What is Windows 365?

Windows 365

Even the most anti-technology person is probably aware of the different versions of Windows Microsoft has released over the past 30 years.

Whilst any good techy over the age of 40, like Myself (cough) will remember Windows 3.11, the first real iteration of Windows from Microsoft in 1992.  Some of the other big hitters to come out of Microsoft include Windows 98, Windows XP (who can forget that game changer) and the last big hitter in my opinion Windows 7.  If we swerve Windows 8 you are now at Windows 10 with probably a few bleeding edge people on Windows 11.

So what is Windows 365?

Windows 365 isnt actually a different version of Windows, think less about the version of Windows and more about how you access it and you are halfway to knowing what Windows 365 is.

Traditionally you buy a PC or Laptop and it comes with the latest version of Windows that is available at the time (currently Windows 11).  You then keep that device for way to long (3 years or more) until one of two things happen; 1) You find yourself making a cup of Tea while you wait for it to switch on or 2) it breaks and you lose everything and regret never backing it up.

“Windows 365 is basically Microsoft going out and buying you a laptop”

Windows 365 is basically Microsoft going out and buying you a laptop, sticking it in their huge datacentre (called Azure) and connecting it to the internet for you.  You then access the laptop (Windows 365) from wherever you are in the world on whatever device you want to use.  It could be a mobile phone, an iPad, Mac Book or even a Linux device.  Whatever device you use to connect into your Windows 365 laptop your desktop is there waiting for you, every single time.  It is always there, always running and always ready.

Now obviously Microsoft don’t actually go out and buy a laptop for you and stick it in their datacentre.  Imagine the largest most powerful laptop you can and Microsoft have lots of these in their datacentres that they split up and let you have a slice of.

How do you choose Windows 365?

So you already know that Microsoft have the hardware for you already to use but you customise it depending on how much speed you want, how much memory you want and how much disc space you want.  These are all common factors when choosing a new PC or Laptop and this is the CPU speed, RAM for memory and disc space in Gigabytes.

You can have a super fast CPU and lots of memory for example if you are doing a lot drawing work like Architects.  Or you can have a slower CPU, a bit less memory but lots of disc space because you are putting all your family photos on it.  As you would expect different hardware bits and pieces come with different prices, we would recommend a good spec of machine is a 2 vCPU, 8Gb of RAM and 256Gb hard drive.  This will be absolutely fine for most “office” based work.

How much does Windows 365 cost?

Based on the specification above of 2 vCPU, 8Gb RAM and a 256Gb hard drive you are going to be looking in the region of £46.00 per month.

“it is around 170% more expensive than purchasing a laptop”

So to save you running for the calculator lets say you normally keep a laptop for 3 years and a laptop with the same specification as your Windows 365 device would cost you around £600.  If you multiply the monthly Windows 365 cost by 3 years it is costing £1,656 compared to a £600 laptop over 3 years.  So it is around 170% more expensive than purchasing a laptop.

Why would I choose Windows 365 rather than buying a Laptop?

Good question and one that I am not going to answer, I will however give you a list of the advantages and disadvantages of Windows 365

The Plus Bits +++

  • Your Windows 365 desktop is always on 365 days a year
  • You can access it from any device you own iPad, Mac Book, Mobile, a really old PC or even your TV
  • Microsoft take care of all the backup side of things and you can “revert back” to any point in time so say for example you accidentally spend a day changing the wrong document you can within minutes restore back to the way the desktop was yesterday.
  • It includes anti virus software as well with Microsoft Defender Anti Virus
  • It’s a piece of cake for hybrid workers working from home or in the office
  • You can add more memory, more disc space or more speed as you need it

The not so good things —

  • You need to be on the internet to access your desktop
  • If you are on the train a lot or airplanes where there is no internet connection you are going to struggle
  • It is a continual subscription meaning you have to keep paying to keep the machine (and your data!)

 

Conclusion

There is a phrase doing the rounds of “born in the cloud” which is a term for new business that come straight out of the blocks day one completely in the cloud.  This is a perfect solution for those guys and girls starting out.  It is quick to setup and get going and saves the outlay of 5 or 6 laptops for everyone.

For long running organisations with bespoke software that requires servers to work then it might be a bit more problematic to move over to Windows 365 (without making other organisational changes to the infrastructure).

Think of it a bit like Spotify, it is cheaper to buy CD’s when you want them and keep them yourself and play them when you want.  However for £15.99 per month you can have access to nearly all CD’s and they are always there ready for you to listen to on whatever device you want……..you just never own anything!

One thing I will say however is this is the future……..this is how we will all have our PC’s and Laptops in the end, I have no doubt about that.