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How to get started with Windows 365

Today Microsoft’s Scott Manchester announced general availability of Windows 365 “Windows 365 takes the operating system to the Microsoft Cloud, securely streaming the full Windows experience—including all your apps, data, and settings—to your personal or corporate devices. This approach creates a fully new personal computing category, specifically for the hybrid world: the Cloud PC.” Below we will show you how to get started with Windows 365 today.

What’s the difference between Windows 365 Business & Windows 365 Enterprise?

Microsoft describes the Windows 365 Business as being “designed for any organization that wants to deploy cloud PCs for 300 seats or fewer.” The comany says “There are no technology prerequisites; simply utilize the Windows 365 cloud portal to purchase, deploy and manage Cloud PCs any time.”

  • Windows 365 Business is built for simplicity. You don’t need an Azure subscription or domain controller because everything works with Azure AD natively—with all the components running inside the Microsoft cloud and managed by Microsoft.
  • You can purchase Windows 365 Business directly from the Microsoft 365 admin center, set up your account without a domain, and provision and manage cloud PCs directly from the Windows 365 web portal.
  • No other Microsoft licenses are required; your organization can get started with just a credit card if desired.


What’s the difference?Windows 365 BusinessWindows 365 Enterprise
Click –to-provision directly from product pageX 
“No-domain” set upX 
Self-serve troubleshooting – resetX 
“Cloud Save” (minimal Azure storage and potentially OneDrive for Business)XX
Self-serve upgrades X
Universal Print integration X
Partner/programmatic enablement (Graph APIs, MSP tooling) X
Custom images X
Image management [store, replicate, deploy] X
Microsoft Endpoint Manager policy-driven provisioning, management and guided scenarios X
Endpoint analytics reporting and monitoring X
Service health, operational health alerts X
Connection to on-premises [networks, apps, resources] + diagnostics X
Advanced Microsoft Endpoint Manager-based troubleshooting and device management X

How to get started with Windows 365

After watching the video above, you can check out the step-by-step guide:

All about Windows 365

Manchester goes on to describe how “Cloud PC draws on the power of the cloud to provide a powerful, simple, and secure full Windows 10 or Windows 11 experience that you can use to empower your workforce, regardless of location or device. Windows 365 provides an instant-on boot experience that enables users to stream all their personalized applications, tools, data, and settings from the cloud across any device including your Windows, Mac, iPad, Android, and coming soon Linux device. The Windows experience is consistent, no matter the device. You can pick up right where you left off, because the state of your Cloud PC remains the same, even when you switch devices.”

Windows 365 is essentially a feature of the Microsoft 365 subscription, not a standalone product, just like how Xbox Cloud Gaming is not a standalone product but a feature of the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. The Windows 365 service will offer multiple plans with differing CPU, RAM and Storage options to best meet the user’s needs.

One thing is for sure, with Panos Panay at the helm Windows is paramount and not an afterthought like during the Windows 10 mobile days when Microsoft’s own apps where being released for iOS and Android well before Microsoft’s own Mobile OS. Instead, now Windows will be everywhere and on any device.

Will you be trying out Windows 365. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.

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