Pros & Cons of Using the Windows 365 Cloud PC

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Using a computer will never be the same. Users now have the option to work on a traditional, offline computer system or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). The transition to a full VDI system is well underway. Many corporations have begun to embrace a VDI. Nevertheless, many others are still on the fence about implementing a VDI. With the launch of Windows 365 Cloud PC, choosing a VDI system has gotten easier. Thus, discussing the pros and cons of a Windows 365 Cloud PC VDI system is important.

PROS

1.   Improved Security

With many companies employing remote workers, security concerns are at an all-time high. Specifically, allowing employees to store company information on their local computers may pose a security risk. After all, computers are subject to loss, theft, and hacking. Needless to say, a data breach can become a costly situation for any organization.

Since Windows 365 Cloud PC does not install any files on a physical computer, the risk of a data breach drops drastically. In particular, Windows 365 Cloud PC stores data on Microsoft’s servers. Therefore, workers do not have access to any physical files. Everything they work on gets stored on the cloud. Likewise, file retrieval takes place on the cloud. Ultimately, the organization has total control over the files employees handle while in their workplace environment.

2.   Reduced hardware costs

Typically, organizations need to invest in computing power and storage to manage their data. This investment generally entails spending resources on expanding storage regularly. Moreover, additional storage means more computing power to process it.

With Windows 365 Cloud PC, this need practically disappears. Organizations only need to invest in the computing power needed to access the Windows 365 Cloud PC server and process files. Computing power then largely depends on the apps needed to manage files. Also, please remember that Windows 365 Cloud PC can easily scale to fit any size team, especially for fast-growing organizations.

3.   Great for hybrid team collaboration

Since COVID, hybrid work has become the new norm. Therefore, organizations that largely depend on remote workers will find that a cloud desktop environment greatly facilitates hybrid work.

How so?

Under a non-cloud desktop, workers need to manage data and upload it themselves. Often, this process comes with a time delay. Team members can work on files in real-time with a Windows 365 Cloud PC desktop environment. Moreover, multiple team members can work on single files simultaneously.

With companies now more reliant on remote workers than ever, a cloud desktop creates a single work environment regardless of employees’ physical location.

CONS

1.   A cloud desktop environment does not work offline

Indeed, a Windows 365 Cloud PC environment does not work offline. Therefore, employees must be in a location where they have internet access. This condition may be an issue in locations where there is no internet connection or unreliable electricity. In those situations, workers may have trouble accessing the cloud desktop.

Consequently, organizations must ensure that employees have regular internet access. As a result, organizations may require new remote employees to ensure they have consistent internet access and electricity.

2.   A VDI requires a fast internet connection

Having a reliable internet connection is not enough to run an efficient VDI. A solid internet speed is also a must. Organizations that rely on remote workers may have issues with their employees’ internet speeds. This situation may become an issue with work-from-home employees.

How so?

Generally speaking, residential internet packages have lower speeds than enterprise ones. Consequently, a traditional home internet connection may be insufficient to guarantee efficient, real-time access to the VDI.

A solution to this situation is for companies to subsidize an internet speed upgrade for their employees. Since the onset of the COVID pandemic, companies have invested in boosting their work-from-home employees’ internet speeds. This investment has led to significant productivity boosts. Nevertheless, it is an added expense that both companies and employees must consider.

3.   Windows 365 Cloud PC is subscription-based

The standard Windows license consists of a one-time payment for full access. New computers with pre-installed Windows often do not require users to pay for activation.

This situation changes with Windows 365 Cloud PC. Windows 365 Cloud PC is a subscription-based service. Therefore, users must pay month-to-month to gain access to the cloud desktop and its apps. There are various Windows 365 Cloud PC packages to consider. Here is a breakdown:

Processor RAM Storage Monthly Subscription Monthly Hybrid Benefit
2 vCPU 4 GB RAM 64GB storage $32 per user $28 per user
2 vCPU 4 GB RAM 128 GB storage $35 per user $31 per user
2 vCPU 4 GB RAM 256 GB storage $44 per user $40 per user
2 vCPU 8 GB RAM 128 GB storage $45 per user $41 per user
2 vCPU 8 GB RAM 256 GB storage $54 per user $50 per user
4 vCPU 16 GB RAM 128 GB storage $70 per user $66 per user
4 vCPU 16 GB RAM 256 GB storage $79 per user $75 per user
4 vCPU 16 GB RAM 512 GB storage $105 per user $101 per user
8 vCPU 32 GB RAM 128 GB storage $127 per user $123 per user
8 vCPU 32 GB RAM 256 GB storage $136 per user $132 per user
8 vCPU 32 GB RAM 512 GB storage $162 per user $158 per user

Source: Microsoft, 2022.

While Windows 365 Cloud PC’s cost depends on the number of users, it is easy to scale up or down according to the organization’s needs. Nevertheless, Windows 365 Cloud PC’s cost may become a significant drawback when an organization is substantially large. In such cases, organizations can consider using a hybrid work model. In this model, employees who handle non-sensitive materials or do not manage customer information may work with a traditional setup (local file storage with a one-time Windows license). Thus, organizations can choose to pay for the users that truly need access to the cloud desktop environment.

Conclusion

With most organizations moving to a fully remote work environment or a hybrid work model, it makes sense to explore Windows 365 Cloud PC. The best part is that organizations can scale up or down as needs dictate. Moreover, organizations can cancel at any time. Ultimately, Windows 365 Cloud PC is worth trying before committing to a single work model.

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