Windows 365 brings the best aspects of Office 365 to the desktop operating system
Microsoft is poised to offer a whole new way to run Windows on your PC. Dubbed Windows 365, the Redmond-based company will give commercial customers the chance to subscribe to Windows 10 remote access, with an upgrade to Windows 11 as it becomes available. Named after the wildly successful Office 365 subscription, which allows users to access applications such as Word, Excel, and Outlook on multiple devices as long as they pay the monthly fee, Windows 365 will work in a similar way.
So instead of paying a fixed amount to download Windows 11, you pay a lower amount each month to access the operating system. For starters, this scheme is only available to commercial customers. Companies pay per user per month, instead of paying for each new installation of Windows on the company PCs, laptops and tablets distributed to employees.
“Windows 365 is a cloud service that introduces a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 for employees, from interns and contractors to software developers and industrial designers,” explains Microsoft 365 general manager Wangui McKelvey.
“Windows 365 brings the operating system to the Microsoft Cloud and securely streams the full Windows experience, including all your apps, data, and settings, to your personal or business devices. This approach creates a whole new category of personal computing specifically for the hybrid world: the Cloud PC.”
After the launch of Windows 10, which Microsoft announced at the time as the “last version of Windows”, many assumed the hugely popular operating system would move to a subscription model. Software giant Adobe has had tremendous success with its Creative Cloud subscription, as has Microsoft with its Office 365 option for enterprises and consumers.
In addition to not having individual software licenses for each device, Windows 365 has some other advantages over the traditional approach.
According to Microsoft, since the computers in its server farm do most of the heavy lifting, Windows 365 will provide an “instant-on boot experience.” Not only that, but it works with virtually all devices, including Macs, iPads, Linux PCs, and Android tablets and smartphones.
Those who subscribe will get an upgrade to Windows 11 later this year
Microsoft also remembers the latest operating system status, so every time you log in, you pick up exactly where you left off. That’s true whether you log back into the same machine or pick up a new one. The ability to go from a desktop PC in the office to a laptop on the train home — and have the same documents, files, and half-drafted email open and ready to use is sure to be a hit with users.
Windows 365 will be available to businesses of all sizes starting August 2, 2021. Unfortunately, there is no word on pricing yet.
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