Microsoft’s cloudy Windows 365 desktops are due to land next month

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    The good: It’s a Windows PC running in the cloud.

    The bad: It’s a Windows PC running in the cloud

    Microsoft today introduced Windows 365 at its Inspire event: a desktop-as-a-service set for general availability on 2 August.

    Windows 365, also known as Cloud PC (and previously code-named Deschutes) is a Windows 10 or (when available) Windows 11 PC running on Azure. Does not Microsoft already offer this in the form of Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), formerly known as Windows Virtual Desktop?

    Melissa Grant, Director of Product Marketing, told The Reg: “We think of AVD and Cloud VDI as a PaaS solution and what we’re offering with Windows 365 is a SaaS solution… you don’t have to be a virtualisation expert. You don’t have to interact with the Azure portal.”

    Microsoft does not want it called VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure). “We’re not shipping anything that’s infrastructure. We’re providing all that as a back-end service… If you were to classify it, it would be most aligned with DaaS (Desktop as a Service),” said Scott Manchester, partner director of program management for Cloud Managed Desktops, in a press briefing. That said, according to Manchester, it goes “way beyond what traditional DaaS provides.”

    Under the covers, it is built on Azure Virtual Desktop and managed through Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM), Microsoft’s cloud-hosted device and application management solution, or for those without MEM, tools directly integrated into the Cloud PC portal. A MEM licence is therefore not essential.

    Microsoft said that development of Windows 365 was accelerated by the pandemic because of the sudden huge increase in working from home. A remote worker can boot up a family PC or tablet and log on to Windows 365 through a remote desktop client or via a web browser, do their work, and close the session knowing that the state is saved. It is more secure than working on a home PC full of games and untrusted applications, and solves problems like keeping work documents where they belong, within business storage.

    Full story:

    In a completely sane world, madness is the only freedom (J.G.Ballard).

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