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Microsoft Launches Windows 365 Virtual Desktop, Reveals Pricing

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
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Microsoft has launched its Windows 365 Cloud PC desktop-as-a-service product for general availability on 2 August 2021. The new Cloud service was first unveiled by Microsoft last month with the company saying it would reveal pricing the date of the general launch.

Windows 365 is Microsoft’s newest remote desktop offering, one that builds upon and complements its Azure Virtual Desktop. Windows 365 will allow users to bring their Windows PC (either 10 or 11, later this spring) desktop, apps, tools, data and settings to their personal or work devices, including other PCs, Macs, iPads, Linux and Android devices via a native Remote Desktop application or web browser.

Windows 365 virtual desktop. Image sourced from Microsoft via ZDNet.

According to ZDNet, the service’s pricing ranges from $20 per user per month for the lowest-end offering, up to $162 per user per month for its more top-of-the-range offerings. Pricing is based on the number of virtual cores, RAM and storage a customer will be able to access in their ‘Cloud PC’ virtual machine.

Windows 365 is now available in two editions: Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise. Windows 365 Business is capped at 300 users per organisation, and its’ $20 per user per month price is for a single virtual core, 2GB of RAM and 64GB storage. This offering also requires the Windows Hybrid Benefit – Microsoft’s bring-your-own license model, which allows customers to apply existing (or new) licenses towards the cost of a product.

Higher-end options for Business are also available at $162 per user per month for eight virtual cores, 32GB of RAM and 512GB of storage ($158 per user per month with the added Windows Hybrid Benefit). The Enterprise version of Windows 365 is priced similarly, at the high-end, it also offers 8 virtual cores, 32GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for $158 per user per month.

The Windows 365 Cloud Remote Desktop will also be able to support non-Microsoft apps, with the service allowing users to log into any app that can run on Windows 10 or 11. Since the service is for all intents and purposes a virtual desktop, software devs won’t have to make any alterations to their apps to get them to work on Windows 365.

In order to use Windows 365 for Business customers will only need their 365 subscriptions, however for customers to use Windows 365 for Enterprise, customers will need their 365 subscriptions:

  • With Windows Pro endpoints: Windows 10 E3 + EMS E3 or Microsoft 365 F3/E3/E5/BP.
  • With non-Windows Pro endpoints: Windows VDA E3 + EMS E3 or Microsoft 365 F3/E3/F5/BP.
  • With an Azure subscription.

By Luis Monzon
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