Exploring Windows 365

Exploring Windows 365 A Comprehensive Guide

4 minutes read

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital workspaces, Microsoft continues to lead the charge with its innovative solutions. One such groundbreaking offering that has captured the attention of organizations worldwide is Windows 365. Launched during Microsoft Inspire 2021, Windows 365 represents a new era in Cloud PC subscriptions. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Windows 365, its capabilities, use cases, and how it stands apart from its predecessor, Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD).

What is Windows 365 Cloud PC?

At its core is the latest addition to the Microsoft 365 family, and it’s poised to redefine how we approach virtual desktops. While it shares its roots with Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), there are pivotal distinctions that set Windows 365 apart.

Windows 365 introduces the concept of a statically-assigned personal cloud virtual desktop service. Unlike the traditional AVD model, where desktops are non-persistent, Windows 365 allocates each user their dedicated Windows 10 or 11 machine in the cloud, complete with a local profile. The significance here lies in the persistence of user data and configurations. All changes, from software installations to file associations, are retained even after a reboot. This stark contrast to Citrix random VDI desktops emphasizes the personalized and user-centric nature of Windows 365.

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Crucially, the cloud component of Windows 365 cann’t be overlook. Users operate on machines hosted within the Microsoft Azure public cloud, making Windows 365 a subscription-based service. Organizations pay a fixed monthly fee, regardless of the duration of usage, providing cost predictability. This stands in contrast to Azure Virtual Desktop, where costs are directly tied to resource consumption. It’s worth noting that AVD boasts additional features like support for random desktops, multi-user OSes, and published applications, which are currently absent in Windows 365.

User Experience

The user journey begins with signing in through a traditional Azure web portal. Upon logging in, Windows 365 initiates an introduction tour to familiarize users with the platform. Following this orientation, users gain full control over their virtual cloud PC, within the boundaries set by the managing organization. Operations such as stopping, starting, restarting, resetting, and renaming their Cloud PC can be seamlessly executed from the portal.

Accessing the streamed Windows desktop is equally straightforward. Users can opt for the ‘Open in a browser’ option, which loads the session in an HTML5 version of the Remote Desktop app, providing in-browser access. Alternatively, users can install the Microsoft Remote Desktop app for a dedicated experience.

Use Cases for Windows 365 Cloud PC

Understanding the potential applications of Windows 365 is pivotal for organizations considering its adoption. The use cases for Windows 365 Cloud PC align with those of any virtual desktop solution, enabling centralized access to data and software from corporate resources.

Furthermore, its empowers small businesses and individuals by offering a consistent Windows environment accessible from virtually any device, anywhere in the world. Leveraging the robust Azure data center, users can enjoy high-speed and secure computing. Microsoft has also integrated high-powered internet access within the cloud PC, delivering impressive download speeds of approximately 10,000 Mbps and upload speeds of about 3,000 Mbps. This level of performance makes Windows an ideal environment for web-based workloads.

A novel use case emerges in the form of enhanced security. With the increasing prevalence of remote work, organizations often provide employees with laptops, which can pose security challenges. Users might install unregulated software, increasing the risk of viruses and ransomware. Here, it shines as a secure enclave for corporate resources. Organizations can permit users to run personal software on their laptops, but when it’s time for work, they can seamlessly transition to the Cloud PC via a VPN session, effectively isolating personal and work segments on the device.

Can Stream to Different Devices?

Flexibility is a hallmark of Windows 365. Users can access their Cloud PC from a variety of devices, including Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. This versatility is made possible through both the HTML5 web client and the full-fledged Remote Desktop app. For organizations relying on thin clients, IGEL OS, a lightweight thin client OS, supports the Remote Desktop app, extending compatibility to a broader range of hardware.

However, it’s essential to note that users can initiate connections on only one device at a time. Nevertheless, with a traditional licensing model granting one Cloud PC per user, users can switch seamlessly between devices while preserving their workspace’s continuity.


It is represents a significant leap forward in the realm of Cloud PC subscriptions. Its static, personalized nature, seamless user experience, diverse use cases, and broad device compatibility make it a compelling choice for organizations seeking a dynamic and secure virtual desktop solution. As we navigate the evolving landscape of digital workspaces, Windows 365 stands as a beacon of innovation, redefining how we work, connect, and collaborate in the cloud.

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