Windows 365 Frontline offers flexible, affordable options for scenarios beyond shift work. This allows organizations to take greater advantage of the simplicity, deployment, and management that Windows 365 delivers.
What is Windows 365 Frontline?
With the recent release of Windows 365 Frontline, companies now have an affordable solution offering additional flexibility for workers who don't need 24/7 access to dedicated Cloud PCs. This approach supports more elastic and distributed organizations, helping workers who are part time, on a rotation schedule, working across time zones, or are contingent staff.
Windows 365 Frontline licenses are applied at the tenant level, rather than to specific users. With every Windows 365 Frontline license, three Cloud PCs can be created—with one active Cloud PC at a time. That means, instead of purchasing a license for every shift worker, you need only purchase enough licenses for the number of active users at any given time. Providing three Cloud PCs for every license opens other scenarios where only part-time use may be needed. Let's dive into a few areas where Windows 365 Frontline can help you solve more business challenges.
Employees need more than one Cloud PC of the same size
In some cases, organizations need workers to have more than one Cloud PC, but may need it to reside in a different Azure region or may need it to be Hybrid Microsoft Entra joined, rather than Microsoft Entra joined. This may be for testing or validation purposes, such as verifying performance of Cloud PCs in different regions, or perhaps for support purposes, such as verifying the experience on different join types. From a technical perspective, when using both Windows 365 Frontline and Windows 365 Business or Enterprise, different Azure Network Connections (ANCs) can be used to meet this need.
Employees need both Windows 11 and Windows 10
For IT admins that need to help their organizations go through an operating system migration effort, Windows 365 Frontline can provide an additional Cloud PC to perform efforts such as application compatibility validation, accelerating migration efforts. This additional Cloud PC can replicate your future end-user computing environment, enabling you to perform app compatibility testing, for example, only when you need it, then log off when you don't. Using Microsoft Intune will help you ensure that all the Cloud PCs in your tenant are configured identically.
Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)
There are several built-in features in Windows 365 to facilitate BCDR, including the use of up to 14 configurable restore points, Azure Availability Zones to enable automatic recovery from compute failures, and the ability to take snapshots of Cloud PCs for forensic or archival purposes. If you manage users that have a specific need to minimize any downtime in the event of a service failure, a Cloud PC can be an additional option that's always available to you. For example, if your Windows 365 Enterprise Cloud PC is in the US East 2 region, you could have a Windows 365 Frontline Cloud PC provisioned in a different region, such as UK South. While Windows 365 has a service level agreement (SLA) of 99.9%, some organizations may want additional assurance of having an additional Cloud PC always available.
What does this look like?
When an end-user accesses the Windows 365 app, a Cloud PC provisioned with Windows 365 Frontline will appear as an additional option.
Screenshot of Debra Berger’s Windows 365 app with a red box outlining the Windows 10 and Windows 11 Cloud PCs
Screenshot of Irvin Sayer’s Windows 365 app with a red box outlining the both Windows 11 Cloud PCs and their details
As shown below, the Microsoft Intune admin center shows Cloud PCs for all Windows 365 editions. Notice that the Cloud PCs assigned to use different provisioning policies and Azure network connections.
Screenshot of the Windows 365 app with a red box outlining four devices that have slightly different provisioning policies
All the scenarios shared here have a common characteristic: temporary use. In many cases, having an additional Cloud PC is only needed periodically, and Windows 365 Frontline empowers you to affordably enable these scenarios.
Do you have other scenarios where Windows 365 Frontline can help? We'd love to hear about them, so feel free to comment below!