Microsoft recently released Windows 365 business pricing, telling us a little more about what Microsoft’s “PC in the cloud” will cost. Right now, this cloud-based version of Windows is an enterprise product, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that a version of Windows 365 will eventually land in consumer PCs. But what then? Windows 365’s business plans give us some hints.
If nothing else, any curious Windows user should be looking at Windows 365 for glimpses of where Microsoft is taking the broad Windows platform and Cloud PCs. Microsoft isn’t afraid to migrate its products to and from the cloud for both enterprise and consumer users. Exhibit A: Microsoft 365 (once called Microsoft Office) runs on your PC, the Web, and mobile apps. Exhibit B: Microsoft has already made a “Cloud Xbox” accessible to consumers as part of Xbox cloud gaming.
And now we have Windows 365, which simply puts a virtual PC in the cloud (go. pcworld.com/mcpc). This could also be a natural fit for consumers, especially considering the broader trend in computing to put software and services in the cloud.
Microsoft’s Windows 365 pricing will likely evoke some sticker shock. Microsoft said it would charge businesses at least $24 per user per month for Windows 365, all the way up to $162 per user per month for a powerful “Cloud PC.” Obviously, businesses will be footing this bill as part of either Windows 365 Business or Enterprise plans. But let’s look past the pricing and parse Microsoft’s fine print. It includes some interesting details on how Windows 365 differs from the Windows on your desk.
1. ’HYBRID BENEFIT’ ENTAILS DISCOUNTS FOR WINDOWS 10 USERS
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