutions for cleaner versions that increase the business’ overall value. Leveraging this option you can:

  • Establish carbon and energy efficiencies within cloud infrastructure.
  • Evaluate, track, and assist with enhancing compliance with international, regional, and industry policies and standards.
  • Incorporate sustainable technologies designed with environmental impact in mind.

Another key thing you’ll want to do is reduce environmental impact of operations. Businesses need to assess their operations, systems, tools, etc, to determine how they can reduce their environmental footprint. This is important so that you can:

  • Promote energy efficiencies and move towards renewable energy sources.
  • Upgrade transportation systems and improve fleets.
  • Minimize the environmental impact of buildings, spaces, and equipment.
  • Facilitate streamlined collaboration regarding targets and objectives.

Furthermore, we cannot ignore the issue of creating sustainable value chains. This is a critical area that allows you to put in place measures for transparency and accountability throughout the entire value chain. So that means from the businesses where you source your materials right through the end of use. Ultimately, this should enable you to optimize materials and thus create more sustainable products and services.

What else does Windows 365 offer?

Meeting sustainability goals is a wonderful target to have but organizations need to know what else Windows 365 can offer.


As attractive as the idea of achieving sustainability is, without top-notch security migrating to the cloud would not be a good idea. So, Microsoft has enhanced security measures by implementing Zero Trust principles enabling each request to be fully authenticated, authorized, and encrypted before access is granted. Add to that the fact that data is not stored on the physical devices but on the cloud and you have even more protection around your data. These measures should help to assuage concerns about the security of remote work as well as the risk of security breaches. Not to forget as well that Windows 365 clients can benefit from the already existing solutions that are part of Microsoft Endpoint Manager.


Microsoft boasts that the user-friendliness of this service means organizations won’t have to hire additional IT specialists to configure and supervise Cloud PCs. This effortless management model and instant start-up capacity means that even the less tech-savvy members of your team can perform their duties without too much trouble. This is something that may also help you to lower overall operating costs. Furthermore, your IT staff can manage, deploy, and configure the PC environment just as they have done all along.

Wrap up

Change is something that is rarely easy to accomplish but is often necessary. As our environment continues to suffer, individuals and organizations need to start working towards sustainable goals. And the IT sector can do a lot to help the cause of this planet. Microsoft has taken a huge interest in sustainable development and we see that with services like Windows 365. The solutions it offers can play a big role in reducing energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste. Undoubtedly this will not be an overnight process but progress needs to be swift because of the situation we already find ourselves in. Fortunately, as the push for more eco-friendly products and services gathers momentum, we are seeing greater participation from all industries. And this can only be a good thing for the planet.