back to article Microsoft suspends free trials for Windows 365 after a day due to 'significant demand'

A free two-month trial for Windows 365, a virtual PC running Windows 10 on Microsoft's Azure cloud, has been withdrawn after only a day having "reached capacity." A note on the Windows 365 product page states: "Following significant demand, we have reached capacity for Windows 365 trials," and offers a signup to be notified …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I call bullsh*t.

    They have offered free trial Azure Windows VMs for ages. Why would people suddenly flock to them now?

    They are artificially limiting availability to build up hype for a non-technology.

    1. bridgebuilder

      >Why would people suddenly flock to them now?

      Because the non-cloudy products are getting worse.

      Teams regularly hogging 100% CPU on a decently specced machine? Ah well, lots of people have been complaining for a year but apparently this is not really a priority for MS to fix. Or MS is not capable of fixing it.

    2. J27

      I think it's because Microsoft has gotten better at blocking cryptocurrency miners abusing Azure DevOps free trials, so they've moved on to abusing Windows 365 free trials instead.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    A free trial removed after a single day

    That smacks of very, very poor forecasting and provisioning. Also a bit of skinflintery lurking about.

    Come on Borkzilla, you've got enough money to support two days of free trial !

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: A free trial removed after a single day

      Probably MS forgot, with 1.5 billion users, a million is a small number of users (less than 0.07%), but that is a lot of capacity to provision and have available.

      Which does raise the question does MS seriously believe that the majority of the 1.5Bn Windows users will move to Windows 365?

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: A free trial removed after a single day

        What's windows again?

        I've been on Linux since 2008, although to be fair Gnome 3 is pretty shit.

  3. Mishak Silver badge

    How much?

    An eight core system for $158 a month? An 8-core (16 thread) MacBook pro is "only" $267 a month, and you own it after a year...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How much?

      Terrible idea. How is Microsoft able to monetise us plebs with that logic? ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How much?

      "But 158 is less than 267" (spoken by some beancounter in a Nigel Tufnel tone)

    3. Richard Plinston

      Re: How much?

      > An eight core system for $158 a month?

      You have forgotten to add in the client machine cost and the cost of upgrading your bandwidth.

    4. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: How much?

      8 vCPUs means 8 threads, so basically an i3. The cheapest Intel Mac Mini will beat it on performance. The M1 will be faster still for some workloads, though not typical Windows workloads if it is something that can’t run natively on Mac.

      1. Geez Money

        Re: How much?

        Yup, beat me to it. This isn't something you pay off after a year, this pays off after 2 months. Maybe faster if you pay per GB on upload.

        In many cases whatever cheapo computer is being used as a thin client is going to outperform the thing it's connecting to.

        The reasons you might want this go along the lines of security and ease of mobility, say your sales droid is going to China and needs a trusted computer or your developer is working with sensitive data and everything needs to be in a controlled environment and audited. Moving everyday computing to these instances makes no sense at all.

        1. Georgski

          Re: How much?

          A bank I worked at wanted it for their summer internship programme. They gain 1000 extra staff (or some huge number) over summer and then lose them when their next year starts at uni.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How much?

            But didn't they need 1000 client machines? Or does it go with BYOD?

            1. ITMA Bronze badge

              Re: How much?

              BYOD, or as it is otherwise known:

              Bring Your Own Disaster

        2. Zolko Silver badge

          Re: How much?

          or your developer is working with sensitive data

          you put "sensitive" data in the "cloud" ?

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    Should it not be called Windows 361 or something

    so that users are aware of how many days a year that they can use it, the missing 4 days being when it is down or unreachable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Should it not be called Windows 361 or something

      It makes sense for their Office service, O365. The "O" indicates octal base, which is 245 in decimal (representing the 245 days per year of operation you are promised).

      "W" is apparently some newfangled base notation I didn't learn in school.

      1. bridgebuilder

        Re: Should it not be called Windows 361 or something

        >The "O" indicates octal base

        Wrong. The "O" stands for "Occasional".

        1. N2

          Re: Should it not be called Windows 361 or something

          I thought it was Outage 3, 6 or 5 days

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Should it not be called Windows 361 or something

      I refer to “Office 356”. I’ll do the same for Windows.

  5. StrangerHereMyself Bronze badge


    Most likely for a botnet or crypto-currency mining.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Botnet

      I mean, if it costs $150/month, and you can mine $160 worth of crypto then it's a good* idea.

      * for certain values of 'good'

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Botnet

        Or if it costs $0 and you can mine $0.00001 of crypto-currency, a much more likely scenario.

        These machines are definitely not optimised for mining.

  6. cmdrklarg

    "Free trial"

    More like free QA testing.

    1. Craig 2

      Re: free QA testing

      That's the general release edition usually...

  7. Anonymous Coward


    But I thought the cloud was elastic and could expand to meet demand!

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: elastic?

      Obligatory XKCD.

  8. Kev99 Silver badge

    Why anyone in his/her right mind would want to allow a single bit of there data to be entrusted to microsoft on the bunch-of-holes-held-together-with-string is beyond me.

  9. Howard Sway Silver badge

    this is how it is, you will be assigned a location randomly

    Er, I am in a location. It is "where I am". My location is not something that can be "assigned", randomly or not. You can't pass this tripe off as a feature, it should be one of the more basic features to correctly set the user location. Doesn't inspire confidence in anything more advanced if they can't get this simple thing right.

  10. LybsterRoy Silver badge

    Hey - I remember mainframes

  11. Archivist

    Microsoft's master plan

    When I heard Microsoft announce that Windows 10 would be the last Windows OS, it came to mind that they might move to a fully cloud model. After all, they make far more out of cloud services than OS sales. Well clearly they are not quite ready for it since they are releasing Windows 11.

    But like it or not, I think it's the future, a web browser page replaces your desktop.

  12. Roland6 Silver badge

    "Audio and video streaming also seems to be an issue for some...."

    From my RDS/Citrix experience I thought poor streaming due to the trombone-effect, was part and parcel of the remote experience.

  13. Tron

    Another excellent opportunity to quote Nancy Reagan.

    I'm keeping my tech and my storage, even if I have to buy enough kit to last me the rest of my life.

    The computer revolution empowered individual users by giving them their own kit. Don't let them 'take back control'.

    The subscription model is a con. It works for business as they can sack some of their tech staff and give everyone a terminal instead of a computer. But as a user you lose more. It is the difference between owning a house and renting one. Rent and your landlord has a key to your door.

    Chromebook or cloudOS, they are all iterations of the old terminal model. To quote Nancy Reagan, 'just say no'.

  14. Mike-H

    I wonder how many of these free trial VMs were put to work mining crypto?

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