When Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 365 on July 14, 2021 (Wednesday), we stepped into a new era of computing. It is only the beginning of an evolution.
Once launched, Windows 365 moves the operating system to the Microsoft cloud and will provide a full Windows experience, including apps, data, and settings, to individual and corporate users.
There is a lot more in store in the future, as Windows 365 will have advanced AI support, quantum computing features, and highly capable virtual assistants that will resemble science fiction.
Windows 365 offers its services based on the cloud platform through different Microsoft products (Office Suite, OS). This new version of Windows will stream everything through the cloud.
Besides, Windows 365 comes with Cloud PC, which is a hybrid computing. It has the combined features of the current devices with the advanced capabilities of the powerful cloud platform to deliver the next-level computing experience. Users can access it using a web browser, as they do for a website.
During the launch, Microsoft stated that the processes such as remote collaboration and virtual processing will become easier with Windows 365. With the help of this service, employees can access multiple business resources from any location without posing any risk to virtual security.
To function seamlessly, Windows 365, users need a computer and a working internet connection. The pattern of the Windows 365 service resembles Stadia, in which users need to give input on the device they use. After that, a remote server processes the data, and the data output is back instantly.
For example, if an employee needs to make a 3D design, and his/her PC might not have the feature or enough power to deliver that design because of hardware limitations. In such a situation, Windows 365 can help. However, the user has to pay a monthly subscription price.
It means that IT executives may not have to troubleshoot or update the PCs frequently to keep up with the advanced computing needs. Instead, they could subscribe to various offers of Windows 365 according to requirements.
According to the recent Work Trend Index by Microsoft, 73 percent of employees prefer remote work options at work. However, at the same time, 67 percent of respondents said that they are also looking for more in-person collaboration in the post-pandemic era.
Such employee preferences are leading to creating hybrid work environments. Organisations around the world are thinking of providing their staff access to corporate resources in the office, at home, and any remote location.
The new hybrid concept is not only about providing and securing remote access. Here the user experience is the top priority more than ever to hire and retain talent, increasing productivity, and providing robust security.
The Cloud PC has the combined power of the cloud and the capacity of the device. It can deliver the performance of Windows 10 or Windows 11 regardless of location or device.
Windows 365 allows users to stream all the personalised tools, applications, data, and settings from the cloud to any device, including Android, Mac, Linux, and iPad.
Also, users can do the same work on a laptop in a remote location, a tablet while travelling in their car, or a desktop when they are in the office.
During busy periods, organisations can support seasonal workers to ramp on and off according to the business’ needs. Companies can do so without issuing new hardware.
Lastly, organisations can determine how much computer power employees in analytics, creative, engineering, or scientific roles need to work on critical applications.
The benefits of rolling out Windows 365 would be lower maintenance costs, less downtime for a computer malfunction, more resistance to cyberattacks and malware, better provisioning, fewer disruptions, easier to patch, updates, and work remotely.
Some of the drawbacks are additional subscription-based costs, more reliance on the network, adverse impact on certain types of work due to higher latency, and more frustration because of dual-factor authentication.
Another issue is that integrating Windows 365 and macOS might be problematic because Apple will never want its OS to get redundant. So, Apple may not allow having Windows 365 on its products to avoid competitive offerings on its platform. These possible conflicts might confuse users.
It took nearly five years for Windows 95 to move to its new version since its launch. The same thing may repeat for Windows 365. It is not that because implementing Windows 365 is more challenging, rather Windows 365 has a different paradigm. Since this version of Windows is tied to network upgrades and 5G availability, it might take some time for users to get comfortable with it.
By launching Windows 365, Microsoft is now looking to offer hardware capability as a subscription service. Many enterprises can benefit from it and can drop the idea of investing in expensive infrastructure and devices. It is because if they need additional network and computing capacity, they can rent it from Microsoft.
In the post-pandemic era, as the world is moving to a hybrid work structure, Microsoft is looking to fit in Windows 365 according to users’ needs. Cloud computing is future-ready and this Windows version will most likely help accelerate the transition towards a better future.
Concerning the price, Microsoft has rolled out different subscription plans for Windows 365 based on processor, RAM, and storage. For example, the subscriptions for 2 GB RAM with 64 GB storage starts from $24/month, and 4 GB RAM with 64 GB storage starts from $32/month.
You can get detailed plan and pricing information at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-365/all-pricing