Windows 365 is not a new operating system but a new way to experience either Windows 10 or Windows 11 in a virtual environment, that streams the full Windows experience to any device. Essentially, Windows 365 allows customers to fuse together the best of the cloud and the device itself.
Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said that with Windows 365, the company is creating a new category: the Cloud PC.
"Just like applications were brought to the cloud with SaaS, we are now bringing the operating system to the cloud, providing organisations with greater flexibility and a secure way to empower their workforce to be more productive and connected, regardless of location," Nadella said during the 'Microsoft Inspire 2021' event.
Windows 365 will be generally available to businesses of all sizes starting on August 2.
Windows 365 is not a replacement for Azure Virtual Desktop or AVD which is the starting point that the company uses to build Windows 365.
While in AVD, you pay on a consumption basis, in Windows 365, you will pay per user per month per PC or per Cloud PC.
Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Microsoft 365 said that hybrid work has fundamentally changed the role of technology in organisations in the pandemic.
"Cloud PC is an exciting, new category of hybrid personal computing that turns any device into a personalised, productive, and secure digital workspace," he said.
With instant-on boot to their personal Cloud PC, users can stream all their applications, tools, data, and settings from the cloud across any device.
Windows 365 provides the full PC experience in the cloud. The cloud also provides versatility in processing power and storage, enabling IT to scale up or down, based on their needs.
With a choice of either Windows 10 or Windows 11 (once it is generally available later in 2021), organisations can choose the Cloud PC that works for them with per-user per-month pricing, the company informed.
With Windows 365 optimised for the endpoint, IT can easily procure, deploy, and manage Cloud PCs for their organisation just like they manage physical PCs through Microsoft Endpoint Manager.
Small and mid-size businesses can purchase Windows 365 directly or through a cloud service provider, and set-up their organisation with Cloud PCs with just a few clicks.
Microsoft said that Windows 365 is secure by design, leveraging the power of the cloud and the principles of Zero Trust.
"Information is secured and stored in the cloud, not on the device. Always up to date and building on the strength of rich Microsoft security capabilities and baselines, Windows 365 simplifies security and recommends the best security settings for the environment at hand," the company noted.