Get started with Windows 365 Business
Published Aug 02 2021 09:11 AM 48.9K Views

Windows 365 Business is a version of Windows 365 made specifically for use in smaller companies (up to 300 seats). It offers an easy, streamlined way of providing Cloud PCs to your users.

Users want technology that is familiar, easy to use, and always available so they can work and create fluidly across devices. Cloud PC makes this possible by combining the power and security of the cloud with the familiarity of the PC. Only Microsoft can bring together the PC and the cloud with a consistent and integrated Windows experience.

What is a Cloud PC? It is your personalized desktop, apps, data, settings, and content streamed securely from the cloud directly to your device. It enables you to decrease costs while lowering the complexity of your environment as you deploy and manage virtual endpoints in Microsoft Endpoint Manager. No additional virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) expertise or resources are needed.

What is Windows 365?

Windows 365 is the world’s first Cloud PC. With a Cloud PC, Windows evolves from a device-based OS to hybrid personalized computing.

Windows 365 enables you to:

  • Procure, provision, and deploy in minutes, with automated OS updates.
  • Offers user anywhere access to their personalized Windows desktop experience.
  • Tailor compute and configurations for an elastic workforce.
  • Pick up where you left off on the device of your choice.
  • Optimize experiences on Windows endpoints.
  • Scale confidently with per-user pricing.

Windows 365 Business supports Windows 11 nowWindows 365 Business supports Windows 11 now

It's simple to get started with Windows 365 Business today. The steps are easy to perform and no deep technical knowledge is needed to deploy Cloud PC. In fact, your users can be productive in less than 30 minutes!   

Windows 365 Business vs. Enterprise

Windows 365 Business is designed for any organization that wants to deploy cloud PCs for 300 seats or fewer. There are no technology prerequisites; simply utilize the Windows 365 cloud portal to purchase, deploy and manage Cloud PCs any time.

Windows 365 Business is built for simplicity. You don't need an Azure subscription or domain controller because everything works with Azure AD natively—with all the components running inside the Microsoft cloud and managed by Microsoft.

You can purchase Windows 365 Business directly from the Microsoft 365 admin center, set up your account without a domain, and provision and manage cloud PCs directly from the Windows 365 web portal.

No other Microsoft licenses are required; your organization can get started with just a credit card if desired.

 

Windows 365 Business

Windows 365 Enterprise

Click –to-provision directly from product page

X

 

"No-domain" set up

X

 

Self-serve troubleshooting – reset

X

 

"Cloud Save" (minimal Azure storage and potentially OneDrive for Business)

X

X

Self-serve upgrades

 

X

Universal Print integration

 

X

Partner/programmatic enablement (Graph APIs, MSP tooling)

 

X

Custom images

 

X

Image management [store, replicate, deploy]

 

X

Microsoft Endpoint Manager policy-driven provisioning, management and guided scenarios

 

X

Endpoint analytics reporting and monitoring

 

X

Service health, operational health alerts

 

X

Connection to on-premises [networks, apps, resources] + diagnostics

 

X

Advanced Microsoft Endpoint Manager-based troubleshooting and device management

 

X

 

Note: More interested in Windows 365 Enterprise? Read Get started with Windows 365 Enterprise.

Windows 365 Business features

Self-service capabilities for end users

End users can perform maintenance on cloud PCs easily via the Windows 365 web portal. Let's look at the actions that are supported:

  • Restart. Restarts the Cloud PC.
  • Rename. Changes the name of the Cloud PC shown to the user on windows365.microsoft.com.
  • Reset. Reset does the following:
    • Reinstalls Windows.
    • Removes your personal files (OneDrive data remains).
    • Removes any changes you made to settings.
    • Removes your apps.

 

Note: Before resetting your Cloud PC, make sure to back up any important files you need to keep to a cloud storage service or external storage. Resetting your Cloud PC will delete these files.

End user - self-service capabilitiesEnd user - self-service capabilities

Native Azure AD support

Windows 365 Business supports Azure AD natively and, therefore, doesn't require organizations to have an existing Active Directory domain or Azure subscription.

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

Christiaan_Brinkhoff_1-1642292472671.png

 

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.

Deploying Windows 365 Business

Note: Before starting, make sure that your Azure AD device settings for Users may join devices to Azure AD are set to All. This would avoid any errors during the provisioning process as the cloud PCs cannot be added to your Azure AD directory. 

Users may join devices to Azure AD needs to be set to All.Users may join devices to Azure AD needs to be set to All.

Purchase your cloud PC size license

First, visit admin.microsoft.com to purchase your Windows 365 Business licenses just as would do for other licenses such as Microsoft 365 Apps or Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

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Purchase the license and size of your cloud PC that fits your use case best. Here is a breakdown for the different license options we provide as part of Windows 365 Cloud PC. For more information, see Windows 365 Business sizing options.

CPU, RAM, and storage

Example scenarios

Recommended apps

1vCPU/2GB/64GB

Frontline workers, Call centers, Education/training/CRM access.

Office light (web-based), Microsoft Edge, OneDrive, lightweight line-of-business app (e.g. call center application – web-apps), Defender support.

2vCPU/4GB/256GB

2vCPU/4GB/128GB

2vCPU/4GB/64GB

Mergers and acquisition, Short-term and seasonal, Customer Services, Bring-Your-Own-PC, Work from home

Microsoft 365 Apps, Microsoft Teams (audio-only), Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Adobe Reader, Edge, Line-of-business app s) , Defender support. 

2vCPU/8GB/256GB

2vCPU/8GB/128GB

Bring-Your-Own-PC, Work from home, Market Researchers, Government, consultants

Microsoft 365 Apps, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Adobe Reader, Edge, Line-of-business app s) , Defender support.

4vCPU/16GB/512GB

4vCPU/16GB/256GB

4vCPU/16GB/128GB

Finance, Government, consultants, Healthcare services, Bring-Your-Own-PC, Work from home

Microsoft 365 Apps, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, PowerBi, Dynamics 365, OneDrive, Adobe Reader, Edge, Line-of-business app s), Defender support.

8vCPU/32GB/512GB

8vCPU/32GB/256GB

8vCPU/32GB/128GB

Software developers, engineers, Content Creators, Design and Engineering workstations

Microsoft 365 Apps, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Access, OneDrive, Adobe Reader, Edge, PowerBi, Visual Studio Code, Line-of-business app s), Defender support.

 

Once you have selected your license and size preferences, enter your email and complete the ordering process.

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Once the order process is finished, select Continue to return to the Microsoft 365 admin center console.

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Assign licenses to users

In the Microsoft 365 admin center, under Users, select Active users.

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Select the users you want to assign a Windows 365 Business cloud PC.

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Select Licenses and apps.

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Assign your user the Windows 365 Business license, and save your changes.

The cloud PC for the user will immediately be provisioned, no IT admin interaction is needed after the license assignment, very simple!

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Log on to the Windows 365 web portal

Visit the Windows 365 web portal at windows365.microsoft.com. Here you will see that the Cloud PC is being created for the user – automatic and very simple!

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The process will take around 10 – 30 minutes. After that, the user can directly log on to their cloud PC.

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The end user experience

As explained in the beginning of this post, end users can perform all kinds of self-service options from the Windows 365 web portal, such as performing a system reset, restart, or rename. End users can also perform troubleshooting steps.

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For example, I can rename my Windows 365 Cloud PC to "My cloud PC – Christiaan Brinkhoff" from within the portal.

Now let’s select Open in browser to see if my Windows 365 Cloud PC works.

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Select the desired level of access that the Cloud PC to your local resources.

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And yes, it does! :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes: In less than one hour, my Cloud PC is ready for productivity with Microsoft 365 Apps, OneDrive, Microsoft Edge and Teams (Optimized) pre-installed and configured for me out of the box!

Note: Microsoft 365 Apps and Teams is only supported on 2vCPU/4GB/64GB and higher SKUs.

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Log on to your cloud PC via the Remote Desktop Client

Just like Windows 365 Enterprise, it’s also possible to use other clients such as the Remote Desktop client for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. You can find all the clients at the downloads tab in the Windows 365 web portal.

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The most common endpoint client you will use with the highest level of device redirection support is the Windows Remote Desktop client for Windows. Please verify before moving forward if your domain scenario is supported.

 

Note: Make sure to align with one of the following endpoint domain configuration scenarios to logon to an Azure AD joined Cloud PC via the Remote Desktop (MSRDC) client. This only applies to Windows-based endpoints.

 

Windows endpoint domain scenario

Supported?

Not AAD joined or AD joined

Yes

AAD joined or AD joined from the same domain

Yes

AD joined from another domain, but AAD registered to the same domain

Yes

AD or AAD joined from another domain, and NOT registered to the same domain

No

 

After downloading the client, Subscribe your Azure AD user in the app.

remote-desktop.png

Then simply launch your Cloud PC from your Windows endpoint.

Note: It will also add your Cloud PC into the local start menu of your endpoint for a smoother and quicker entry path.

cloud-pc-remote-desktop.png

We support a variety of endpoints, see below the differences in support in device redirection features to pick the best endpoint for your scenario.

 

Windows Desktop

Store client

Android

iOS/iPadOS

macOS

Web

Keyboard

X

X

X

X

X

X

Mouse

X

X

X

X*

X

X

Touch

X

X

X

X

 

X

Serial port

X

         

USB

X

         

Teams AV Redirection

X

         

Multi-media redirection

Coming soon

         

Multi-monitor

16 monitors

         

Dynamic resolution

X

X

   

X

X

Screen capture protection

X

         

Cameras

X

 

X

X

X

 

Start menu integration

X

         

Clipboard

X

X

Text

Text, images

X

text

Local drive/storage

X

 

X

X

X

 

Accessibility

X

 

 

 

 

 

Location

X

         

Microphones

X

X

Coming soon

X

X

In preview

Printers

X

     

X (CUPS only)

PDF print

Scanners

X

         

Smart Cards

X

     

X

 

Speakers

X

X

X

X

X

X

Need help? Visit the Windows 365 Tech Community!

Visit the new Windows 365 Tech Community to connect with other people seeking to learn and help each other while adopting Windows 365 and Cloud PC.

Have ideas on what features you'd like to see in this service? Submit them through the Windows 365 feature requests board!

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Last update:
‎Jan 15 2022 04:32 PM
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