Here are some of the common questions we have seen and heard from partners and customers surrounding the recently-release Windows 365 Cloud PC from Microsoft. If you have other questions you're wanting to know, please comment below and we will update this post.
What is Windows 365 Cloud PC?
Cloud PC is a Microsoft 365 subscription-based service where you pay a fixed price per month for a dedicated, personal desktop
Is Windows 365 replacing Azure Virtual Desktop?
No, Windows 365 Cloud PC is a new service and is complementary to Azure Virtual Desktop.
What is the biggest difference between Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop?
Windows 365 Cloud PC is a fixed price monthly subscription service with a single-user desktop assigned to each user and is part of Microsoft 365 suite. Azure Virtual Desktop is a consumption-based service where you only pay for what is used. AVD offers personal and pooled desktops as well as RemoteApps, while Windows 365 is all about persistent single-user desktops.
Will Nerdio Manager support Windows 365?
Yes, Nerdio Manager for MSP and Nerdio Manager for Enterprise support Windows 365 from day one.
Will I be able to use both Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop with Nerdio Manager?
Yes, you can deploy and manage both Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop in Nerdio Manager. This gives you the flexibility to choose the virtual desktop solution that makes sense for your use-case. You can even manage both AVD and Windows 365 from the same Nerdio Manager console.
What advantages do I have when using Nerdio Manager to manage Windows 365 as opposed to native Microsoft tools?
Existing Nerdio customers are able to manage AVD and Windows 365 in the same console. We also make it easy to deploy Windows 365 by enabling you to create provisioning policies, network connections and user settings as well as manage your images, restart and re-provision Windows 365 - all within the familiar Nerdio console.
What type of users would benefit from Windows 365?
If your users want dedicated performance delivered by single-user desktops, then Windows 365 may be the product for them. Windows 365 licenses are fixed price and you don’t need to worry about auto-scaling.
How many Windows 365 versions are there?
There are 2 versions Windows 365: 1. Enterprise – designed for enterprise and SMB customers and managed through Microsoft Endpoint Manager. 2. Business – designed for very small businesses and managed directly by the desktop’s end user.
What are the minimum requirements for the Enterprise Cloud PCs?
The requirement are somewhat similar to Azure Virtual Desktop. At minimum, you need an Azure subscription, VNETs configured with communication to Active Directory and Azure AD Hybrid Join Enabled, and, of course, a fully configured Microsoft Endpoint Manager environment.
What are the requirements for Business Cloud PCs?
There are no Azure or identity requirements. To set up a Business Cloud PCs, you just need to assign a Business Cloud PC license in the Microsoft 365 Admin Portal and the new desktop will be provisioned for the user.
Is Azure Active Directory Domain Services supported?
Azure Active Directory Domain Services is not supported with Enterprise Cloud PCs.
What do I need to do if I only have Azure Active Directory Domain Services?
You will need to migrate all your users from you Azure Active Directory Domain services to a full Active Directory domain and configure Hybrid AD Join. Azure AD Join will be supported in the future.
Will my Windows 365 Cloud PC be shared with other users?
With Windows 365, you are assigned to your own personal desktop, so you are guaranteed the performance and availability. With Azure Virtual Desktop, you have the option to run multi-session desktops where multiple users can use the same VM and same on infrastructure costs.
Do I need a profile management solution like FSLogix for Windows 365?
No. Windows 365, by default, uses a local profile and does not need a FSLogix since you always log into the same VM. The profiles are stored on the C: drive and should be backed up.
Can I use my own custom image in Windows 365 Cloud PC?
Yes, with Enterprise Cloud PCs you can use a custom image that you upload, and you can also use an image created using Nerdio Manager. With Business Cloud PCs, custom images are not supported and you must use an Azure Gallery Windows 10/11 image.
Does Windows 365 need a separate license?
Yes, it does. You assign a Windows 365 license on a per-user basis via the Microsoft 365 Admin Portal.
How do I connect to my Windows 365 desktop?
You connect the same way that you do with your existing AVD Desktop. You can use the Remote Desktop Client or a web portal (https://cloudpc.microsoft.com).
How can I integrate Windows 365 into my existing environment?
With Enterprise Cloud PCs, Microsoft manages the Cloud PC VM and OS disk resources. However, the virtual NIC is injected into your own VNET which gives you connectivity to your existing resources like file servers, Active Directory, and application servers. When you configure the Cloud PC provisioning policy, you select which VNET to use for the provisioning of the VMs. With Business Cloud PCs, Microsoft fully controls the compute and networking and you cannot connect the desktops to your own network.
If I am using Windows 365 Enterprise, am I still responsible for configuring identity and networking?
Yes, you will need to configure Active Directory and any network configurations in Azure (i.e., VPNs/VNETS/Azure Firewalls, etc.)
How do I provision a Windows 365 Cloud PC for my users?
There are two different methods. For the Enterprise, you need to configure a provisioning policy which associates the network connection and a desktop image. You then assign an Azure AD Security group to that policy and anybody who is added to that security group will automatically get a Cloud PC if they have a Cloud PC license assigned. The provisioning of the VM is performed by Microsoft Endpoint Manager. This can be performed via the Nerdio console or Microsoft Endpoint Manager console. With Business Cloud PC, provisioning happens automatically as soon as a license is assigned to a user via the Microsoft 365 Admin portal.
Can I use Windows 10 EVD multi-session with my Windows 365 Cloud PC?
No, Windows 365 is Windows 10 or 11 Enterprise single session only.
How can I install software into my Windows 365 image?
With Windows 365 Enterprise, you can create an image using Nerdio Manager with all software pre-installed. Alternatively, you can create a custom image in the Azure portal or use Microsoft Endpoint Manager to deploy software onto the Windows 365 Cloud PCs. With Windows 365 Business, custom images are not available. You must use the Azure Marketplace images and install any software manually.
How do I control Windows Updates on my Windows 365 Cloud PCs?
Windows updates for Enterprise are to be deployed via Microsoft Endpoint Manager or manual methods.
How do I monitor my Windows 365 Cloud PCs?
Enterprise Cloud PCs can be monitored via Endpoint Analytics.
If I need advanced monitoring of my environment, what are the options?
If you need advanced monitoring, then you can use Azure Virtual Desktop with Azure Log Analytics and Azure Insights to create custom dashboards.
If I am using an Enterprise Cloud PC what costs am I responsible for?
With the Enterprise Cloud PC, you still pay for networking costs as all traffic passes through your VNET.
If I am using a Business Cloud PC, what costs am I responsible for?
With Business Cloud PC, you only pay for the license. Compute, storage, and networking managed by Microsoft, and you are not responsible for the costs.
Do I need to use a separate client with Windows 365?
No. Windows 365 uses the existing Azure Virtual Desktop brokering system so you can use the Remote Desktop app or web portal at https://cloudpc.microsoft.com.
What licenses do I need for Windows 365?
To use Windows 365 Cloud PC, you need a Windows 10 Enterprise subscription; the same as AVD. You need to purchase a license for Windows 365 via Microsoft 365. If you are using Windows 365 Enterprise, you also need an Intune license, which you can get as part of 365 E5/E5 or Business Premium.
What Nerdio licenses will I need for Windows 365?
You will still need to Nerdio license if the Windows 365 Cloud PCs are to be managed via Nerdio. The pricing and license type will depend on whether you are using Nerdio Manager for MSP or Nerdio Manager for Enterprise.
What different Cloud PC SKUs are available?
There are 12 Cloud PC sizes ranging from 1 vCPU to 8 vCPUs, 2 GB to 32 GB of RAM, and 64 GB to 512 GB of storage.
Is it cheaper or more expensive to run Windows 365 compared to AVD with Nerdio Manager?
It depends on the usage of the environment. Windows 365 is a per-named-user licensing model, so you pay for the license whether you use it or not. Using Nerdio and Azure Virtual Desktop, you’ll only pay for what you actually use.
In what scenario would it make sense to use Windows 365?
When your users need dedicated, persistent desktops and you’re already licensing and using Microsoft Endpoint Manager to manage your existing desktops, then Windows 365 is the clear choice.