You may have been wondering ‘what is the difference between Windows 365 and Windows 11, and what I need to know to choose the right solution for my business?’
I’ll start by saying that a direct comparison of the two is not justified. Although Microsoft announced both products in close succession, they cater to distinct use cases that warrant separate consideration. Discover how the additional features of Microsoft 365 E5 can help your organisation to improve security and maintain compliance.
Windows 11, introduced as a complimentary update for compatible PCs, serves as a genuine successor to Windows 10. It's an entirely new operating system, featuring numerous improvements beyond its predecessor, Windows 10. Notable enhancements include visual updates, a modern reinterpretation of the Start Menu, and seamless integration of sought-after Microsoft features such as Teams Chat.
On the other hand, Windows 365 offers a cloud-based subscription service designed explicitly for businesses. Unlike an operating system like Windows 11, Windows 365 functions as a service that empowers you to create and manage a cloud-based desktop environment. This approach negates the need for local endpoint installations, resembling a virtual desktop hosted in the cloud — a concept Microsoft dubs a "Cloud PC." Microsoft handles the management and upkeep of this desktop environment, with a predictable monthly fee based on your hardware requirements. This subscription complements your existing Microsoft licensing agreement and extends the capabilities of the Microsoft 365 suite.
The scope of Windows 365 Cloud PC encompasses both Windows 10 and Windows 11, offering flexibility in licensing and compatibility with your suite of applications. Accessing your Windows 365 Cloud PC spans across various devices and operating systems — laptops, desktops, and even non-Windows platforms like Apple Macs. Your local device serves as the bridge for Cloud PC connectivity, whether through web browsers or Microsoft's dedicated "Windows 365" application, designed for Windows 10 and 11 devices.
Making the right decision
The decision-making process hinges on your operational needs and overarching hybrid work strategy. If your organisation furnishes devices to employees, opting for an Intune-based device management framework ensures inherent security. Conversely, if you're an advocate for an "Any Device, Any Time" approach, Windows 365 Cloud PCs offer a solution. This choice effectively bypasses the need for substantial investments in endpoint hardware while still providing a secure, managed computing environment.
Windows 365 truly excels when remote or hybrid work models take precedence, providing significant value when employees aren't confined to a central office. While the cost of Windows 365 over two to three years might exceed the investment in equivalent company-purchased desktops or laptops, it's an investment in accessing Cloud PCs from anywhere, using virtually any device, all within a secure environment. This liberates you from the logistical complexities of dispatching physical devices to remote workers, enabling you to seamlessly access your Cloud PC via devices you already own.
If you’d like to know more about how either of these solutions could work for your business, please get in touch via our website for an obligation-free chat with one of our experts.