Microsoft announces Apple Silicon compatible browser-based Windows 365

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 14
As Apple Silicon users continue to wait for Windows virtualization options, Microsoft has unveiled a new service that has virtual PCs working on any platform in the browser.

Windows 365 (Source: Microsoft)
Windows 365 (Source: Microsoft)


In its move to the M1 processor, Apple has dropped its longstanding Windows tool, Boot Camp. Although apps such as Parallels Desktop allow Windows to be run alongside macOS, Microsoft has introduced a new service that could render the issue moot.

Windows 365 will be a service that potentially lets users on any platform, with any browser, run a full version of Windows in the cloud.

"With Windows 365, we're creating a new category: the Cloud PC," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a blog post. "Just like applications were brought to the cloud with SaaS [software as a service], we are now bringing the operating system to the cloud, providing organizations with greater flexibility and a secure way to empower their workforce to be more productive and connected, regardless of location."

No pricing has been announced, but when Windows 365 launches on August 2, 2021, it will be a subscription service. It's aimed at businesses, rather than individuals.

Microsoft says that the purpose is to provide tools for people who are now, because of the coronavirus, changing their work situation.

"With workforces more disparate than ever before, organizations need a new way to deliver a great productivity experience with increased versatility, simplicity and security," said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Microsoft 365.

"Cloud PC is an exciting new category of hybrid personal computing that turns any device into a personalized, productive and secure digital workspace," he continued. "Today's announcement of Windows 365 is just the beginning of what will be possible as we blur the lines between the device and the cloud."

According to The Verge, Windows 365 will be offered in Business and Enterprise versions, both via the Azure Virtual Desktop. A Cloud PC will start with a single CPU, 2GB RAM, and 64GB of storage.

There are ultimately going to be 12 different configurations. The highest reportedly has 8 CPUs, 32GB RAM, and 512GB storage.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,724member
    It’s going to be slow even with fast internet. Mac users want to run other Windows programs not just Office. I thought Office 365 was already available on macOS running on M1. Just quit messing around and finish Windows 10/11 ARM and provide services for x86 code to be run as well as recompiled. As for Apple not providing Bootcamp maybe they feel they don’t have to anymore and without a released Windows for ARM why even waste their time. 

    Stupid thing about this product is there shouldn’t be any difference between running browser-based accessed to a cloud server from any platform. 
    edited July 14 macplusplusseanjqwerty52watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 31
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,127member
    rob53 said:
    It’s going to be slow even with fast internet.
    Why?  If you can stream games at a reasonable click I don't see why general computing would be any worse.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 3 of 31
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,521member
    No, this doesn't render the question moot. There are lots of use cases that this "Cloud PC" does not cover. 

    As a quick example, software that controls hardware physically connected to it.  
    edited July 14 rob53mknelsondewmeroundaboutnowmacplusplusCloudTalkinwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 31
    thttht Posts: 4,131member
    Woo! Looking forward to my employer giving me a $200 Chromebook to interface with a networked Windows PC.
    rob53entropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    looplessloopless Posts: 228member
    Anyone who has used Microsoft Remote Desktop on a Mac to connect to a remote PC will tell you that it's suprisingly fast as long as you have a decent broad band connection.
     Honestly it's often hard to tell the difference from having a real PC on your desk.
    dewmeurashidCloudTalkinFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 6 of 31
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 864member
    "A Cloud PC will start with a single CPU, 2GB RAM, and 64GB of storage" So, like a 2011 11" MacBook Air?

    Pricing will be key, but this could really hurt Parallels and wound VMWare.
    seanjwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 31
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 441member
    This really looks like a smart move on Microsoft’s part.
    urashid
  • Reply 8 of 31
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 441member
    I have no use for Windows but for people who do this looks like a viable option.
    mcdave
  • Reply 9 of 31
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,823member
    rob53 said:
    It’s going to be slow even with fast internet. 

    Not true. We have users remote-desktop to their PC’s for years and our internet connection isn’t the best and it works just fine.

    I can see many uses for this, particularly when it comes to using iPads if it’s done correctly.
    entropysCloudTalkin
  • Reply 10 of 31
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,949member
    loopless said:
    Anyone who has used Microsoft Remote Desktop on a Mac to connect to a remote PC will tell you that it's suprisingly fast as long as you have a decent broad band connection.
     Honestly it's often hard to tell the difference from having a real PC on your desk.
    Yes indeed. Remote Desktop only virtualizes the desktop (Windows station, session, desktop ), not the whole machine, and not screen copying. Remote Desktop works surprisingly well even with low end client machines if the connection is good enough. I’ve even used it effectively with Raspberry Pi clients.  

    I will definitely miss BootCamp because it was a good fit for machines that didn’t have a ton of RAM but did have plenty of storage. If you’ve got a ton of RAM then VMWare Fusion is probably a better option. 

    My old 2013 MacBook Pro with 8GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD serves very well as a host for macOS Big Sur and Windows 10 Pro using BootCamp. It’s not a powerhouse or even very current but it allows me to carry one machine and work reasonably well in either macOS or Windows. I like it. 
    edited July 14 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 31
    MisterKitMisterKit Posts: 441member
    It really looks like a skate to the puck moment.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 31
    chadbag said:
    No, this doesn't render the question moot. There are lots of use cases that this "Cloud PC" does not cover. 

    As a quick example, software that controls hardware physically connected to it.  
    I totally agree with this, but since a lot of hardware is network connected and controlled, it's a bit less important than it used to be. (Assuming no snags in having Windows 365 connect to local network devices).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 31
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,933member
    Trading one set of security risks for another that includes Microsoft mining all of your business documents.
    rob53seanjwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 31
    thttht Posts: 4,131member
    cpsro said:
    Trading one set of security risks for another that includes Microsoft mining all of your business documents.
    On the plus side, if the server goes down, that means no worky for everyone! 🤪

    Reminds me of the early days when secure card authentication went through a single server at my employer. If the server went down, no work for everyone!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 31
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,831member
    It makes sense. Web Apps have replaced Windows natives so I get why Windows itself should be relegated to the browser.  After all we use Apple for productivity & Microsoft for legacy so this is a great solution.

    It also solves the  product platform  dilemma; forking native apps across ISA & OS is a nightmare. Now developers can write web apps for Windows/Android and commit more heavily to Apple’s cross-device platform offering rich, pioneering mobile/tablet/desktop tech for users & developers alike. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 31
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,298member
    The Acura Dealer I worked for did this in 2012. It works great until your Internet has an issue. Then your who system is dead. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,831member
    sflocal said:
    rob53 said:
    It’s going to be slow even with fast internet. 

    I can see many uses for this, particularly when it comes to using iPads if it’s done correctly.
    Really? iPad users are used to responsive, native apps built for touch. The first time they try Windows’ pitiful touch effort through a browser they’ll laugh, at first, then get angry at the idiot who inflicted this upon them. Good luck!
    tmaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 31
    I thought you could already do that with Citrix.
    thtFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 31
    With the announcement of Windows 365, which is essentially a full Windows PC in the cloud (up to 16 GB RAM and 512 GB of storage) that will run on any platform that offers a web browser, Including Mac's, IPads and IPhones, If Apple continues to insist in dummying down IPadOS, many users of the M1 IPad Pro will seek a full PC OS experience by simply running Windows 365 through a web browser on the IPad. The lack of true support for external monitors on IPadOS will mean that running Windows 365 on the IPad will be limited to 4:3 ratio on external monitors, but at least, users will get true PC apps like Windows Explorer, Office, Photoshop, etc. The only problem is that these will be Windows apps and not Mac apps. The rollout of Windows 365 may very well force Apple to unleash the true power of the M1 Ipad Pro with a much more capable IPadOS, one that is basically MacOS + touch abilities.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 20 of 31
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,823member
    mcdave said:
    sflocal said:
    rob53 said:
    It’s going to be slow even with fast internet. 

    I can see many uses for this, particularly when it comes to using iPads if it’s done correctly.
    Really? iPad users are used to responsive, native apps built for touch. The first time they try Windows’ pitiful touch effort through a browser they’ll laugh, at first, then get angry at the idiot who inflicted this upon them. Good luck!
    Give it a rest.  I'm going to park my opinions until Microsoft actually introduces it and we can see first-hand how it works.  I have clients that are Windows-only, and all their apps are Windows-only.  No non-WinTel.  Some are in a very industrial/dirty environments that are brutal on PC's and we have discussed using iPads but remote-desktop for iOS is not adequate.  I suspect Microsoft is providing this for the mobile crowd as well, and that includes iPads.  I'll be watching this closely.
    watto_cobra
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