Windows 365, Microsoft’s cloud PC solution, has been out for just over a year now – but we still get a lot of questions on what it actually does. Most commonly we get asked what the difference between Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop is, and when you might choose one over the other.
I’ve broken down a few examples and use cases below to provide some more info!
What can you use Windows 365 for?
Windows 365 is good for bringing the same experience as a physical laptop or desktop, to a remotely ‘accessible from anywhere’ environment that maintains your company’s security boundaries, privileges, and controls.
It’s good for third party access where you don’t want to give the user a physical device or allow Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). It’s also great for giving temporary access if a user can’t get into the office or doesn’t have a physical machine.
It’s basically good for any remote access scenario where they need to have a dedicated desktop with the same configurations, software availability etc. as they would normally use.
What isn’t Windows 365 good for?
Windows 365 is great at delivering an environment you can set up and use quickly and remotely, however you have to bear in mind at what scale you would require the solution. Due to Windows 365 being charged on a flat fee per month (for 24/7 availability) it might not be the first choice for other scenarios such as call centre teams or seasonal workers.
Likewise, for ad hoc usage or scenarios where only one central application needs to be accessed, there are better methods.
In ad hoc, multiuser or individual app publishing scenarios you’d probably lean towards Azure Virtual Desktop (more on that in my next blog!).
What are some use cases for Windows 365?
A common scenario could be long term remote or contract workers that may not require a corporate device. For example, you may have an external contractor working with you full time over a period of several months. You could use Windows 365 to create a dedicated, cloud-based environment with access to different set of applications, or access to specific parts of your network. You can enable this securely on their personal device, with whatever restrictions you choose, separate from their personal desktop.
How have we used it internally?
We’ve used Windows 365 before when working with our remote colleagues whose physical device has developed a fault. Instead of getting them to drive over or ship the device to us, we’ve used Windows 365 to spin up an environment that looks and feels exactly like the experience they’re used to.
This prevents all that frustrating downtime for the end-user, helps us create a better process for getting the physical device in and repaired, and makes the process a lot smoother for everyone involved.
Want to see Windows 365 in more detail?
I’ve got a couple of end user demos out there if you’d like to see them in action:
- Windows 365 Demo – End User Experience
- Windows 365 Demo – Configuration
- Azure Virtual Desktop – Personal Device User Demo
If you’re interested in comparing Windows solutions, I go into use case scenarios for Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop in my webinar: Choosing the Right Windows Solutions