Microsoft unveils Windows 365 Cloud PC service for Windows 10 and Windows 11

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Windows 365 will deliver a full, personalized PC experience from the cloud to any device, giving workers and organizations power, simplicity and security for hybrid work.

REDMOND, Wash. — July 14, 2021
— Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced Windows 365, a cloud service that introduces a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 (when it becomes available) to businesses of all sizes. Windows 365 takes the operating system to the Microsoft cloud, streaming the full Windows experience — apps, data and settings — to personal or corporate devices. Secure by design and built with the principles of Zero Trust, Windows 365 secures and stores information in the cloud, not on the device, providing a secure, productive experience for workers from interns and contractors to software developers and industrial designers. Windows 365 also creates a new hybrid personal computing category called Cloud PC, which uses both the power of the cloud and the capabilities of the device to provide a full, personalized Windows experience. The announcement represents a groundbreaking development as organizations around the world grapple with the best ways to facilitate hybrid work models where employees are both on-site and distributed across the globe.

“With Windows 365, we’re creating a new category: the Cloud PC,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “Just like applications were brought to the cloud with SaaS, we are now bringing the operating system to the cloud, providing organizations with greater flexibility and a secure way to empower their workforce to be more productive and connected, regardless of location.”

A new computing paradigm for hybrid work

As the pandemic begins to ease in parts of the world, a new way of working is emerging, transformed by virtual processes and remote collaboration. In this more distributed environment, employees need access to corporate resources across locations and devices — and with cybersecurity threats on the rise, securing those resources is paramount.

“Hybrid work has fundamentally changed the role of technology in organizations today,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Microsoft 365. “With workforces more disparate than ever before, organizations need a new way to deliver a great productivity experience with increased versatility, simplicity and security. Cloud PC is an exciting new category of hybrid personal computing that turns any device into a personalized, productive and secure digital workspace. Today’s announcement of Windows 365 is just the beginning of what will be possible as we blur the lines between the device and the cloud.”

Windows 365 helps employers solve challenges they’ve faced since long before the pandemic. Workers expect greater flexibility and more options to work from different locations, while still ensuring the security of the organization’s data. Seasonal workers can cycle on and off teams without the logistical challenges of issuing new hardware or securing personal devices — allowing the organization to scale for busy periods more efficiently and securely. And companies can easily ensure specialized workers in creative, analytics, engineering or scientific roles have greater compute power and secure access to critical applications that they need.

Versatile, simple, secure: the transformational impact of Windows 365

By building on the power of the Windows operating system and the strength of the cloud, Windows 365 gives any organization greater peace of mind in three key ways:
  • Powerful: 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), organizations can choose the Cloud PC that works for them with per-user per-month pricing.
  • Simple: With a Cloud PC, users can log in and pick back up where they left off across devices, providing a simple and familiar Windows experience delivered by the cloud. For IT, Windows 365 also simplifies deployment, updates and management — and unlike other solutions, Windows 365 doesn’t require any virtualization experience. With Windows 365 optimized for the endpoint, IT can easily procure, deploy and manage Cloud PCs for their organization just as they manage physical PCs through Microsoft Endpoint Manager. Small and midsize businesses can purchase Windows 365 directly or through a cloud service provider, and set up their organization with Cloud PCs with just a few clicks. Microsoft also continues to innovate in Azure Virtual Desktop for those organizations with deep virtualization experience that want more customization and flexibility options.
  • Secure: 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.
New opportunities for the Microsoft partner ecosystem

For decades, Microsoft partners have been at the center of how Microsoft delivers technologies and business transformation to customers around the world. The depth of Microsoft’s cloud offerings and technology portfolio gives partners the power to build innovative, industry-specific solutions. Windows 365 will allow partners to continue to make more possible.

From systems integrators to managed service providers to independent software vendors (ISVs) to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the new Cloud PC category creates opportunity for Microsoft partners to deliver new Windows experiences in the cloud.

Organizations will look to systems integrators and managed service providers to help them get the most out of their entire Windows estate. ISVs can continue to build Windows apps and now deliver them in the cloud to help businesses work in new ways as they continue to digitally transform. And OEMs gain an opportunity to integrate Windows 365 into their broad portfolio of services alongside their devices’ robust features and secure hardware.

“To be their best in a new world of work, employees need workplace technology that’s familiar, easy to use, secure and always available,” said Veit Siegenheim, global modern workplace lead, Avanade. “With Windows 365, Microsoft is capitalizing on the power of the cloud to empower productivity anywhere, across any device and elevate the workplace experience.”

Availability

Windows 365 will be generally available to businesses of all sizes starting on Aug. 2, 2021. More information can be found at Windows 365 Cloud PC | Microsoft.


Source: Microsoft unveils Windows 365 — ushering in a new category of computing - Stories

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As some regions begin to make their way out of the challenges and disruption of the past 18 months, we’re seeing a new world of work emerge. Organizations everywhere have transformed themselves through virtual processes and remote collaboration. And as people embrace hybrid work—with people returning to the office, continuing to work from home, or some mix of the two—things will be different all over again.

The ability to work whenever, however, and wherever it’s needed has become the new normal. All employees want technology that’s familiar, easy to use, and available across devices. And in the most complex cybersecurity environment we’ve ever seen, businesses need a solution that helps their employees collaborate, share, and create while also keeping their data safe and secure.

We have an opportunity to design the tools that will empower this new world of hybrid work with a new perspective—and the power and security of the cloud.

Today we’re excited to announce Windows 365, a cloud service that introduces a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 (when it’s generally available later this calendar year) for workers from interns and contractors to software developers and industrial designers. Windows 365 takes the operating system to the Microsoft Cloud, securely streaming the full Windows experience—including all your apps, data, and settings—to your personal or corporate devices. This approach creates a fully new personal computing category, specifically for the hybrid world: the Cloud PC.


Today I’d like to share with you why we think bringing the cloud revolution to personal computing will be such a milestone for how customers work in the future and the opportunities this will create for our partners.

A powerful, personalized, full Windows experience in the cloud on any device

Our recent Work Trend Index found that 73 percent of workers want flexible remote work options to stay, but at the same time, 67 percent say they also want more in-person collaboration, post-pandemic. This creates the hybrid work paradox, leaving organizations around the world to grapple with how to connect in a hybrid world and provide workers access to organizational resources at home, in the office, and at all points between.

Much like how we’ve embraced the cloud for other products, our vision for a Windows 365 Cloud PC is to deliver a new way to experience Windows through the power of the cloud—while solving both novel and traditional challenges for organizations. This new paradigm isn’t just about allowing and securing remote access. The user experience is more important than ever for attracting and retaining talent, improving productivity, and ensuring security.

The Cloud PC draws on the power of the cloud and the capabilities of the device to provide a powerful, simple, and secure full Windows 10 or Windows 11 experience that you can use to empower your workforce, regardless of location or device. Windows 365 provides an instant-on boot experience that enables users to stream all their personalized applications, tools, data, and settings from the cloud across any device including your Mac, iPad, Linux device, and Android. The Windows experience is consistent, no matter the device. You can pick up right where you left off, because the state of your Cloud PC remains the same, even when you switch devices. You can get the same work done on a laptop in a hotel room, a tablet from their car between appointments, or your desktop while you’re in the office. Seasonal workers also can ramp on and off according to the needs of the business, allowing the organization to scale for busy periods without the complicated logistical and security challenges of issuing new hardware. Further, companies can be more targeted in how they outfit specialized workers in creative, analytics, engineering, or scientific roles who need greater compute power and access to critical applications.



Windows 365 supports your business apps—Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power Platform—line of business apps, and more. With Windows 365, we also stand by our promise of app compatibility with App Assure, a service that helps customers with 150 or more users fix any app issues they might run into at no additional cost.



Greater simplicity with familiar tools

One of the most important design principles of Windows 365 is simplicity. You can choose the size of the Cloud PC that best meets your needs with per user per month pricing. Organizations have two edition options that include a complete cloud-based offering with multiple Cloud PC configurations based on performance needs: Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise.

For IT, we built Windows 365 to be consistent with how you manage your physical devices now. Your Cloud PCs show up right alongside your physical devices in Microsoft Endpoint Manager, and you can apply management and security policies to them just as you do to all your other devices.

Windows 365 is built on Azure Virtual Desktop, but it simplifies the virtualization experience—handling all the details for you. You can scale processing power and monitor the performance of the Cloud PC to make sure your users are getting the best experience. We’ve also built analytics into the service to look at connection health across networks to make sure your Cloud PC users can reach everything they need on your network to be productive. From the Endpoint Analytics dashboard, you can easily identify the Cloud PC environments that are not delivering the performance needs of a given user, and not only can you get recommendations, but you can also upgrade them at the touch of a button, which is immediately applied without missing a beat. Our new Watchdog Service also continually runs diagnostics to help to keep connections up-and-running at all times. If a diagnostic check fails, we’ll alert you and even give suggestions for how to correct the issue.



For greater customization and flexibility, especially if your organization has virtualization expertise, we recommend Azure Virtual Desktop, which continues to see significant adoption as organizations modernize VDI in the cloud. You can read more about our increased investments in Azure Virtual Desktop in today’s Tech Community blog.

For more information about the management experience, check out the Tech Community blog from Scott Manchester.

Cloud security powered by Zero Trust

With a focus on a Zero Trust architecture, Windows 365 also helps solve for today’s critical security challenges by design, storing and securing information in the cloud, not on the device. Multifactor authentication (MFA) works to explicitly verify any login or access attempt to a Cloud PC through integration with Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). And within Microsoft Endpoint Manager, you can pair MFA with dedicated Windows 365 conditional access policies to assess login risk instantly for each session. We’ve also designed the user and admin experiences around the principle of least privileged access. For example, you can delegate specific permissions, like licensing, device management, and Cloud PC management using specific roles, so you don’t need to be a global administrator. You can use the security baselines for Windows 10, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, and Microsoft Edge, just like you would for your physical devices now, and we’ve built a cloud PC-specific security baseline to help you get started quickly.



If you use Microsoft Defender for Endpoint to protect your devices, it also works seamlessly with your Cloud PCs. You can use Microsoft Endpoint Manager to quickly onboard your Cloud PCs just like your other devices with Defender for Endpoint. It not only protects your Cloud PCs, but also gives you security recommendations to lower risks, and helps you quickly discover and investigate any security incidents.

Finally, encryption is used across the board. All managed disks running Cloud PCs are encrypted, all stored data is encrypted at rest, and all network traffic to and from your Cloud PCs is also encrypted.

Windows 365 means new opportunities for partners

Windows 365 creates new opportunities for partners of all types across the Microsoft ecosystem to deliver new Windows experiences from the cloud.

Independent software vendors can continue to build Windows apps, and now, deliver them in the cloud to reach a broader audience. Windows 365 also presents new development opportunities, leveraging APIs available to partners, enabling them to bring their own innovations to market. In fact, check out the Tech Community blog that highlights the solutions ISVs like Nerdio, UKG, Service Now, and Net App are announcing today in support of different user scenarios with Windows 365.

Our customers will look to system integrators and managed service providers to help them get the most out of their entire Windows estate, using the additional services that our partners like Accenture/Avanade, Atos, Crayon, Content and Cloud, Convergent, CoreTex, DXC, Gluck + Kanya, Insight, and Netrix continue to bring to market. For small and midsize businesses, partners like Iconic IT LLC, MachineLogic LLC, and Nitec Solutions already support Windows 365 and can assist with additional services. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) gain an opportunity to integrate Windows 365 into their broad portfolio of services alongside their devices’ robust features and secure hardware.

Cloud PC represents the next big step in cloud computing that connects the Microsoft Cloud and personal devices in a powerful new way. With the announcement of Windows 365, we’re inviting organizations, employees, and partners to reimagine experiences with Windows and their devices and look forward to creating new scenarios for users everywhere.

Hybrid Windows for a hybrid world

We are so excited to share this new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 (when available) through the power of the cloud across all your devices. We believe this will give organizations of all sizes the power, simplicity, and security you need to address the changing needs of your workforce as you embrace hybrid work.

Windows 365 will be available on August 2, 2021, to organizations of all sizes. In the meantime, you can learn more about Windows 365 now.

We are excited to be on this journey together, and we can’t wait to learn about all the new ways you will get work done using Windows 365.


Source: Introducing a new era of hybrid personal computing: the Windows 365 Cloud PC | Microsoft 365 Blog
 

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