Welcome to the blog series around Windows 365. During the series I want to provide you with the necessary information and installation steps to build and configure Windows 365 services. This first post is meant to provide you with some basic information around the Windows 365 services.
- Starting with Windows 365
- Getting started with Windows 365 Business
- Windows 365 Enterprise – AAD Join
- Windows 365 Enterprise – Hybrid Join
- Windows 365 Enterprise – Custom Images
What is Windows 365?
Stating the Microsoft documentation:
Windows 365 is a cloud-based service that automatically creates a new type of Windows virtual machine (Cloud PCs) for your end users. Each Cloud PC is assigned to an individual user and is their dedicated Windows device. Windows 365 provides the productivity, security, and collaboration benefits of Microsoft 365.
Windows 365 provides user with a single dedicated virtual machine that users can remotely sign in to.
Windows 365 comes in two flavors: Enterprise and Business. Windows 365 Enterprise is aimed to companies who are already invested in Microsoft’s Endpoint Manager and using Endpoint Manager to deploy and manage their Windows 10/11 devices. This means that if you want to start using Windows 365 Enterprise you will also need a license that includes Intune.
Windows 365 Business is aimed to small companies (up to 300 seats) who just need a pc to work from. This means that a user just gets a cloud pc. You do not need an Intune license. But if you want to manage the device an Intune license is required. Windows 365 Business also does not support joining to a custom (Azure) Vnet. So, if you would like to connect your cloud pcs to your network so they can access a file server for example you won’t be able to do so.
Basically, it comes down to this. If you want to have a quick lightly managed device for your end users, you should go with Windows 365 Business. If you want to have more control, you should go with Windows 365 Enterprise. To see a full comparison, check out the docs from Microsoft Compare Windows 365 Business and Enterprise | Microsoft Learn
Azure virtual Desktop
But then there is also Azure Virtual Desktop, where does this fit in? Because you can also deliver one to one desktop using the AVD technology. AVD is the next step from Windows 365 Enterprise, and it would provide you with maximum flexibility when deploying desktop for your users. Both Windows 365 and AVD make use of some overlapping technology, so they may seem similar but there are major differences. One big difference is that Windows 365 does not support multi session and the billing of AVD is based on usage. Where Windows 365 is a single subscription per user.
Nerdio has created a nice overview
As Im writing these blog series, Microsoft Ignite is happening. This events always leads to new announcements and product updates. Also for Windows 365. Here are my favorite developments:
- Windows 365 app – Microsoft Store on Windows. With Windows 365 app, you can access your Windows 365 Cloud PC from the taskbar or the Start menu, enjoying a full Windows 11 experience while moving between your local and Cloud PCs. Supported by all Windows 11 devices, the app delivers high-performing and reliable experiences optimized for Microsoft Teams and your other Microsoft 365 apps.
- Single Sign on – To provide a seamless user experience while also reducing the risk of credential theft in your environment, we will soon be releasing single sign-on features as part of Windows 365.
Read all the announcements here: What’s new in Windows 365: Microsoft Ignite 2022 edition – Microsoft Community Hub