Today, we use so many physical client PCs and so many programs, so keeping the same software set on all devices is complicated. This is where Microsoft’s cloud PC paradigm comes into play: the software giant is actually lending a PC located somewhere in its data center that can be used by any networked client anywhere in the world.
Currently, Microsoft positions it Windows 365 For businesses (for organizations with up to 300 employees) and corporate customers (for organizations with more than 300 employees), these two types of corporate customers are likely to need cloud PCs the most. As Microsoft described it, its Windows 365-Windows 10 or Windows 11 operating system located in the cloud-securely transfers the operating system and all applications, data and settings to any personal or company device connected to the Internet.
Microsoft’s Windows 365 is currently compatible with Windows, Mac, iPadOS/iOS and Android. Linux compatibility is coming soon, but there is no set date yet.
“Regardless of the device used, the Windows experience is consistent,” Microsoft’s Scott Manchester wrote in a blog post. “You can continue where you left off, because even if you switch devices, the status of the cloud PC remains the same.”
Microsoft currently offers a variety of Windows 365 configurations. The cheapest ones include a virtual CPU, 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space, starting at $20. The highest-end has 8 virtual CPUs, 32GB of memory and 512GB of storage space, and it costs $158 per month. The basic plan of Windows 365 (2 vCPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage) starts at $31 per month, and the premium plan (2 vCPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage) costs $66 per month.More detailed pricing information is available at Microsoft’s website.
To some extent, Microsoft’s Windows 365 will simplify software management for large companies with fleets of tens of thousands of devices. However, it remains to be seen whether these customers will actually adopt this technology.
Microsoft’s entry into the cloud PC field is clearly a way for the company to compete in the overall cloud business. Windows is obviously a trump card that Microsoft is sitting on the sidelines, no one else has or will own it in the foreseeable future, so there is no doubt that Microsoft will play it. Will it become a big business? Only time will give the answer.