Update Microsoft's Windows Cloud PC service almost here - What we know so far

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In addition to Windows 11, Microsoft has been secretly working on a new Windows PC experience called 'Cloud PC' that allows business customers to run virtualized desktops in the cloud.

Cloud PC is reportedly based on Azure and uses Windows Virtual Desktop and remote desktop clients to stream a Windows desktop to any device.

However, Cloud PC won't replace any existing versions of Windows or virtualization technology but instead will be used as an additional option for Microsoft 365 customers who want to access their cloud-based desktop from anywhere at any time.

According to reports, Microsoft may unveil the new Cloud PC during the Inspire 2021 on July 14th, whose keynote is heavily focused on Microsoft Cloud initiatives.

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Today we introduced Windows 365. Find out what you need to know to jump into this new service and make it even easier for your users to connect to Windows running in the Microsoft cloud.

Before I start explaining the steps required to get your environment up to speed, I’d like to start by outlining what Windows 365 is. Let’s get started!

What is Windows 365?​

Users want technology that is familiar, easy to use and always available so they can work and create fluidly across devices. Cloud PC makes this possible by combining the power and security of the cloud with the familiarity of the PC. Only Microsoft can bring together the PC and the cloud with a consistent and integrated Windows experience. Introducing Windows 365. Windows 365 is the world’s first cloud PC. With a cloud PC, Windows evolves from a device-based OS to hybrid personalized computing.

A cloud PC is your personalized desktop, apps, settings, and content streamed securely from the cloud to your devices. It enables you to decrease costs while lowering the complexity of your environment as you deploy and manage virtual endpoints in Microsoft Endpoint Manager. No additional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) expertise or resources are needed.

In addition, Windows 365 enables you to:

  • Procure, provision, and deploy in minutes, with optional automated OS updates.
  • Offers user anywhere access to their personalized Windows desktop experience.
  • Tailor compute and configurations for an elastic workforce.
  • Pick up where you left off on the device of your choice.
  • Optimize experiences on Windows endpoints.
  • Scale confidently with per-user pricing.
 

CyberTech

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Microsoft announced its new Windows 365 service yesterday, but the company said it wouldn’t discuss pricing options until the Cloud PCs launch on August 2nd. Now, Microsoft has inadvertently revealed one pricing option, allowing businesses to use a virtual Windows PC in the cloud for $31 per user, per month.

The pricing option was revealed during a Microsoft Inspire session yesterday, as the company demonstrated how businesses can sign up to the service. For the $31 monthly subscription, Microsoft offers two CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. This is part of the Windows 365 Business option, designed for businesses with fewer than 300 overall users.

“This is pricing for just one SKU. Microsoft will have many more options, both in terms of configurations and price points, to share when the product becomes generally available on August 2nd,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge.

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CyberTech

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Microsoft launched its new cloud PC Windows 365 service earlier this week, and the company has already had to pause free trials due to demand. Windows 365 lets you rent a cloud PC — with a variety of CPU, RAM, and storage options — and then stream Windows 10 or Windows 11 via a web browser. The service reached max capacity after only a day of signups.

“Following significant demand, we have reached capacity for Windows 365 trials,” reads a statement from the Microsoft 365 Twitter account. “We have seen unbelievable response to Windows 365 and need to pause our free trial program while we provision additional capacity,” explains Scott Manchester, director of Windows 365 program management.

Windows 365 is only available to businesses right now, and there’s clearly been more demand than Microsoft had anticipated if the company has hit capacity issues after just a day of free trials. Microsoft launched the service on Monday, with per-user pricing that starts at $20 per month for one vCPU, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and 12GB of bandwidth if you already have a Windows 10 license.

There are a variety of configurations for Windows 365, including one at the top end that includes eight vCPUs, 32GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage for $158 per month. All of the different price options are available at Windows365.com, but you’ll now need to register interest in a free trial as Microsoft has hit capacity.

 

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Although Microsoft's Windows 365 has been making the headlines recently in the Cloud PC space, the company also has existing offering called Azure Virtual Desktop, which is different from its new service in a number of ways. Azure Virtual Desktop is an evolution and rebranding of Windows Virtual Desktop that offers a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)-based experience to run Windows. Now, Microsoft has announced that customers can utilize the Windows 11 preview on Azure Virtual Desktop.

Microsoft says that apart from performance, security, and usability enhancements, some perks of using Windows 11 on Azure Virtual Desktop are exclusive support for multi-session, and Trusted Launch capabilities to utilize TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot in your VM. Multi-session allows a way to reduce costs by having multiple users utilizing the OS on a single VDI.
 
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