Home Technology Now that Windows is in the cloud, what about the Mac?

Now that Windows is in the cloud, what about the Mac?

Microsoft has put Windows online with Windows 365, which means any Mac, iPad, iPhone, or even Linux user can run a a virtualized PC in the cloud. Can, and should, Apple do something similar?

What is Windows 365?

Windows 365 will let you run Windows as a service in the cloud on your choice of device. When you move between devices, you’ll always find your cloud PC just as you last used it, which enables you to work on the device most convenient to you at any time.

You access the cloud PC using a web browser or native app, and the service requires fewer technical skills than it takes to run Azure Virtual Desktop. “Windows 365 provides an instant-on boot experience that enables users to stream all their personalized applications, tools, data, and settings from the cloud across any device including your Mac, iPad, Linux device, and Android,” said Microsoft 365 General Manager Wangui McKelvey.

Given Windows 365 is only available in Business and Enterprise editions, this doesn’t appear to be a consumer-facing solution; Microsoft hasn’t yet announced pricing.

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Why Windows 365?

Microsoft is pivoting to address the needs of the new hybrid workplace. As a business tool, its service will enable easy provisioning of computer access to remote staff, including short-term project teams. That matters, as Gartner estimates remote workers will represent 32% of all employees worldwide by the end of 2021, up from 17% in 2019. In addition, as offices reopen throughout 2021, 51% of those employees will be in a hybrid environment, working from home at least one day a week.

Gartner also expects that through 2024, remote workers will use at least four different device types for work, up from three in 2019.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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