Microsoft Windows 365 Cloud PC

Mike Holford CEO Mouse Training, answers your questions about Microsoft Windows 365, the new Cloud PC service.

Table of Contents

Microsoft 365 Cloud PC

What’s this Windows 365 all about?

People have been speculating for years about how personal computers could work entirely in the cloud. Now they do! Windows 365 is a cloud service that hosts virtual PCs with Windows installed on them. Companies can use these virtual machines as if they were real Windows computers physically located in their offices. The only requirement is an internet connection that's fast enough to stream movies. The Cloud PC is streamed to your device. It’s not a gimmick, it really works!

Once you have your Cloud PC set up, it’s a virtual computer system that you can access from any device. A tablet, an Android phone, an iPad, a Chromebook. Anything you like, you just sign in and use it as if it were your real-life office PC. And, because your Cloud PC isn’t tied to any in-office hardware, all your files, apps and settings will always be exactly how you left them.

Mike Holford

How does it work?

Your Windows 365 admin sets up a new Cloud PC for you. It’s really straightforward. Then all you need do is access it through a browser. Go to windows365.microsoft.com, sign-in and that’s it!

You can also download an app that lets you to connect to your Cloud PC on a Mac, on a Windows PC, on Android, on iOS etc. Once you’ve signed-in on any of these different platforms, it’s just like using a Windows 10 or Windows 11 machine.

Mike Holford

Why can’t I just carry my laptop around?

You can access your Cloud PC from anywhere and all you’ll ever need is some sort of device and an internet connection. Remember, all the heavy lifting—the actual computing—is done at the data centre. So, if you need a very good processor or a lot of memory, or more disk space then that’s all done on the Cloud PC. You don’t need those resources on your device.

Your Cloud PC has a blazingly fast 10 gigabit per second internet connection but to use it, all you need is an internet connection that's fast enough to see what's on your Cloud PC. If you can stream Netflix then you’re good to go with Windows 365.

Mike Holford

Any other benefits?

Windows 365 takes care of all of the software updates and the security is top notch. Should you ever lose or damage the physical device that you're using to connect then that’s no problem. Your Cloud PC is quite separate from the device so everything stays safe.

Mike Holford

Are there any benefits for delivering training on Windows 365?

We can provide a cloud-enabled Windows workspace for training events or testing, available from anywhere without any technical or licensing complications. This is ideal for software demonstrations or situations where our customers require a clean software installation. And, of course, it avoids the hassle of providing access to practice documents where there are security constraints.

Mike Holford

How much does it cost?

It depends on the licence you choose and the specs (processor, RAM and storage) on the machine that you want. As a general guide, the pricing goes from around £20 per user per month up to £140 per user per month. That’s excluding VAT.

Now, that sounds a lot compared to the licensing cost of desktop Windows but you have to consider the total cost of ownership, which is quite a different story.

Mike Holford

Are there any cost savings?

Companies are going to love Windows 365, instead of managing all their IT infrastructure in-house they just outsource it to Microsoft. Ultimately, that's going to cost them way less.

Imagine an employee needs a new computer every three or four years. Instead of buying a new high-spec laptop and installing software, as we do now, you simply issue a basic computer. And, so long as they have a fairly average internet connection, they can access their Cloud PC and have as much or as little power as they need.

Mike Holford

Are there any downsides?

If you don't have any internet then you’re not going to be using your Cloud PC.

Mike Holford

Isn’t Windows 365 the same as Azure Virtual Desktop?

It’s the same idea but a different service. Azure Virtual Desktop is a Microsoft service where you can set up a Cloud PC. You have full control over that computer but it’s on you to manage it. With Windows 365 you simply go in and click a few buttons to set up your Cloud PC. Cloud PCs come preconfigured with Windows 10 or 11 and you can use them straight out of the box. If you need any help with the management, then that’s part of the service. It's a white glove experience.

Windows 365 subscriptions are fully managed by Microsoft at fixed cost. Whereas, Azure Virtual Desktop is entirely customer managed with flexible consumption-based pricing.

Mike Holford

What’s the difference between Windows 365 and Microsoft 365?

That’s two products with 365 in their name! Windows 365 is the cloud-based PC, basically the computer and the data centre. Microsoft 365 is the software, all the office productivity apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

You can have both, Windows 365 is your Cloud PC and you can run Microsoft 365 on it, which then gives you access to all of your productivity tools.

Mike Holford

Overall, what’s your verdict?

It’s the best thing I’ve seen for years! I love getting our bookings database running on my iPhone, this maybe doesn’t sound like much to you, but it’s massive plus for me. It means that I can do serious business wherever I am. In the office, on the road, anywhere… Sometimes, it’s just the little things in life that please you most.

Mike Holford
Microsoft 365 Cloud PC
Microsoft 365 Cloud PC
Introducing Windows 365
Microsoft 365 Cloud PC
Microsoft 365 Cloud PC