Windows 365 is Now Available for $20 Per User Per Month and Up

Posted on August 2, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 365 with 35 Comments

Microsoft announced the immediate availability of Windows 365 for businesses of all sizes, and with prices starting at $20 per user per month.

“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,” Microsoft’s Scott Manchester writes. “This approach creates a fully new personal computing category, specifically for the hybrid world: the Cloud PC.”

Of course, what everyone wants to know is the price. And since this is a Microsoft commercial product, the answer to that question is complex and involves multiple price-points depending on the level of service provided. But according to the Windows 365 plans and pricing page, pricing ranges from $20 per month per user to $162 per month per user.

The entry-level $20 per month option provides a Cloud PC with 1 virtual CPU, 2 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage. But there are 11 other versions, with 2 to 8 virtual CPUs, 4 to 32 GB of RAM, and 64 to 512 GB of storage. So the $162 per month option provides a Cloud PC with 8 virtual CPUs, 32 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of storage.

The lowest prices are for those customers who already have a normal (local) Windows 10 Pro license. Those without one will pay $4 more per user per month. And those enterprises with qualifying Microsoft 365 licenses don’t need any additional licenses to access Windows 10 Enterprise or Microsoft Endpoint Manager with Windows 365 Enterprise, Microsoft says.

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Comments (35)

35 responses to “Windows 365 is Now Available for $20 Per User Per Month and Up”

  1. sherlockholmes

    I just saw it in my Microsoft 365 Admin Center. I still have trouble to find a use case for that product.

    • will

      If you are an admin, I would order one just to kick the tires and see how it works. Personally, I would like to see if there are going to be any thin clients that can directly connect to this, or if MS will have some sort of way to turn a machine into a thin client to connect to this.

      • maglezs

        We are going to use some old Dell OptiPlex PC's with 4GB/128GB SSD drives and Windows 10 as Kiosk Mode using Remote Desktop Client.

        • bluvg

          Windows IoT (the successor to Windows 7 Embedded) might be another option worth considering. Kiosk mode is a bit can be a bit of a pain.

    • bluvg

      If you want a virtual desktop environment without having to research, negotiate, purchase, rack, install, configure, troubleshoot, maintain, and eventually replace, it may be a good option.

    • maglezs

      Latest Windows/Office updates without a problem, manage from Endpoint, forget about troubles user can cause connecting external devices on local pc's, stream remote apps (legacy or not) using azure virtual desktop... connect every user from any device in a secure and manage environment...

      • wright_is

        Our PCs are protected / managed by Endpoint already. External devices are blocked by policy. We have remote support on each PC, so if there are problems, we can remote-fix. And, even if we went with Windows 365, we'd still need to keep and support those local PCs, for them to be able to get access to the Windows 365 instances. If I'm already managing and supporting the local PCs, why would I want the cloud version as well, which costs more than a new PC for an employee per year! (We currently have a 5 year life cycle for PCs, so, depending on configuration, the Windows 365 is between 3 and 5 times as expensive as a local PC, which they have to have anyway, in order to access it...)

    • wright_is

      They are just too darned expensive. You still need a "real" PC of some sort, whether it be a thin client, an existing PC or a laptop (whether ChromeOS, Windows or macOS), which will cost less than the Windows 365 over its lifetime. At $162 for the 8 core, 32GB RAM version, a Ryzen 7 system with 32GB RAM and 1TB storage would be paid for in around 10 months, using current Amazon prices, if I bought over a project contract with Dell etc. it would be even cheaper... And it is sitting on the wrong side of our firewall.

      • digiguy

        The minimum option I would get is 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD which is $75 per month or $900 per month. Well that's the price of an M1 Mac Mini, that can also run Windows. Personally I got that and I remote into it from any device, any time and for how long as I want... And Windows 10 on Arm on the Mac mini works surprising well with parallels and runs all my software...

        Right now I am writing from my iPad pro 12.9 with Magic Keyboard connected to my Mac Mini. And I can do the same with my Windows desktop which has 32GB of RAM...

      • bluvg

        You don't do VDI for cost savings (usually). It's for flexibility--for IT and users--and security/compliance, availability, and manageability.

        There are many use cases where this is valuable; e.g., you have a file server located in Azure (or Azure Files) and need to provide fast, reliable access. Or, perhaps you have lots of temp users working around the country, and you need a streamlined process to provision desktops for them where you can assert greater control over the data--send them a dumb, cheap laptop with minimal setup and have them connect remotely with restricted RDP settings (no print, no copy/paste, etc.; yes, you can't prevent taking photos). If one dies, drop ship another. This provisioning process is typically much more involved if you go the standard workstation route, and Windows Autopilot may not be feasible or address the need.

        It's not for everyone. But there are many companies/industries doing VDI already because it offers some advantages to them that outweigh the costs, even though it's a beast of a project. Letting someone else tackle that beast could look very attractive.

  2. lvthunder

    Any idea what a vCPU is equivalent to?

    • bluvg

      I couldn't find anything in a quick search, but I'm sure someone will post make/model soon (assuming they expose it via Task Manager and elsewhere as normal). Typically, though, these are server-class CPUs (not mobile/power-constrained), so the computer performance is pretty solid. In my experience, the Fair Share tech that balances other sessions (assuming they're continuing to use Windows 10 multi-session as the host) is very good for compute, unless you're wildly over-provisioning the hardware.

      The performance bottlenecks are just trickier with VDI in my experience, usually with weird software issues first, then storage and network, rarely compute (unless something just pounds the processor mercilessly, which can effectively hang a session--but that's a software issue). With multi session (depending on the model of memory sharing), if someone else loads a program into RAM first, it usually benefits when the next person loads it as well. So... in a few situations, the performance can be better than physical. But when you have to troubleshoot a weird performance issue, there are so many variables involved, it can be like an NTSB investigation.

    • wright_is

      A single core of a normal processor. Probably some Xeon core at ~3Ghz.

      It is the same as a vCPU on Hyper-V, VMware, KVM etc.

  3. vladimir

    one thing that I learned only by reading the FAQ is that there are data transfer limits. It's 12 GB per month for basic

    • bluvg

      Unless I'm reading the FAQ wrong, that's the included outbound amount, not a limit. Presumably, if your network traffic is within your Azure tenant, there's no additional cost.

  4. ringofvoid


    Everybody's talkin' 'bout Cloud PC

    Funny, but it's still VDI to me

  5. kingpcgeek

    All of my prices show the higher $4 for no Pro License. I wonder if that is because I don't buy Windows licenses from MS since all of the PCs I buy come with one?

  6. gregsedwards

    Once this thing gets down to the "free with Microsoft 365 for Families" price point, then I'll take a look.

    (I still think it's the future, BTW.)

  7. waethorn

    The low-tier version is Windows Vista-Ready on time for Windows 11.

    The Wow Starts… about 15 years too late.

  8. brothernod

    What's the market for this? Who is going to pay $20+ a month per user?

    Asking out of ignorance not judging.

    • blue77star

      You would be surprised.

    • wright_is

      As an admin in an SME, I ask the same question. You still need the local client PC in order to access the Windows 365 PC and that local PC costs a lot less than the Windows 365 instance - and I have to pay for it anyway, whether I have W365 or not... And the W365 instance is sitting on the wrong side of the corporate firewall, so additional traffic over the Internet pipe and VPN clogged up.

  9. navarac

    Although Microsoft never officially said that Windows 10 was the last version of Windows, they DID say that they were not bringing in a subscription for Windows. Well, people, they are, and have. Perhaps, businesses, it's time to seriously consider Linux (and not wishy-washy WSL within Windows).

    • behindmyscreen

      It wasn't even from the official people who officially or unofficially say things.

    • wright_is

      They have always had Windows subscription models. It used to be called Software Assurance and Windows Pro or Enterprise are included in many Microsoft 365 plans.

      It is just consumers and small businesses who have never had to rent Windows - although, for Windows Pro or Enterprise with SA, you still need an original license on the PC you are installing it on!?!?

    • lezmaka

      If that's what you think this means then this isn't anything new. You've been able to "subscribe" to Windows for a while with Azure virtual desktops.

    • lvthunder

      This is not a subscription for Windows. This is a subscription for a cloud product. Just because you use the two for the same purpose and it looks the same doesn't mean it's the same thing. What they said is no subscription for the Windows you install locally on your hardware.

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