back to article Microsoft to intro dedicated mode for Cloud PCs

Microsoft has begun rolling out fresh Windows 365 Boot features, starting with its Windows Insider program. Build 23601 for the Dev Channel – not quite stable, but not quite bleeding edge – includes a pair of notable enhancements alongside the usual raft of relatively minor tweaks and fixes. One concerns the Windows 365 Cloud …

  1. Chris Warrick
    WTF?

    Windows 365 Boot?

    I don't really see the point of Windows 365 Boot. You’re giving your employees modern hardware powerful enough to run Windows 11, and the only thing it’s used for is remote desktop. Why? Why not get them cheaper thin clients? Or alternatively, why not just use Windows 11 on that PC?

    1. MatthewSt

      Re: Windows 365 Boot?

      Especially as you could buy them a good mid-spec laptop every year for the subscription price

    2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

      Re: Windows 365 Boot?

      If I've got Internet connectivity, I can just remotely connect to my desktop PC via RDP through SSH.

      1. b1k3rdude

        Re: Windows 365 Boot?

        If you going to have employees do that, then do it should be done properly, as in to a VM where its can be managed and the hardware costs and maintenance are much easier to manage.

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Re: Windows 365 Boot?

          What are the advantages to giving employees both a desktop PC and a virtual PC?

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Windows 365 Boot?

      I think the theory is that you could use cheaper laptops that would be like thin clients. However, I don't see why you would want to. A desktop running in Azure only really makes sense if you need fast access to other resources that are also in Azure. If you need a desktop to quickly retrieve gigabytes from a database running in Azure, perform some operation on that data, and send the result to another server up there, then it makes some sense to run the desktop in the cloud so those large transfers don't have to go through the user's ISP. If the user is reading emails and writing documents, having a desktop in a datacenter somewhere does nothing for them. Neither is the cloud desktop good from a cost perspective. I really don't see the selling point for most users, no matter how easy they make it to log into one.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Windows 365 Boot?

        My broadband is slow making uploads a thing to be scheduled overnight. Typically, it's installers that I want to keep in OneDrive.

        I looked into the idea of a cloud PC but couldn't make it cost effective. In the end, I just have a Windows VM in Azure that I use for an hour or so each time.

      2. Sampler

        Re: Windows 365 Boot?

        I imagine it's useful from a data protection perspective, no data is on the end users device.

        We all know disk encryption is feasible (especially on modern devices where it's almost unnoticeable in the performance hit), but there's still a question mark around well, it could be decrypted, so, if you're super paranoid about dataloss, this would fill that niche.

        Guess it also works with employee termination, soon as their login is invalidated so is there access to any data.

        But, it is niche. Can't see this level of paranoia being needed by most use cases.

        1. FIA Silver badge

          Re: Windows 365 Boot?

          If I'm that paranoid, surely running a machine on someone else's cloud and hardware would also be a big no-no?

    4. 43300 Silver badge

      Re: Windows 365 Boot?

      Yes, quite - seems totally pointless: pay for a W11-capable machine AND the cloudy VM. This was announced a while back and I had a look at the steps to configure it - looked ridiculously complicated! Don't know whether they've streamlined it now (and don't think I can be arsed to look as it's clearly something which I am never going to have cause to use!)

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why?

      Simples...

      This is MS's play to make the likes of Intel and AMD bankwupt.

      With everything in the cloud why do users need anything more than a chrome book type machine on their desks? They don't.

      Wake up people... MS wants to own all your data in their clouds. Soon, the traditional PC based windows will only be available to special order where you can prove the need to NOT PUT YOUR DATA IN THEIR CLOUD. Yes, prove.

      Makes their support costs almost zero. Next will come all Server installs. As Freddie Mercury used to sing, "I want it all and I want it now!"

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 365 Boot?

      Cheaper than having a disaster recovery site / 2 of your own DCs for your desktop stuff.

    7. Tim 11

      Re: Windows 365 Boot?

      It's not remote desktop - remote desktop is a legacy technology that was around in the 90's and allowed people to do the kind of things they wanted to do in the 90's. Cloud PC is a completely brand new cutting-edge name for the exact same technology which now enables people to handle today's workloads.

    8. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
      Unhappy

      Re: Windows 365 Boot?

      Because if you work locally, how do Microsoft make even more money from your employers? This isn't about what's good for you or your employers, it's about what's good for Micros~1's profits.

    9. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Windows 365 Boot?

      Lots of companies already use RDP / Citrix, etc. This can reduce maintenance and data centre overheads. The risks include putting all your data onto someone else's servers. But when has that ever stopped the beancounters?

  2. ecofeco Silver badge
    FAIL

    Oh goody

    More fresh hell.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oh goody

      Upvote for the Dorothy Parker reference!

  3. Tron Silver badge

    Windows 365 Cloud PCs.

    Turn your expensive kit into a Chromebook/dumb terminal for a modest additional fee.

    Amusing if the US and EU fall out over tech issues, privacy, data location, protecting the children etc, and all EU-based Windows Cloud machines stop functioning. It's China now, but under Trump, the EU is a competitor more than an ally.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Windows 365 Cloud PCs.

      "but under Trump"

      The only thing under Trump is his fat, orange arse, and the very few sycophants & quislings still willing to kiss it.

      1. steelpillow Silver badge

        Re: Windows 365 Cloud PCs.

        and the fact that the vast majority of Republican congressmen are afraid to put up any other candidate in case the moonlight still shines on his coffin.

  4. sedregj
    Windows

    Car analogy

    Imagine if your car turned into a bus. A really small bus. It has a driver (not you), you are simply the passenger. You don't own "your" bus. You don't have to maintain your bus much but if it breaks, you will pay and it might work again.

    You can only have things in your bus that are approved by the bus company.

    If you put something in the glove compartment, it may still be there tomorrow ... or not. Having a glove compartment in the first place will cost you a subscription.

    The bus company will ratchet up the fare/subscription until your pips squeak.

    That's your MS 365 workstation that is; but not mine.

  5. b1k3rdude

    Any sysadmin or IT manager that thinks this is a good idea needs to be mocked relentlessly and at every oppertunity. And were that reality check fail, it would be time to find a different company to work for that isnt so myopicly inept.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Linux

      re: be mocked relentlessly

      Very true but when the beancounters hear about this... they have already been sold on 'The Cloud' as a way of reducing CapEx but Increasing OpEx they'd see those pesky capital budgets trending to zero on their Excel Spreadsheet graphs (they won't move to the cloud).

      "We are doomed I tell ye, doomed"

  6. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Windows

    20 years further

    down the rabbit hole of history...

    Keep data secure, have fast access to it on your desktop... buy a m$ personal PC , you'll be sure to work while others are waiting for their broadband to come back....

  7. Dagg Silver badge

    F*cked by Optus

    Not something you would want to use in Australia.

  8. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    Copilot

    "minimizing disruption to other user activities."

    Disruption, you say? Take some newfangled AI superClippy, ram it into every nook and cranny you can find regardless of whether it's useful or even wanted, and this causes disruption? I'm shocked! Shocked, I say!

    I don't suppose they'd entertain the notion of dispensing with the bloody thing altogether in the interests of not disrupting user activities at all? No, thought not.

  9. steelpillow Silver badge

    Thin client, anybody?

    Remember the good old days of thin clients / smart terminals?

    No working offline. If the network went down, you went for a coffee.

    Nowadays of course the MS model is whenever the network goes down yet again. Secure handshaking and access controls offer just so many more dimensions to the timeout surface.

    Looks like we'll be drinking an awful lot of coffee next year...

  10. sschuchart

    Been there, done that

    Remote desktops have been around for years, and there are a few use cases for them. But its never worked out - CPU and memory on a server is a hell of a lot more expensive than it is on a desktop or laptop. The numbers *never* work out in most cases. Plus, they always suck. Always.

    The easiest way to get excited beancounters and pinhead executives to backtrack away from this is to ensure that THEY are the first users. Won't take a week before they opt out.

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