Microsoft to allow businesses to run Windows on Mac, iPhones, Android phones

Microsoft to allow businesses to run Windows on Mac, iPhones, Android phones

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NEW DELHI: Microsoft may have turned Windows into a service with the launch of Windows 10 in 2015, but it’s taking that model to a whole new level. The company announced a new service — Windows 365 — which will allow enterprises to stream Windows 10 or 11 directly to another device.

It allows users to get a “full” Windows experience on a Mac, Android, iOS, iPadOS or Windows device. Essentially, it lets enterprises stop buying one device per user outfitted with Windows, and lets them run the operating system over the cloud on any use that an employee already has.

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“Windows 365 takes the operating system to the Microsoft Cloud, securely streaming the full Windows experience – including all your apps, data, and settings – to your personal or corporate devices. This approach creates a fully new personal computing category, specifically for the hybrid world: the Cloud PC,” the company said in a blog post.

With Windows 365, Microsoft is allowing enterprises to create what it calls a “cloud PC” with pre-decided compute power, RAM and storage. This is streamed down to the user’s device through a browser or remote desktop management tools. It works with any HTML5 enabled browser, which is basically any popular web browser today, and can run in full-screen so that the user feels like they’re working on a real Windows 10 or 11 PC.

It will also support all peripherals and external devices, and can access hardware built into devices, like cameras, speakers and more. Input methods like keyboards, stylus, mice etc. will also work the way it works on regular Windows devices. It has no special requirements in terms of connectivity and should work on any connection that’s able to stream a video off the Internet.

The system has been built with hybrid work requirements in mind, an evolution of the remote working trend that began after the pandemic last year. It can help in scenarios where employees need temporary access to an enterprise, for instance an intern joining a company, or a guest in a hotel room. While Microsoft has built the system for businesses, anyone with Azure Active Directory identity can access the service.

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Azure Active Directory is Microsoft’s cloud-based identity and access management service, which helps your employees sign in and access resources within the enterprise. It’s in a way an extension of the Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), but while AVD is a platform being offered as a service (PaaS), Windows 365 falls under a software as a service (SaaS) model. Microsoft is stressing the fact that the two aren’t interchangeable.

The service will go live on 2 August and Microsoft said pricing will be announced at the same time. The company will offer a per user per month per PC type model for subscription to Windows 365.

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