Microsoft Launches Cloud PC Service

Published · Aug 04, 2021

Microsoft made the new Windows 365 Cloud PC, which it announced last month, available for businesses of any size. This offering seeks to digitize PCs, allowing users to access their Windows 365 desktop from any device.

Windows 365 Cloud PCs run Windows 10 (and Windows 11 when it launches). This tech can be streamed directly to physical hardware. Of course, people can use them on run-of-the-mill PCs, but also on PCs running Linux, macOS, and even iOS and Android devices.

While the idea of cloud PCs isn’t new, this is the first time the tech giant is attempting a mass rollout of them. Microsoft is hoping to see the same level of adoption and popularity for this technology as for other cloud-based services, like storage or hosting.

Cloud PCs, however, are quite different from the latter two solutions, as there are a lot more “moving parts” involved.

Hybrid World

In response to the increasing mix of home office, co-working spaces, and staggered returns to the workplace, the idea of “hybrid working” has arisen. That is, to create a mix of home and office employees and alterations between the two options.

In Microsoft’s announcement of Windows 365, the firm focuses on this dynamic working environment and the potential this tech has to meet the challenges associated with it.

If implemented correctly, people will be able to use the same PC no matter where they are. This will aid in keeping the workflow consistent in inconsistent circumstances.

Cloudy Reception

Still, Cloud PCs have some way to go before they’re as finely tuned as other cloud services like hosting. Customers that have tried the tech aren’t too impressed with it.

The Register, for example, reported that the experience wasn’t “very exciting.” It did praise the “persistence” of the cloud PCs, though, detailing that, when swapping machines, everything was in the state users left it.

There has also been criticism of the price from multiple parties. The most basic offering, which has one virtual CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, is $20 per month.

It must be noted, however, that users tend to compare the cost to that of buying a PC. Instead, they should compare it to the offerings from other cloud heavyweights like Amazon.

In many cases, Windows 365 PCs come out to be slightly cheaper than the industry’s going rate. It’s also important to remember that this is a new outing for Microsoft. As such, it’ll take a while to pick up momentum and get everything firing correctly.

Businesses now have the opportunity to further their expansion into the cloud and save costs and physical space, as they’re already doing with storage. The average consumer will have to wait a little longer before they can get their proverbial hands on the Windows 365 Cloud PCs.

Garan van Rensburg
Garan van Rensburg

Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.