A year ago, Microsoft announced Windows 365, a service that allows businesses to securely stream the full Windows experience as the OS is hosted on the Microsoft Cloud. This essentially means that employees do not require special hardware and can just enroll in the program to utilize a personalized Windows experience. Over the past few months, Microsoft has made several enhancements to the service in order to make it more useful for small businesses and larger organizations. Today, it has revealed a bunch of new features coming to Windows 365.
For starters, Windows 365 is getting the Citrix HDX Plus add-on later this year. It will enable companies to support more endpoint devices, peripherals, and security policies, especially in bandwidth-constrained environments.
Although Windows 365 has been more business-focused up until now, Microsoft soon plans to release Windows 365 offering for Government Community Cloud (GCC) and Government Community Cloud High (GCC High) in the United States too. As the name suggests, this edition will be geared more towards federal employees and contractors.
On the monitoring and analytics front, Microsoft is working with some tech firms to enable remote monitoring of Windows 365 Cloud PCs in tandem with physical PCs, more details on this front are expected “very soon”. Customers can leverage from resource performance monitoring and connectivity health checks in Microsoft Endpoint Manager soon too.
Meanwhile, Windows 365 Business users can look forward to the following:
For small and very small businesses not yet using Microsoft 365, we will provide a simplified sign-up experience to Windows 365. You will be able to purchase, provision, assign and sign in to Cloud PCs using the Microsoft accounts that you already use today for Outlook email, OneDrive, and Xbox Live.
Point-in-Time Restore lets you restore a Cloud PC to the exact "known good" state it was in at an earlier point in time. You can also give users permission to restore their own Cloud PCs. This feature is already generally available for Windows 365 Enterprise and is currently in public preview for Windows 365 Business.
For Windows 365 Business customers using Microsoft Endpoint Manager, we will soon be enabling you to automatically enroll Cloud PCs in Microsoft Endpoint Manager alongside your existing physical PC estate. This is a core functionality already generally available for Windows 365 Enterprise and is coming soon for Windows 365 Business.
Last, but definitely not the least, upcoming security enhancements include forensic analysis and disk encryption through Bring Your Own Key (BYOK).