Windows 365: The Future of Business Computing

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What Is Windows 365?

Windows 365, also known as Windows 365 Cloud PC, is Microsoft's innovative solution that allows users to securely stream their personalized Windows experience. This includes their desktop, apps, settings, and content, accessible anytime from any device. Essentially, it's your PC in the cloud.

But Windows 365 Cloud PC isn't just a new information technology. It is a giant leap forward from traditional corporate IT that empowers business owners to adapt, thrive, and focus on what matters most: growing their business. Traditional business IT has required each employee to receive a hardware device—usually a laptop or desktop PC—from their employer that is preconfigured with all of the software applications needed to be productive at their job.

Plus, the pandemic and subsequent rise of remote work means that organizations would need to ship a device to an employee's home for them to use.

However, due to global supply chain disruptions in 2020 (and beyond), shipping pre-configured laptops to employee homes can be costly and difficult. The alternative of allowing employees to use their own PC-or another device-from a home office introduces potential Cyber Security issues that an already-overworked corporate IT staff has to be vigilant against.

Corporate IT departments are always looking for ways to keep remote workers productive without sacrificing Cyber Security. With very few exceptions, Windows 365 is the perfect solution for doing just that. It is an extremely secure cloud-based service that allows your employees to use a fully licensed Microsoft Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC to do their best work from anywhere and on any device. By connecting with Microsoft's servers, Windows 365 cloud PC virtualizes the hardware needed to run any program, even demanding ones, saving businesses from repeatedly investing in high-end hardware.

Think of Windows 365 as having access to a virtual Windows PC that you can access from anything that runs a modern web browser like Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox that is connected to the internet. You can access Windows 365 on Apple devices like an iPad or Mac,, and even get the full-fledged Windows 11 experience on an Android smartphone or tablet.

A business owner can expect to gain these major benefits from deploying Windows 365 enterprise at their company:

  • Reduced costs: Windows 365 can help you reduce your IT costs by potentially eliminating the need to purchase and maintain physical PCs. Imagine a scenario where your IT department no longer needs to purchase high-end devices for all employees but instead configures each experience with all the necessary “hardware”, software, and Cyber Security licenses. Instead of being concerned about whether your graphic designer will be able to run Photoshop or an engineer will be able to open AutoCAD, the employee simply downloads the Windows 365 app on their personal or work-supplied device, logs into their work account, and is productive from Day One with minimal training or IT support required. On top of that, because Windows 365 is a cloud-based service, your business only pays for the cloud resources you use. With Windows 365, your business saves on the typical IT capital expenditure of hardware and over-provisioning of software licenses.
  • Increased productivity: Windows 365 allows your employees to work from anywhere, on any device. Recall that Windows 365 works just as well on your employee's favorite 10-inch tablet as it would on an all-in-one desktop PC with a 32-inch monitor. So, rather than forcing employees to only use a corporate-provided laptop for their work, your employees are empowered to choose the best device that fits their workstyle and mobility needs. This means they can be more productive regardless of where they are.
  • Improved security: Windows 365 includes several enterprise-grade security features to protect your data. One of the bedrock Cyber Security features in Windows 365 is its end-to-end Zero Trust security architecture. Zero Trust security means that no user or device is trusted by default. In addition, Windows 365 encrypts data at rest (stored locally on the device) and in transit (moving to and from the cloud). Windows 365's built-in Cyber Security features allow your IT administrators to implement conditional access policies, which can restrict access to your data based on factors such as the user's location, device, and risk level. All these features combined help to protect users from falling victim to criminal hackers attempting to gain unauthorized access to corporate data through a Windows 365 solution. This means you can be confident that your data is safe, even if your employees work remotely.

Windows 365 Variants

Windows 365 Variants

Microsoft offers two variants of the Windows 365 solution: Enterprise and Business. But as a business owner, you might wonder: What's the difference when we compare Windows 365 Business vs Enterprise, and which one is right for my company? At a high level, a business decision-maker can view the two variants as follows:

  • Windows 365 Enterprise: Designed for large organizations with complex IT needs, the Enterprise edition is ideal for businesses that require advanced security features, integrations, and support for many users.
  • Windows 365 Business: Tailored for small to medium-sized businesses, the Business version offers a simplified deployment and IT administration experience. It's perfect for companies with lean IT staff that need a straightforward solution without the bells and whistles of the Enterprise edition.

This table provides a clear side-by-side comparison of the two versions of Windows 365, making it easier for business owners to understand and decide which version is right for their needs:


Windows 365 Enterprise

Windows 365 Business

Target Audience

Designed for larger organizations with complex IT needs.

Tailored for small to medium-sized businesses with straightforward IT needs.


Offers a broader range of configurations and scalability options for growing organizations.

Designed with smaller businesses in mind, offering a more limited range of configurations.

Seat Limit


300 per tenant

Security Features

Advanced security features and customizations for organizations with sensitive data.

Robust security features in a user-friendly format suitable for businesses without a dedicated IT team.

Management & Integration

Advanced management tools and integration capabilities with other enterprise-level Microsoft products.

Straightforward management experience without the need for extensive integrations or customizations.

Group Policy Support




Higher price point due to advanced features and capabilities.

More budget-friendly and designed for smaller businesses looking for value.

Windows 365 Cloud PC

Windows 365 Cloud PC

The Cloud PC is the core offering of Microsoft Windows 365. Cloud PC is a personal computer and all software applications that run on a computer hosted in Microsoft's secure global cloud infrastructure. Think of Windows 365 Cloud PC as a virtual computer you can access from anywhere, on any device, whether a laptop, tablet or even a phone. Windows 365 Cloud PC delivers a consistent Windows experience across devices. Whether you're using a personal laptop, an iPad, or any other device, your Cloud PC remains the same, ensuring seamless transitions between devices.

Because Windows 365 Cloud PC is a virtual service, there's no complex computer hardware to buy, maintain, and configure. Everything is handled by Microsoft for a consistent fixed monthly fee.

Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop

Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) is another cloud-based virtual desktop solution from Microsoft. While both Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop offer cloud-based computing solutions, they cater to different needs. Azure is more customizable and might be suitable for businesses with specific requirements and IT expertise. In contrast, a Windows 365 Cloud PC provides a more standardized experience, ideal for businesses looking for simplicity and consistency.

While they appear to be similar services, let's compare Windows 365 Cloud PC vs Azure Virtual Desktop so we can understand the differences between the two offerings:


Windows 365 Cloud PC

Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)

Pricing Model

Flat-rate subscription

Consumption-based (pay for what you use)


Streamlined with no host pool to manage

Requires configuration of host pools, session hosts, etc.

Graphics Processing

Standard capabilities

Can be configured with GPUs for intensive graphics processing

Risk of Unexpected Costs

Low (fixed monthly fee)

Higher (costs can increase if resources are left running)

User Experience

Consistent across devices

Can vary based on configuration and resources


Simplified with less hands-on management

More hands-on management required

Integration with Microsoft 365

Direct integration

Requires additional configuration


Data stored in Microsoft's data centers

Data stored in Azure, with configurations influencing security


Designed for individual users

Can scale for large organizations with varying needs

Deployment Speed

Quick deployment (15-30 minutes per user)

Deployment time can vary based on configuration and resources

Backup and Restore

Automatic backups with point-in-time restore

Depends on Azure configurations and additional backup solutions

Hardware Refresh Cycles

None (virtual)

None (virtual), but underlying Azure infrastructure may have updates

Windows 365 Benefits

As a business owner, you always look for ways to improve your bottom line and make your employees more productive. One way to do that is to deploy Microsoft Windows 365 cloud PCs to your employees. But why should a business owner consider deploying this solution? Here are five compelling benefits:

  • Flexibility and mobility: With Windows 365 Cloud PC, employees can access their work desktops from virtually anywhere, on any device. Whether they're using a laptop, tablet, or even a smartphone, the Cloud PC ensures a consistent and seamless experience. This flexibility is especially beneficial for remote workers, overseas staff, or those always moving. Because everything is stored securely inside Microsoft's global cloud infrastructure, users can quickly and safely connect to their Cloud PC irrespective of the device or platform-Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android.
  • Scalability: Windows 365 offers a range of configurations to easily adjust based on your business needs. From frontline workers who might need basic configurations to software developers who require more robust setups, the Cloud PC can be tailored to fit. As the organization grows or the needs change, it's simple to adjust the Cloud PC specifications, ensuring that employees always have the resources they need without any waste.
  • Enhanced security: Security is a top concern for any business owner. With all user data stored in the cloud and not on local devices, the risk of data breaches is significantly reduced on a Windows 365 Cloud PC. Microsoft integrates Windows 365 seamlessly with Microsoft Entra ID (formerly known as Azure Active Directory) to ensure user identities are securely managed. Moreover, organizations can automatically deploy Cyber Security features like Microsoft Defender to the Cloud PC, offering robust protection against threats. But even if an employee falls prey to a ransomware attack, the ability to restore Cloud PCs to a previous state provides an added layer of security-allowing the user to revert to a safe point if any issues arise.
  • Simplified Management: Managing traditional PCs can be a logistical challenge, especially for remote or overseas staff. With Cloud PCs, the management process is streamlined. Administrators can manage Cloud PCs just like any other PCs using familiar tools like Microsoft Intune and Endpoint Manager. Policies, app deployments, and patches can be applied consistently across all Cloud PCs. Plus, there's no need to worry about the physical logistics of shipping or maintaining hardware.
  • Business continuity: One of the standout features of the Cloud PC is its persistent state. Unlike traditional setups where unsaved work might be lost if a computer shuts down unexpectedly, with Cloud PC, users can pick up right where they left off. This ensures that work is never lost and productivity remains high. Moreover, the Cloud PC's consistent performance, backed by Microsoft's infrastructure, means that users always have a reliable and high-performing system at their fingertips.

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Windows 365 Compatibility and Integration

Windows 365 Compatibility and Integration

Windows 365 on Different Devices

It wasn't that long ago that the term “Windows PC” was almost inextricably associated with a miniature tower of plastic and metal next to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor on a desktop. Businesses buy their Windows PCs from a distributor, a value-added reseller (VAR), or sometimes the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the PC itself. Those PCs used similar hardware (technically called “x86” architecture) and had not changed much for decades.

  • Windows 365 on Apple iPad and macOS: But Apple changed everything with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. In the intervening years, the iPad tablet has become extremely popular because it's now powerful enough to compete with those x86 devices while being much more portable—and if we're being honest, more stylish as well. It's also no secret that iPhone and iPad owners often own an Apple macOS device such as the iMac desktop or one of the MacBook line of laptops. These Apple-manufactured devices are built using an architecture totally different from x86 and completely incompatible with Microsoft Windows.

    However, if you have Apple-loving employees in your organization, Windows 365 enables them to have a full-featured Windows PC experience on their Apple iOS or macOS devices. Even though the stereotype is that iPad owners spend their time sitting in a café all day, with Windows 365, they can get real work done as if they were sitting at their office desk. Windows 365 enables MacBook and iPad owners to experience a seamless Windows environment on Apple devices, bridging the gap between these different operating systems.

    Before the introduction of Windows 365, the only way Apple macOS devices such as MacBooks or iMacs could run the Windows OS and associated apps was by virtualization. The complex setup required is the problem many IT departments experience when attempting to run Windows OS on Macs with virtualization options like VMware Fusion, Parallels Desktop, and Oracle Virtualbox. Virtualization solutions are typically deployed on virtual machine (VM) infrastructure managed by large enterprises because those organizations often have large IT departments that operate at scale. A large enterprise has the IT staff with the knowledge, training, and time to configure and manage the complex VM-based infrastructure needed to successfully stream a Windows OS to a Mac or iPad. The advantage of Windows 365 is the internal IT resources required to set up and deploy a Cloud PC solution to employees is minimal. There is no need for IT managers to configure and troubleshoot why an employee's Apple M-series Mac isn't working correctly with the virtual machine because that complexity is managed by Microsoft. Windows 365 is software as a service that scales to meet the needs of any business, small or large.

There are two ways an employee can get the Windows 365 experience on an iPad or macOS device:

  1. Use a web browser to visit, then log into the experience using the credentials provided by your employer.
  2. Download the official Microsoft Remote Desktop app from Apple's App Store.

As mentioned earlier in this article, a low-latency internet connection optimized for Microsoft cloud resources is crucial for having a good experience with Windows 365. Some users have higher praise for the Remote Desktop app experience on the iPad and macOS compared to the web browser, but as long as users have a fast internet connection, their Windows 365 experience should be good.

  • Running Microsoft Office 365 on Windows 7: Although the venerable Windows 7 operating system is no longer officially supported by Microsoft, some still use it because their PC's hardware is too old to run Windows 10 or Windows 11. While Microsoft Office 365 apps in 2023 and beyond are not designed to work on Windows 7, there is a way to make Office 365 work on Windows 7: using Windows 365. Even on older hardware with outdated operating systems like Windows 7, you can run Windows 365 in a browser to ensure compatibility, extending the life of your company's existing hardware.

Office 365 Compatibility

Windows 365 is designed to work hand-in-hand with Office 365, ensuring that your favorite office applications run smoothly on your Cloud PC. Let's delve into the security aspects of Windows 365 and why it brings peace of mind to IT leaders and CFOs regarding lost laptops:

  1. Cloud-based storage with OneDrive: When employees use Windows 365, their Office 365 files reside securely in the cloud, primarily on OneDrive. By storing employee files on OneDrive, you can ensure a level of data redundancy and security that is unavailable to files stored locally on a laptop. So, even if a laptop is lost or stolen, critical business files remain safe in the cloud.
  2. No local data on devices: Windows 365 Cloud PCs are essentially virtual machines hosted in the cloud. Unlike traditional laptops, they don't store sensitive data locally. So, if an employee's device used to access their Cloud PC is lost or compromised, there's no risk of exposing confidential information.
  3. Encryption and compliance: Windows 365 employs robust encryption mechanisms for data at rest and in transit. Cloud PCs are also designed with compliance features to meet industry-specific regulations. That's why IT leaders can rest easy knowing that data remains protected even if devices are misplaced.
  4. Remote wipe and access control: With Windows 365, IT administrators have granular control over user access. If a laptop is lost, they can remotely wipe the associated Cloud PC without affecting other devices. This prevents unauthorized access to sensitive files.
  5. Centralized management: Windows 365 integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Intune and other management tools. This enables IT leaders to enforce their security policies, monitor individual device health, and respond swiftly to Cyber Security incidents. No longer will your IT staff be subject to frantic searches for lost laptops because everything is managed centrally.
  6. Business continuity and productivity: Windows 365 ensures that employees can continue working from anywhere and on whatever device they choose. Whether it's a new laptop or a borrowed tablet, their Cloud PC experience remains consistent. CIOs and CFOs appreciate this continuity-it means uninterrupted productivity even in challenging situations.


Like any transformative technology, the transition to Windows 365 requires careful planning, understanding, and execution. If you're considering making the leap or want to understand more about how Windows 365 can benefit your organization, don't navigate this journey alone.

Reach out to the Microsoft experts at Amaxra. With our deep knowledge and experience, we can guide you through the intricacies of Windows 365, ensuring a smooth transition and helping your business harness the full potential of this groundbreaking solution.

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