Microsoft has just announced Windows 365, a new Cloud-based service that will allow Mac and iPad users to stream a Windows desktop via a web browser and it's set to launch in August. If you don’t particularly fancy using macOS then this could be the perfect alternative.
The new service was unveiled earlier this week via an official blog post, and it will operate akin to Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service. Essentially, the Windows experience will be streamed onto a user’s device, even if that device doesn’t technically support the operating system.
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In the announcement post, Microsoft is keen to highlight that the service will be extremely useful for users who are working remotely. Perhaps you only have a MacBook Pro at home but need to access your Windows-operated work PC. Windows 365 will make that possible.
It should also allow users on Mac or iPad to run programs and apps that don’t support macOS. It could also be very useful for owners of a Chromebook, which runs the more limited ChromeOS. Several high-profile programs, including the likes of Photoshop, cannot run on certain Chromebooks. Windows 365 looks to be an ideal workaround.
Users will have the option to choose the configuration of the virtual PC being streamed as well. According to Microsoft, Windows 365 will be able to stream a PC with up to 512GB of memory and 16GB of RAM.
Security is of course a concern, storing sensitive business data on a personal device is typically a big no-no. In an effort to remedy this potential problem, Microsoft will be encrypting all information in the cloud to avoid any potential security breaches.
The service is scheduled for launch in August and will come in two different editions: Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise. The blog doesn’t mention Windows 365 being available for personal use but assuming the corporate rollout is smooth it would make logical sense for Microsoft to allow individuals access.
Microsoft has been fairly tight-lipped when it comes to pricing, however, the software giant may have inadvertently revealed how much Window 365 will cost yesterday. The Verge spotted that Microsoft revealed during an Inspire session that businesses will be charged $31 per user, per month for access.
For this subscription fee users will get two CPUs, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. This is configuration is part of the Windows 365 Business package, which is designed for companies with less than 300 overall employees. It's been confirmed that both cheaper and more expensive packages will be available at launch by a Microsoft spokesperson.
Windows 365 will be compatible with Windows 10 from launch, and Windows 11 support will come when the refreshed OS is fully released later in the year. Right now Windows 11 is available in the form of an Insider preview build, which has already resulted in a backlash.