Microsoft Windows 365 is ushering in a new category of computing—personal computers in the cloud.
And as it turns out, cloud PCs could revolutionize your small to medium-size business. Here are the key takeaways you need to know about Windows 365.
Your PCs—Now in the Cloud
Windows 365 takes the Microsoft Windows operating system and relocates it to the Microsoft cloud. Think of it as streaming for your computer operating systems, where personal and corporate devices stream the full Windows experience—apps, data and settings—from the cloud.
Windows 365 is a new personal computing category called Cloud PC, a hybrid that uses both the power of the cloud and the capabilities of the computing device to deliver a full and personalized Windows experience. In this way, Windows 365 turns any device into a personalized, productive and secure digital workspace.
How Microsoft 365 Works
Windows 365 is built on Azure Desktop, which used to be called Windows Virtual Desktop. Azure Desktop creates Windows 10/11 server session setup as pools to be shared (similar to Remote Desktop services). It also offers a 1-1 relationship between a user and a Windows 10/11 session.
With Windows 365, your users can access their desktop from any device at any time (even from a Chromebook or cheap personal computer). All of the processing power takes place in the Azure cloud. No data is ever stored on devices.
How Windows 365 Helps Your Small Business
Windows 365 helps you empower your team because it delivers greater flexibility and more options for employees who work from multiple locations.
Improved scalability. Your seasonal workers, for example, can cycle on and off teams without you facing the logistical headaches of issuing new hardware or securing personal devices. This means your business can scale up and down more quickly, more easily and more securely. This is because each user’s computing experience is no longer tied to a particular device. It is instead hosted in the cloud.
Increased computing power. Another advantage of Windows 365 is that it gives your specialized workers greater computing power and secure access to the critical applications they need. Employees who have creative, analytics, engineering or scientific roles—roles that demand a lot of computing power—will now have that power available to them from any device, and from anywhere.
Simplified IT. Windows 365 also simplifies life for your IT department. It makes PC deployments, updates and management a lot simpler. And unlike other solutions on the market, Windows 365 doesn’t involve any virtualization. This is because Windows 365 is optimized for the endpoint. Your IT staff can easily procure, deploy and manage cloud PCs in the same way they currently manage your PCs using Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
Deployment and Pricing
Your business can purchase Windows 365 directly from Microsoft, or you can purchase it through a cloud service provider or Managed Service Provider like Ntiva. You then get up and running with cloud PCs with just a few clicks.
As of August 2021, Windows 365 is available to small and medium-size businesses in three pricing tiers:
1. Basic: Run light productivity tools and web browsers
2. Standard: Run a full range of productivity tools and line-of-business apps
3. Premium: Run high-performance workloads and heavier data processing
Windows 365 is also available for larger organizations. Windows 365 Enterprise is for organizations that need to manage their Cloud PCs with Microsoft Endpoint Manager and take advantage of integrations with other Microsoft services.
Does Your Business Need Windows 365?
Windows 365 is ideal for businesses that need to give their employees access to applications that are outside of the Microsoft ecosystem. (If all that your employees need is access to Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams, you likely do not need to deploy cloud PCs because all these apps are already available in the cloud from any device.)
If your business wants to embrace Windows 365, Ntiva can help you with migration and security. We'll also help you get the most value from the platform by maintaining auto-updates on your non-Microsoft applications, so that when you provision new users these applications are ready to go.
Ntiva helps you do this in multiple ways. One of them is by leveraging AutoPilot, which enrolls users to their desktop and then runs prepackaged installers to their desktop.
Microsoft Windows 365: Power, Security, Versatility
Windows 365 combines the power and security of the cloud with the versatility and simplicity of the PC, enabling a multitude of new scenarios for how your business works today.