Windows 365 Business will offer Windows 11 and admin capabilities

Published Nov 02 2021 08:00 AM 3,321 Views
Microsoft

Windows 365 delivers a full, personalized PC experience from the cloud to any device, giving workers and organizations power, simplicity, and security for hybrid work. Tailored to the needs of small and medium-sized organizations, Windows 365 Business makes it easy to create Cloud PCs for your users.

Today we are excited to announce four major updates to Windows 365 Business rolling out to customers as soon as the end of the year:

  • Windows 11 support: Experience Windows 11 in the cloud on any device. Windows 365 Business will soon provide a powerful, simple, and secure Windows 11 experience for your users.
  • Enhanced admin capabilities: Benefit from new lifecycle management features, including setting the default operating system (OS) and account type for your users’ devices at the organizational level, as well as device-level actions on individual Cloud PCs.
  • Microsoft Graph API availability: Graph APIs will be available for Windows 365 Business, so organizations can build additional capabilities and automation on top of the service.
  • Microsoft 365 Lighthouse integration: Managed Service Providers (MSPs) will be able to manage Windows 365 Business Cloud PCs on behalf of customers through the Microsoft 365 Lighthouse admin panel.

Learn more about the new features. Watch Windows 365 Business: Hybrid work for your small business.

Windows 11 support for newly created Cloud PCs

Windows 11 is the operating system for hybrid work, delivering new experiences that work how you do. By default, new Cloud PCs will come with Windows 11 installed, so users can take advantage of the latest features and security improvements in the OS. From windows365.microsoft.com, users will be able to easily distinguish between their Windows 10 and Windows 11 Cloud PCs as shown below.

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Windows365.microsoft.com with options to launch a Windows 11 or Windows 10 Cloud PC

Enhanced admin capabilities

Windows 365 Business admins will have much greater control over the lifecycle of Cloud PCs in their organization, including the ability to manage organization-wide Cloud PC settings and perform device-level actions. These settings and actions will be configurable both in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center and on windows365.microsoft.com. Admins who are already comfortable managing in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center can continue to manage there. Admins who are managing a smaller number of users or products can perform license, user, and Cloud PC management all from within windows365.microsoft.com.

At the organization level, admins will be able to control two settings:

  • OS: By default, new Cloud PCs will have Windows 11. Admins can change the default to Windows 10 if that better suits their organization’s needs.
  • Account type: By default, new Cloud PCs will be set up with a Standard user account type. If an admin chooses, they can change the default to Local Administrator to allow users to install apps and change all settings on their Cloud PC. Read on for more details on the “change account type” functionality.

The OS and Account type organization settings will apply during the Cloud PC setup process.

At the device level, admins will be able to perform five actions:

  • Change account type: Admins will be able to seamlessly switch the role of user on their Cloud PC between Standard user and Local Administrator.
  • Restart: Admins can restart a user’s Cloud PC on their behalf.
  • Reset: If a user is having trouble with their Cloud PC, admins will be able to reset the Cloud PC for them. This will:
    • Reinstall Windows (with the option to choose between Windows 11 and Windows 10).
    • Remove all apps and locally stored files.
    • Remove changes made to settings.
  • Rename: Admins can change the Cloud PC name that users see on windows365.microsoft.com.
  • Troubleshoot: Troubleshoot checks whether your organization’s Cloud PCs are in a connectable state. If there are any issues preventing a user from connecting to their Cloud PC, admins are given guidance on how to resolve them. (Troubleshoot is coming early 2022.)

Admins will be able to perform other basic management capabilities on windows365.microsoft.com, including:

  • Create and delete users
  • Reset passwords
  • Manage licenses for Windows 365 Cloud PCs and Microsoft 365 products

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Cloud PC management capabilities on windows365.microsoft.com

Partner support

Microsoft Graph APIs

All Cloud PC device actions can be triggered by the Microsoft Graph APIs. Partners can use the Graph API documentation to build custom Windows 365 solutions to match the needs of their users or customers.

Microsoft 365 Lighthouse integration

The Microsoft 365 Lighthouse admin portal will soon support Windows 365 Business. Participating small and medium-sized business (SMB) partners will be able to use Microsoft 365 Lighthouse to monitor and manage Cloud PCs across multiple customer tenants from one portal, regardless of whether their customers deployed Windows 365 Enterprise or Windows 365 Business.

What other features would you like to see?

We are excited to launch these new features based on customer feedback we’ve received so far. To give feedback on these features or Windows 365 Business overall, please visit the Windows 365 Tech Community and submit your ideas to the Windows 365 feature requests board.

Stay in the know

To stay informed on the latest announcements and updates this week, check out the overview post of Windows 365 presence at Microsoft Ignite 2021.

 

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‎Nov 02 2021 09:07 AM
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