As part of its hybrid work event today, Microsoft announced several useful enhancements to Windows 365, its Cloud PC offering.
“As the pandemic begins to slowly recede, and companies look to adopt more permanent hybrid work strategies, new integrated features are needed to enable more flexible ways of working,” Microsoft general manager Wangui McKelvey explains. “So, we’re bringing the power of the cloud and familiarity of the PC together, giving people an even more seamless Windows experience without sacrificing security.”
While it’s not clear when these new features will arrive, Microsoft has announced the following Windows 365 updates:
Windows 365 app. This new native app for Windows will let users get to their Cloud PC from Start or the Taskbar.
Windows 365 Boot. This new feature will let users designate their Cloud PC as their primary Windows experience on their physical PC and sign into it directly.
Windows 365 Switch. This interesting new capability will let users switch between their Cloud PC and local PC more easily, using Task view in the taskbar, familiar keyboard shortcuts, a mouse/touchpad, or gestures. (Curiously, in the announcement, Microsoft refers to Task view as “Task Switcher,” which may indicate that it is being renamed.)
Windows 365 Offline. As you would expect from the name, this feature will let users access their Cloud PC even when they’re offline, and any changes will sync as soon as connectivity is restored.
As you may recall, Microsoft announced Windows 365 in July 2021 and made the new service available to commercial customers that August for $20 per user per month and up. If you’re curious about the current user experience, you can read my overviews on Windows and on Mac, Chromebook, and Mac.