Windows 365

Cloud PC works by streaming Windows from a data centre somewhere remotely to a device anywhere with an internet connection. That means all sorts of devices – including tablets or Apple Macs – can stream a full Windows desktop PC.

It is being sold to businesses to begin with, as many firms move to a mix of office and remote working.  Microsoft is marketing the new way of using a PC as “hybrid Windows for a hybrid world”.  Microsoft says that every user’s apps and settings will boot instantly from any device – allowing personalised Windows PCs to be accessed from anywhere.  The Windows experience is consistent, no matter the device.

“You can get the same work done on a laptop in a hotel room, a tablet from the car between appointments, or your desktop while you’re in the office.”

Launched in August 2021 for business customers “of all sizes”. To begin with, it will stream a version of Windows 10 – but the successor, Windows 11, will also be available once it launches.

The backbone of the service already existed, using Microsoft’s widely used Azure platform and existing virtualisation technology.

The benefits of Cloud PC

Many organisations are undergoing a digital transformation, and modernising the workplace is often a stream within the wider strategy.  In order to manage remote and multi-device workforces you should think about the following benefits and how this will change, and hopefully improve, your currently way of working using Hybrid Windows.

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The modern workplace

Digital transformation is redefining what we think about the workplace. At the heart of this evolution is technology and the introduction of digital-first natives into the workplace. The millennial is no longer the office junior but is now the manager. By 2020, the millennial employee (those born between 1981 and 1996) is forecasted to comprise half of the global workforce, and by 2025, they will make up 75 per cent of it. Millennials expect workplace technology to work as good as or better than their own devices. They are comfortable with technology and count on their employers to provide them with the tools they need to do their job. Allowing staff to work remotely and via their own devices is a surefire way to attract and retain the best talent.

Reduced Costs

With Cloud PC, you are getting as many virtual desktops as you need, and virtual desktops cost far less to create and maintain than physical ones. This means that the costs of running, for example, fifty virtualized desktops are infinitely smaller than investing in fifty physical desktop computers, along with all of the necessary additional hardware and licensing costs.

Businesses change, grow, and evolve over time, and it can be hard to keep up with the changing needs of your company as it expands or scales down, especially if you are working with physical hardware that can be very costly to alter. With Cloud PC, you get a fully scalable solution, ready to add or remove virtual desktops at a moment’s notice and capable of rapid deployment in a matter of minutes.

Accessibility

Of course, one of the key benefits and primary reasons behind any business opting for Hybrid Windows is the fact that these virtualized desktops are so easily accessible. It does not matter where users are, or what device they happen to be using; as long as they have an internet connection, users will be able to access these desktops. The level of freedom this provides is second to none.

Compatibility

Following on from the previous point, it is also important to note the key compatibility advantages of Hybrid Windows. When you make use of a Cloud PC, you allow your users to access a familiar desktop environment from almost any device they like. They can load it up on their phone, their laptop, or even their own home desktop computer.

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BYOD Programs

Cloud PC can work on almost any platform, from Android phones and tablets to Apple Macs and more. This wide range of compatibility allows companies to offer ‘BYOD’ or ‘Bring Your Own Device‘ programs, in which workers can bring along their own personal laptops, phones, and tablets to work more comfortably and easily, with simple and seamless access to the same desktop system as all of their colleagues.

Strong Cybersecurity

With tens of millions of cyber-attacks happening every single day, it is clear to see that the need for strong cybersecurity in business has never been greater. Cloud PC gives you and your teams the security you all need, as thanks to the virtualized nature of the service, sensitive files, and corporate data will not actually be stored on individual devices; instead, everything is kept safe and sound on cloud servers

Remote Work Suitability

In recent times, we have seen global circumstances force many businesses into switching to remote work. While this has presented a lot of new challenges, solutions like Cloud PC have helped countless companies survive. In a world where working remotely is becoming more and more the norm, providing remote workers with easy access to virtual desktops with corporate data and applications is a big advantage.

Why Should You Care?

Desktop virtualization delivers on-demand desktops to users for anytime, anywhere, any device access. This provides employees with full access to their complete business desktop from multiple devices, such as their home PC, a smart phone or an iPad. Easy access to a virtualized desktop can help people to be more productive, because all they need to work is an Internet connection from any device, anywhere.

From an IT perspective, virtual desktops help reduce the time it takes to provision new desktops, and they also help to decrease desktop management and support costs. Experts estimate that maintaining and managing PC hardware and software accounts for 50 to 70 percent of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a typical PC. Companies often turn to virtual desktops to cut these IT labour costs.

Since everything is centrally managed, stored and secured, Cloud PC eliminate the need to consider patching, backups and security scanning. Cloud PC is a managed service where Microsoft takes care of all of this for you.

Cloud PC also provides greater security to the organization, since employees aren’t “carrying around” confidential company data on a personal device that could easily be lost, stolen or tampered with. For instance, in industries such as healthcare, where adherence to privacy regulations is of paramount importance, virtual desktops give medical personnel access to patient records without concerns about confidential information being downloaded. Since user data is backed up centrally and regularly, desktop virtualization also provides data integrity benefits.

Companies can also help extend the life of older client devices with desktop virtualization or use it to support thin clients. A thin client is a computing device that’s connected to a network. Unlike a typical PC or “fat client,” that has the memory, storage and computing power to run applications and perform tasks on its own, a thin client functions only as a virtual desktop, using the computing power residing on networked servers.

Because thin clients lack hard drives, CD-ROM drives, fans and other moving parts, they’re smaller, cheaper and simpler for manufacturers to build, they are cheaper to buy and maintain, and require less energy than traditional PCs or notebooks.