The Future of Hybrid Work: Microsoft expands cloud based Windows 365 capabilities

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Microsoft introduced Windows 365, its cloud based version of Windows running in the cloud, back in August of last year. Today, in a Future of Hybrid Work presentation, the company introduced a number of improvements to Windows 365. Centered around ways to make it easier to log in to Windows 365 and manage both a local and cloud based version of Windows, these improvements include Windows 365 Boot, Windows 365 Switch, a new Windows 365 app, and Windows 365 offline.

Windows 365 Boot

For temporary front-line worker scenarios, allowing users to be able to seamlessly log in to their cloud PCs, or to be able to have a dedicated machine set to log in to Windows 365, Windows 365 Boot makes it possible to designate a Windows 365 Cloud PC as a primary Windows experience, and be able to log in directly to the cloud version of Windows. Similar, apparently, to being able to dual boot a machine, Windows 365 Boot provides direct access at startup to Windows 365.

Windows 365 Switch

For users who need to use both a local Windows machine and a cloud based Windows 365 instance, Windows 365 Switch will act similar to how Task Switcher does today, allowing users to move between local and Cloud PC desktops using familiar keyboard commands or mouse-click or swipe gestures.

Windows 365 app

A new Windows 365 app will allow users to begin the Cloud PC experience just by opening an app in Windows, and to be able to tailor settings, profile, and work style from within the app.

Windows 365 Offline

For some user scenarios, internet connectivity isn’t always possible, and Windows 365 Offline will allow users to continue to work even when disconnected, and then have their work automatically synced back to Windows 365 once connectivity is re-enabled.

Microsoft is currently offering Business and Enterprise plans for Windows 365, starting from about $31/mo per user. These new entry points for Windows 365 could make it easier to get up and running with a Cloud PC for users in a number of different scenarios.