Windows 365 Cloud for Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Say hello to Hybrid Windows for a hybrid world with the Windows 365 Cloud PC.

Einat Aronberg

Welcome to the new way of experiencing Windows 10 or Windows 11 (when it debuts). Experience the power of the cloud across all your devices and embrace hybrid work. Organisations of all sizes will have the power, simplicity, and security needed to address the changing needs of the workforce.

As organisations begin to emerge from the disruptions of the past 18 months, they’re starting to see a new world of work. The ability to work wherever it is needed is becoming the new normal. All employees want technology that works seamlessly across devices. In today’s complex environment, businesses need tools that help them collaborate, share, and secure their data.

Windows 365 is a new cloud service that lets users experience Windows 10 and Windows 11 without having to install them on their own devices. This approach creates a new category of computing called the Cloud PC, it will redefine the way we work and play in the future.

The offering is not meant to replace Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop. Having said that, it should make desktop virtualization an option for a far greater number of businesses. The reason is due to its simpler IT deployment and management capabilities, according to Microsoft.

This is a great solution for SMBs’ that have remote staff. However, if you are considering upgrading but still not convinced, we have collated a list of the pros and cons:

PROS OF WINDOWS 365 Cloud PC.

The launch of Windows 365 was so successful that the website crashed on launch. Its main offering is as little as £17/pm for a virtualised laptop and new networking models. Here are a few of the benefits that make it stand out:

Full window experience in the cloud on any device.

The vision for Windows 365 Cloud PC is to provide a new way to experience Windows while solving both traditional and novel challenges for Organisations. Ultimately, the Cloud PC delivers a complete Windows 10 or Windows 11 desktop experience that’s simple to use and secure. It works seamlessly across all devices and platforms. Users just need to have Thin Clients; these affordable computers connect to the Virtual Computers in the Cloud. Therefore, there is less spend on complex hardware (i.e., office servers and devices with large processing capabilities).

With Windows 365, you can stream all your apps, settings, and data from the cloud to any device. So, you can run a virtualised version of Windows on any PC or mobile device. This includes Apple’s Mac, iPad and iPhone devices, as well as on Android and Linux devices.

Tailored to you with greater simplicity

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing Windows 365 is the size of the Cloud PC. You can choose the smallest Cloud PC that fits to your needs per user per month. Alternatively, you can choose the largest Cloud PC that fits to your performance needs. It is also built on top of Azure Virtual Desktop, which simplifies the deployment of virtual desktops, thus allowing you to monitor and scale the performance of your Cloud PC. Another benefit is that it also collects data on network health and provides recommendations on how to improve the experience for your users.

The new Watchdog Service monitors and troubleshoots connections to help keep them running smoothly. If a problem occurs, it will alert you and provide suggestions on how to resolve the issue.

Extra security powered by Zero Trust

With a focus on a Zero Trust architecture, Windows 365 also helps solve today’s critical security challenges by design, storing and securing information in the cloud, not on the device. Encryption is used across the board. All managed disks running Cloud PCs are encrypted as well as all stored data. Additionally, all network traffic to and from your Cloud PCs is also encrypted.

On top of security, you have improved backup. The backup service isn’t free but can be added to the service. However, as backup isn’t on-premises, it isn’t tied to an actual location making it more flexible and scalable.

New opportunities for partners

Windows 365 creates new opportunities for partners across the Microsoft ecosystem to deliver new Windows experiences from the cloud. This makes it an ideal solution for SMB’s (small-medium businesses), especially with remote staff.

Independent software vendors can continue to build Windows apps. What’s more, they can now deliver them in the cloud to reach a broader audience. Windows 365 also presents new development opportunities. For example, leveraging APIs available to partners, enabling them to bring their own innovations to market.

Cloud PC represents the next big step in cloud computing, connecting Microsoft Cloud and personal devices in a powerful new way.

CONS OF WINDOWS 365 Cloud PC

It’s hard to find fault in the new updates. However, this new solution will not be as straight-forward as creating a single personal email account. Additionally, there are some further cons to the Windows 365 Cloud PC.

Expected price increase

Microsoft unveiled plans to raise prices on several Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscription plans by as much as 25%. The increases are to take effect on March 1, 2022.

The price increase was said to reflect the increased value Microsoft have delivered to their customers over the past years. The higher costs will apply around the world but will affect only specific businesses and commercial editions. At this point they will not affect education or consumer subscriptions.

Let’s talk about data centres…

Enterprises may need to connect their virtual data centres to on-premises data centres or other resources. This connectivity between Azure and on-premises networks is a crucial aspect when designing an effective architecture. Enterprises have two different ways to create this interconnection: transit over the Internet or via private direct connections.

Applications migrated from on-premises will benefit from Azure’s secure cost-efficient infrastructure, even with minimal application changes. Even so, enterprises should adapt their architectures to improve agility and take advantage of Azure’s capabilities. This process can be complicated. The complexity of it would be handled better by an IT Services provider, rather than in-house.

Uploading 365 onto each device can be timely

First-time install and setup are always problematic. Most new computers seem to come with a stripped-down trial version and getting it to accept license codes to activate can be a pain. So much so that it is easier to just uninstall it from a new computer and do a fresh install. Plus, there have been cases where the web version of the products provides different functionality to the app version. Something to take into consideration if you are prone to using tablets or smartphones to complete work.

The complexity of setting up Active Directory

All Microsoft Online business services rely on Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) for sign-in and other identity needs. Azure Active Directory is a comprehensive, highly available identity and access management cloud solution. It combines core directory services, advanced identity governance, and application access management. In simple terms, it provides the employer with controls to specify who has access to what data. Additionally, t allows them to set permissions and restrictions around sharing data.

Azure AD can integrate with on-premises Active Directory to enable single sign-on for all cloud-based and locally hosted on-premises applications. The user attributes of on-premises Active Directory can be automatically synchronized to Azure AD.

The issue in the modern era is that centralised IAM (Identity and Access Management) with AD is only achieved in a Windows-centric environment. It also requires a significant amount of on-prem infrastructure to implement and maintain. Modern IT Organisations have cross-platform system environments that include Windows, Mac, Linux, and more. They also want to eliminate the majority of their on-prem IT infrastructure in favour of cloud alternatives. So, legacy AD can be limiting.

Your Next Step

No Problem IT is here to help.

From setting up virtualised desktops to sourcing your thin clients, No Problem IT can plan and configure Windows 365 for each device.

It’s not just about having IT solutions standing by when you’re an SME. We know that safe and secure data is ‘business-critical’, which is why it’s essential to move forward with the right provider for your Cloud solutions.

Contact us today!