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Inspire 2021: 5 Big Updates In Microsoft 365, Teams And Industry Clouds

Microsoft’s sixth industry cloud offering, along with new Teams capabilities and a Windows “cloud PC” service, are among the major announcements at the Inspire partner conference this week.

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Windows 365

Microsoft’s new virtual desktop offering, Windows 365, is aimed at meeting the hybrid work needs of small and medium-sized businesses along with certain use cases for larger businesses. Windows 365 is a “cloud PC” solution, Microsoft said, since the desktop is streamed in a web browser and will be available on any device. The offering is not meant to replace Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop, but should be an option for a far greater number of businesses due to its simpler IT deployment and management, the company said.

The ability to access a Windows desktop through a browser is new with Windows 365 -- as is the ability to use a virtualized Windows desktop on any device, including Apple Mac, iPad and iPhone devices, along with Android and Linux devices.

Users can pick up where they left off when moving to another device with Windows 365, and the service can be deployed and managed using Microsoft Endpoint Manager in the same way as physical PCs, Microsoft said.

Windows 365 will provide a full Windows 10 experience to start, and then will offer Windows 11 once the new operating system is generally available later this year.

Microsoft will be launching two editions of the service--Windows 365 Business for customers with less than 300 users and Windows 365 Enterprise for larger customers. Windows 365 will be generally available on Aug. 2, and will be offered as a monthly subscription, including through Cloud Solution Provider partners.

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