Microsoft will make Windows 365 Cloud PCs look like Windows 11 on a physical desktop so that company workers can easily switch between the two devices at home or in the office.
The company will update its Windows 365 desktop as a service (DaaS) offering Cloud PCs — what Microsoft calls Persistent virtual desktops – Familiar to employees who are accustomed to using locally installed versions of Windows. The upcoming features will allow workers to switch between Windows desktop and DaaS versions, boot directly into Windows 365 and use cloud PCs offline.
At this week’s Windows 11 event, Microsoft executives said these features will help companies ensure the safety of employees when working outside the office or using their own devices.
“We recognized that expanding the Windows experience beyond traditional company-owned and deployed PCs would be essential to meet the changing needs of the workforce,” said Wangui McKelvey, General Manager, Microsoft 365. “That’s why we created Windows 365.”
Microsoft did not say when it would release these capabilities.
One of the upcoming capabilities will allow workers to use cloud computers when they are not connected to the Internet. Windows 365 Offline will store required data locally, allowing employees to get work done from more places without worrying about a stable connection. Companies will be able to absorb these workers while retaining the benefits of service security.
“You get the best of both worlds,” said Paddy Harrington, analyst at Forrester Research.
With Windows 365 Offline, Microsoft will tackle one of the biggest barriers to enterprise virtual desktop adoption, said Vadim Vladimirsky, CEO of virtual desktop management company Nerdio.
Using the traditional virtual desktop [in poor connectivity conditions] He’s frustrating and totally unproductive.”[Being able to work offline] It will increase the adoption of cloud computing by expanding use cases and increasing user productivity. “
Microsoft said that businesses with employees who share computers will benefit from an upcoming feature that runs directly on Windows 365. The ability will allow workers to skip signing into a Windows on-premises installation and sign in to cloud PCs as soon as the device is turned on.
The Windows 365 app will make it easier for workers to launch cloud computers from the Windows 11 taskbar or Start menu. The app will allow employees to customize their Windows 365 settings and profiles, but IT administrators will control the options available. The app will come with future Windows 11 versions, and IT can install it on Windows 10 PCs as well.
Microsoft will make it easier to transition between cloud and on-premises desktop computers running Windows 11 with Windows 365 Switch. The feature makes moving from one to the other like switching between windows on the desktop. Workers can select desktops from the Windows Task Switcher using mouse, keyboard commands, or a swipe gesture.
Microsoft launched Windows 365 last summer. Instead of charging by data consumption like competitors, Microsoft has opted for per-user pricing.
Microsoft could use Windows 365 to drive adoption of Windows 11, which has reportedly slowed recently. More than a third of enterprise computers cannot run Windows 11 due to the operating system’s severe hardware requirements, according to consultancy Riverbed. Businesses can use Windows 365 to circumvent the problem by streaming Windows 11 Cloud PCs to those devices.
Mike Gleeson is a reporter covering unified communications and collaboration tools. Previously covered communities in the MetroWest, Massachusetts area for Milford Daily NewsAnd Walpole TimesAnd Sharon’s lawyer And Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont and worked as a local editor at patch. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.