Windows 365 – Microsoft’s new virtualized Cloud PC service

Windows 365

Microsoft has unveiled their greatly anticipated cloud-based Windows 365 service – a virtualized desktop service allowing businesses to deploy and stream Cloud PCs from Azure.

Earlier this year, information was leaked about a new service developed by Microsoft called Cloud PC was that allows businesses to deploy and run Windows 10 (and soon Windows 11) directly from the cloud.

Today, at the Inspire 2021 conference, Microsoft has finally revealed the Windows 365 cloud-based desktop experience running on top of Azure Virtual Desktop, which will be available on August 2nd, 2021.

“Today we are excited to announce Windows 365, a cloud service that introduces a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 (when it’s generally available later this calendar year) for workers from interns and contractors to software developers and industrial designers,” Microsoft’s Wangui McKelvey, General Manager, Microsoft 365, shared in a blog post.

“Windows 365 takes the operating system to the Microsoft Cloud, securely streaming the full Windows experience – including all your apps, data, and settings – to your personal or corporate devices. This approach creates a fully new personal computing category, specifically for the hybrid world: the Cloud PC.”

Like we previously reported, Windows 365 is built on top of the Azure Virtual Desktop service but with a redesigned experience that allows businesses to easily deploy cloud-based virtualized Cloud PCs that fit their performance needs.

While Microsoft has not announced the specific specs for the service, leaked information indicates that a Cloud PC can be deployed using different tiers, shown below:

  • Medium tier: 2 vCPUs, 4GB of RAM, and 96GB of SSD storage.
  • Heavy tier: 2 vCPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 96GB of SSD storage.
  • Advanced tier: 3 vCPUs, 8GB of RAM, and 40GB of SSD storage.

Microsoft says that you will be able to stream a Cloud PC desktop from virtually any device, including Mac, iPads, Linux, and Android. From support information previously seen by BleepingComputer, this will be done using a standard Remote Desktop Client or an embedded client in the browser.

Windows 365 will be released in two offerings depending on the size of your organization with a per user per month pricing, Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise. The plans will offer different performance tiers for a Cloud PC.

To manage the deployment of Cloud PCs, Microsoft has integrated Windows 365 directly into Microsoft Endpoint Manager. 

Managing Cloud PCs from Microsoft Endpoint Manager
Managing Cloud PCs from Microsoft Endpoint Manager

In addition to diagnostics, statistics, and complete management of Cloud PCs, organizations will also manage the security configuration of their devices directly from Endpoint Manager.

This includes assigning secure baselines to Cloud PCs, managing antivirus, disk encryption, firewall settings, and Microsoft Defender.

Assigning Security Baselines to Cloud PCs
Assigning Security Baselines to Cloud PCs

Microsoft has not shared at this time the pricing for their Windows 365 Cloud PC service or the full hardware specifications that can be used for deployed devices.

BleepingComputer has contacted Microsoft for more information about these topics but has not heard back at this time.

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