Windows 10 as it currently exists will never graduate to Windows 11, so the next generation of Windows” isn’t Windows 10 at all. Windows 11 is in its infancy and sheds some of the legacy bloat that ships with Windows 10 and is a beautiful and delightful new take on Windows but your next PC experience may not come preinstalled on a shiny new laptop; its already here, on any device you currently own, say hello to 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.”
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 like a remote desktop environment akin to the tech used in Project xCloud for users when they need to run a legacy application, or when developers need access to Windows to build modern apps, when enterprise simply wants to allocate virtual PCs to a remote workforce and more. Windows 11 will serve most everyday users well while keeping the Windows compatibility promise and now with the addition of Windows 365, users can experience Windows anywhere they are and on any device.
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.
What is the next-generation of Windows? Windows 11 or Windows 365. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.