Everything You Need to Know About Windows 365 (Pricing, Features, etc.)

Everything You Need to Know About Windows 365 (Pricing, Features, etc.)

Microsoft just took a bold step that promises to push the cloud world even further. It just released a new cloud PC called Windows 365.

While virtual computers aren’t a new concept and have been around for a few years, they haven’t really taken off. Of course, until now we didn’t have a pandemic and complete shift of the workforce as a result. Now more people are working from home full or part-time than ever before. 

US workforce statistics:

  • Before the pandemic: 17% of employees worked from home full time
  • After the pandemic: 44% of employees worked from home full time

Companies that have gone through major cloud integrations recently are already doing most of their business processes in the cloud, why not also use it to host their staff computers?

It seems that a lot of companies are interested in what Windows 365 has to offer because as of this writing, Microsoft has a notice on its site stating, “Following significant demand, we have reached capacity for Windows 365 trials.”

We’ll go through what Windows 365 has to offer and things that you may want to factor into a decision to stay “old school” or move to a virtual PC environment. 

Windows 365 by Microsoft

About Windows 365 

Windows 365 introduces a subscription model for computers. It hosts the entire PC environment from the operating system up on a cloud server. This includes all applications, software, files, settings, etc.

Instead of booting up a physical device from the hard drive of a PC, users log into a cloud environment with a fast-boot process. They can use any device (desktop, laptop, tablet) to access their virtual Windows 365 PC.

Windows 365 is being advertised for business and enterprise users, and pricing is as follows:

  • $31/user/month: Basic (4GB RAM, 128GB Storage, 2 vCPU)
  • $41/user/month: Standard (8GB RAM, 128GB Storage, 2 vCPU)
  • $66/user/month: Premium (16GB RAM, 128GB Storage, 4 vCPU)

The Basic plan only supports chat and audio calls for the desktop version of Microsoft Teams, the other two plans offer full desktop version support for Teams.

Benefits of Switching Your Company to Cloud PCs

Improved Device Security

47% of surveyed businesses said they saw an increase in the volume, severity, and/or scope of cyberattacks over the last 12 months. Ransomware attacks have seen a major increase during the pandemic along with many other types of attacks due to criminal groups taking advantage of a less secure hybrid workforce.

With the use of cloud PCs, your infrastructure can stay more secure, and you reduce the number of vulnerabilities to your network. For example, the lack of security on remote employees’ personal devices. 

You maintain control of your PC environment, no matter where your employees are working, and can easily deploy updates and uniform security policies.

Flexibility for Your Hybrid Team

Many companies are moving to a hybrid working environment, where employees work some of the time at the office and some of the time at home. This is a flexible working arrangement that can take advantage of the best elements of both models but makes it difficult when it comes to consistently working on the same computer.

With Windows 365, employee computers are now in the cloud, so people can access the same desktop environment no matter where they are without having to carry a computer around.

Non-Cloud Software Becomes Cloud Accessible

Some companies have custom software that is not cloud-based. This means a big limitation when it comes to working from other locations. 

A virtual PC can have non-cloud software installed on the operating system, just like physical computers can. So even though the software might not be “cloud,” because the computer it is installed on is cloud-based, that makes the software accessible from anywhere.

Pay Only for What You Need

Whether you add or remove employees, you only pay for the computing power you need. You don’t have to have expensive computers sitting around unused and can easily scale computing power and memory up and down as needed.

The devices that employees use to access the cloud environment can be lower-priced because they don’t need all the “bells and whistles.” They’re just being used to load the Windows 365 environment.

What Should I Consider With Cloud PCs?

There are a few different factors you’ll want to consider when deciding to move to a cloud PC environment:

  • Do all employees have a solid internet connection?
  • Do your employees work away from the office?
  • Does the pricing make sense when you look at your maintenance and replacement costs for physical PCs?
  • Do you have unused PCs sitting around?

Get Help Setting Up a Cost-Efficient Cloud Infrastructure

Quantum PC Services can help your Sturgeon Bay area business evaluate all the cloud options out there and tailor a solution that fits your needs and budget. 

Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.