Microsoft may have upended the virtualization market with its latest product, designed to let anyone with a web browser run Windows.
Users of other operating systems, such as Linux or Apple’s macOS, rely on virtualization to run Windows and its applications. Such a solution can be costly and resource-intensive. Microsoft is looking to make virtualization much easier, with users able to run a version of Windows in their browser.
“With Windows 365, we’re creating a new category: the Cloud PC,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “Just like applications were brought to the cloud with SaaS, 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.”
The solution should be a boon to remote workers and hybrid workforces.
“Hybrid work has fundamentally changed the role of technology in organizations today,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Microsoft 365. “With workforces more disparate than ever before, organizations need a new way to deliver a great productivity experience with increased versatility, simplicity and security. Cloud PC is an exciting new category of hybrid personal computing that turns any device into a personalized, productive and secure digital workspace. 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.”
Apple users, in particular, have had their workflows disrupted with the move to Apple’s M1 processor. Apple previously included Boot Camp with Intel-based Macs, a way to install a full copy of Windows and boot from it. The new Macs don’t include Boot Camp, forcing Apple users to rely on Parallels. Using a third-party solution can sometimes lag behind, as developers work to support the latest versions of Windows.
Windows 365 should be available to all businesses on August 2.