The ongoing pandemic has really fuelled remote work in an unprecedented way. Already a big player in the Cloud Computing space, Microsoft was quick to pounce on the opportunity by rolling out is Cloud PC, branded as Windows 365.
Windows 365 is Microsoft’s version of a PC as a Service, and it appears to be receiving decent feedback from the market. Microsoft, with its well established Operating System (OS) in the form of Windows, already has an edge in the remote desktop market.
Windows 365 delivers a virtualized instance of Windows 10, and is mainly geared towards remote work. The whole idea behind this platform is to provide a secure remote work environment to employees that Work from Home (WFH).
Given the present cyber security and privacy concerns, a remote desktop offering that separates the work and personal “space” of remote employees was absolutely essential. This is exactly the gap this latest offering by Microsoft aims to fill.
The Windows 365 offering comes in two iterations, Business and Enterprise. The Business variant is geared towards Small to Medium Enterprises (SME). It is much simpler to setup and configure, thus making it suitable for SMEs with lower skilled IT staff.
The Enterprise version, as the name suggests, is geared more towards larger corporations. As a result, it offers a greater degree of customization through Microsoft Endpoint Manager. The licensing requirements for Windows 365 remain the same though.
Windows 365 remote desktops are being offered in the range of 1CPU-2GB-64GB and 8CPU-32GB-512GB configurations. The type of virtual desktop you choose will depend on the nature of your workloads, but most users will lie somewhere in the middle of this.
When it comes to the end user experience of the Business version, the response was lagging when used over a conventional web browser. If you installed the client app for your device and operating system, the user experience improved to a great extent.
It is relatively early days to comment on how well this new remote desktop offering by Microsoft fares. So far as the basic workloads are concerned, it is a good way of creating the “wall” between the personal and professional stuff of remote employees.