Windows 365 VDI, Virtual Desktop Infastructure
Let’s start with the main question, what is a Virtual Desktop and why should i care?
A virtual desktop is an installation you can access without interfering or affecting the computer you’re working on. To specify, Windows 365 is an installation of Windows you can access and use with only a web browser.
One of the most popular of these today are Citrix. Usually installed on a server somewhere and accessible through a remote connection on a PC. This requires some program to be installed on your computer. The server is handled by the IT-department or service delivery partner.
Microsoft 365 is a gamechanger, since it allows anyone to start up a full Windows computer and work with it from a web browser. The ease of use, versatility and flexibility of this solution is truely something we haven’t had before.
Windows 365, what can I do with it?
Pending more information and the possibility to really test it I can only guess. But I’ll share some scenarios where I can see a possible use cases. This article will be updated sometime in the future and more articles will come when I’ve tested this more thoroughly.
MacOS and Bootcamp
You can purchase and install Windows on a mac with Bootcamp, this gives you the possibility to use it only on that device. Well with Windows 365 you can always access that installation and software from any Mac or other computer. If you like local installation, do bootcamp, but for true flexibility and cross platform, well you now have an option that is not dual-boot.
Chromebooks and older computers
It’s alluring to buy a super cheap functional computer until you need a full desktop with software that actually can do what you want. Now you don’t have to compromise! Just run Windows 365 and get the power you need when you need it! This also should work on older laptops that still have the hardware to run an OS, but not the power to run the applications you need. A more sustainable solution maybe?
Linux and Adobe Software
Yes we have Wine and apps and compatibility layers, but why spend all the time trying to get a specific software to work, just to have it break next update? Windows 365 will give you access to a complete windows installation without the fun of testing and troubleshooting. Of course this takes away the achievement of finally getting it to work, but on the other hand, now you can focus on why you needed it, not how you gonna make it work 😉
Citrix, the way of old
I’m now fan of Citrix solutions… It’s not that I don’t get it, but it feels so old school and clunky. But a full on installation in a browser, accessible from any computer when you need it? This takes Virtual Desktops to a new level. I’m stoked and hope W365 is half of what it claims to be, this will change everything.
Labs, testing and development
No more VMware, no more Hyper V, this might be all we need. Linux has given us a cloud computer we could SSD into for years, but to have a GUI installation in a browser 😱 I would guess that more than half of W365 desktops would be for testing, I would probably run a few just because I can.
Final words regarding Windows 365
Did Microsoft just make me (more of) a fanboy? I must admit that they have! It’s nerdy, it’s geeky, it’s practical and it’s definitely a feature noteworthy of 2021. Even if it could be buggy to begin with, potentially expensive and anything else one could complain about, it’s an awesome thing to launch. I’m amazed and ecstatic!