{Disarmed} This is how it is working with Windows 365, the "Windows 10 in the cloud": we even tested it on an iPad, an Android mobile and a Raspberry Pi

This is working with Windows 365, the

Imagine a super basic job. A very modest computer connected to a monitor, a mouse and a keyboard . One that would barely give room to work with Windows 10 ... if what you were using were a "normal" version of Windows 10.

For that computer, it would actually be enough to have support for the Windows remote desktop or a browser to do everything that a much more powerful PC does. How? Thanks to Windows 365 , that kind of "streaming Windows 10" that makes everything run from the cloud almost without you noticing. In xiaomist.com we have tried it these days, and this is our experience.

Windows 10 with a very business profile

For the ordinary user, Windows 365 probably does not make much sense: each of us likes to manage and customize our operating system and install and uninstall whatever we want. We don't usually want to depend on a central entity to take care of everything, and in essence each PC runs its own installation of Windows 10.

Gimp2

However, there is a scenario where managing many PCs and many users, each from your father and mother , can be difficult. Companies that work with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of computers have always been a major focus of Microsoft, and in fact managing huge numbers of computers has always been feasible.

However, the company has gone a step further with Windows 365, a kind of 'Windows in the cloud' that works in a very similar way to how video game streaming does .

The user's computer does almost nothing, and it is a remote server that takes care of almost all the process work that the user then sees on their screen as if they were doing it on their own computer. Just like one can play a video game without even installing it on their PC, one can work with the latest version of Office in Windows 10 without having that operating system on their computer.

Windows 365 is indeed agnostic as to the way we access it. We can do it from a computer with some version of Windows, of course, but we can also do it from a computer with Linux or macOS : it will be enough to open a browser compatible with HTML5 (all modern ones are) or, if we prefer, a client with Microsoft remote desktop protocol support.

Windows 365 operation poses a unique and probably attractive model for many companies. They avoid having to "get their hands dirty" with pure hardware , they avoid buying PCs and laptops that they later have to maintain, and they have those "virtual" computers in which all applications and data are always available on remote computers to which their users can be accessed from different platforms.

Processor

RAM

Storage

Price

1 vCPU

2 GB

64 GB

$ 24 / month

2 vCPU

4GB

64 GB

$ 32 / month

2 vCPU

4GB

128 GB

$ 35 / month

2 vCPU

4GB

256 GB

$ 44 / month

2 vCPU

8 GB

128 GB

$ 45 / month

2 vCPU

8 GB

256 GB

$ 54 / month

4 vCPU

16 GB

128 GB

$ 70 / month

4 vCPU

16 GB

256 GB

$ 79 / month

4 vCPU

16 GB

512 GB

$ 105 / month

8 vCPU

32 GB

128 GB

$ 127 / month

8 vCPU

32 GB

256 GB

$ 136 / month

8 vCPU

32 GB

512 GB

$ 162 / month

There are two large groups of subscriptions in Windows 365, Business and Enterprise, and the prices and configurations are identical in both except for one factor: the limits of users, licenses and management of those computers. Those prices vary according to the configuration, which in our case has been a relatively modest: 2 vCPUs, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of disk capacity . This configuration would have a monthly cost of 45 dollars per month.

Everything up and running in 5 minutes (or less)

Accessing Windows 365 is therefore extremely simple. We wanted to first try with the Microsoft Edge browser, and after opening it and accessing the service website , we were asked for a username and password that Microsoft provided us to test the service for 30 days .

Win365 1

After entering those credentials - which correspond to an account with the name ('Ashley Schroeder') that we do not have privileges to modify - "Your Cloud PCs" are displayed. In our case, a virtual machine with a dual-core processor, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of capacity .

As we mentioned, we can directly start that PC in the cloud within the browser - we tested with Microsoft Edge - and when doing so, a small warning window will appear in the browser that indicates which resources on our computer we want to be able to have accessible on the remote computer: We can activate or deactivate the clipboard, the printer, the microphone or the transfer of files for preview.

Win365 Permissions

Even so, in that same panel that is shown in the browser before logging in, Microsoft emphasizes that it is also possible to download and install the remote desktop client (Remote Desktop) that allows you to work better with that remote machine .

Win365 2

In fact, the difference is seen, for example, in the desktop resolution itself: when we open it in the browser, the scaling of fonts and visual objects (icons, menus, etc.) is not entirely fine , and everything appears slightly blurry because the resolution of the browser is not usually the optimal one that allows us to work as if we were in front of a monitor with a native resolution.

Win365 xiaomist.com Windows 10 within an instance of Microsoft Edge on Windows 11. Not clearly distinguishable, but non-native working resolution makes definition of fonts and visuals less than ideal.

That changes by installing Remote Desktop and accessing that PC in the cloud from there . In the administration panel of our PCs in the cloud not only do download links appear to different remote desktops for Windows, macOS, iOS or Android, but also the subscription URL appears, which is nothing more than a very special web address that We can copy and paste in the Remote Desktop client to access our Windows 365 session.

Win365 All If we access Windows 365 from the remote desktop, everything goes much finer not only in the resolution, but also in the capture of keyboard shortcuts and special keys.

From there, working with that remote machine is like doing it naturally with a Windows 10 computer. Everything works basically the same, and we can open applications and use them, download data and even play videos on YouTube , something that may not work great because of the added latency in the broadcast.

That doesn't really matter: Microsoft's idea with Windows 365 is certainly not that we can open YouTube videos or play video games — for that they have Xbox Game Pass and xCloud — but rather to use these computers as office workstations .

Decent performance, nothing more (and somewhat expensive)

The power of the remote machine that we have been able to test was certainly limited: a quick test with Geekbench 5 showed that the performance of these virtual cores was decent, without more .

Geekbench Powerful, what is said powerful, is not.

It's hard to compare it to anything, but the 786s in the Single Core test are pretty much what we'd get with a 2015 Core i7-5557U, while the 947s in Multi Core approximate the performance of the late-'10s Intel Core M-5Y10. 2014 .

Download shop We can download and install applications normally from Microsoft Store or externally (as we did with Geekbench 5 or CPU-Z).

Microsoft offers more powerful and solvent configurations (and expensive, of course) for these work teams, but it must be recognized that functionally the proposal behaves correctly .

Word The PC in the cloud has access to a pre-installed version of Office 365 that we can use from the first moment.

It is not particularly smooth and sometimes the loading in the browser or the opening of applications may be slightly delayed, but we must bear in mind that we are working with remote machines , and that the latencies involved make the interaction with them complex.

Myths and realities of working with Windows 10 on an iPad, an Android smartphone or a Raspberry Pi

Windows 365 works fine if you access it from a conventional computer, but what about the promise of cloud streaming? What if I want to run that Windows 10 from other different devices but that should theoretically offer a decent experience?

That's often the promise of the cloud: that you can watch, play, or work from any device, at any time. The reality, at least in the case of Windows 365, is somewhat different , and here it is important to bear in mind that this type of remote session requires a more or less fluid source computer.

We checked it in our tests when trying to connect to Windows 365 from a standard 10.2-inch iPad, from an Android mobile (my Huawei P30 Pro) and even from a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. What were the conclusions?

The iPad was the device that offered the best experience : although its 10.2-inch screen was not exactly optimal to display a desktop like Windows 10 in an optimal way, it was possible to work without problems, especially if we adopted the format of applications on screen complete.

Win365 Ipad

With the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B we were able to verify that although the important work is certainly done by the server, we also need certain requirements on the device on which we run the experience.

Thus, the small miniPC is limited by its processor and RAM, which make the browser used (Chromium within Raspberry Pi OS) an obstacle that makes the experience of working with Windows 365 in this format rather undesirable.

Win365 Rpi

That was a slight disappointment, especially since one might think that in the end it would not be necessary to have a particularly powerful computer to be able to take advantage of that remote desktop that Microsoft offers.

In the case of the Raspberry Pi we actually try to connect with a tool like Remmina that supports the Windows remote desktop, but neither this nor other options are capable of supporting the so-called workspaces or "Workspaces" which are the mode of Windows 365 operation.

Win365 Android

We also tried connecting to our remote desktop with an Android mobile. Specifically with a Huawei P30 Pro that can be connected to an external monitor and that has "Desktop Mode" to facilitate a productivity scenario more similar to the one we have with operating systems such as Windows 10.

In this case, we were able to connect with some fluency to Windows 365 again, but again the experience was not particularly smooth . Perhaps it is a matter of polishing the service, but today of the three devices in which we tested Windows 365, only the standard iPad made it possible to work in a somewhat decent way with this remote desktop.

That certainly leaves a bittersweet feeling, and it seems clear that to work with this service it is highly recommended to have a team that, although modest, can take on the extra load that this type of connection demands from both the browser and the remote desktop client (yes is that we have a client application for the platform from which we want to test).

Windows 365, the opinion of xiaomist.com

As we say, the service may not be completely "fine" yet and that Microsoft will optimize these connections in the future - it has already done so with xCloud, for example - but of course this is an option that poses interesting scenarios especially for companies , which is precisely what the Redmond proposals are aimed at.

Win365 7 The Windows 365 approach may be relevant for businesses, which can thus control these virtual PCs without having to deal with physical hardware.

The theory is that the service eradicates the need to equip a team of workers with their own hardware : the idea is that they can access a Windows desktop managed by the company, but from other devices.

The truth is that this idea is not so free of ties, and we will not use "any device" to be able to work with solvency . The virtual PC that is offered with Windows 365 is not particularly powerful unless we pay a high fee, but the computer from which we access must also have - at least, judging by our tests - specifications that at least be modest.

The iPad is not misbehaving, but I don't think day-to-day work was entirely bearable on a stage with that tablet as the basis of experience. Things were even worse with the P30 Pro (let's not say the RPi 3) with which we also tested, and although it is possible to work and use that desktop discreetly, its usability loses many integers if the host hardware is not more decent. .

This experience can of course be influenced by the latency imposed by current connections : as far as we know, Windows 365 works on servers in the United States, and that also introduces difficulties when it comes to creating a smooth experience.

Win365 Desktop2

It is also important to understand that the experience offered with Windows 365 is much better if we connect with the remote desktop client , which gives much more notable access to the hardware of our computer (webcam, good resolution).

That makes Windows 365 a proposal with a somewhat complicated present: does it not pay in the end to buy a laptop or a modest PC, which one will amortize quite quickly , instead of paying a certain amount per month for Windows 365? A priori the answer seems to be clear, and working with your own team currently has more advantages than those offered by Microsoft's proposal.

It does so at least for the worker as an individual entity: it is evident that for a company it is interesting to manage its "virtual computer park" in this way , but even so the cost seems to be high despite the advantages that can be obtained from a scenario such as posed by Microsoft.

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This may all change in the future, of course, and there are indeed striking options for Windows 365, which thanks to its modern browser support could make it possible for us to work and enjoy a Windows 10 desktop from many other platforms - one Smart TV? A PS5 or an Xbox Series X? A car ?? - but one ends up wondering if that way of working today has any obvious advantage over the traditional one . At the moment that is not clear at all.

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The news This is how it is working with Windows 365, the "Windows 10 in the cloud": we even tested it on an iPad, an Android mobile and a Raspberry Pi. It was originally published in xiaomist.com by Javier Pastor .

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