For the first time, users can test Windows 365 Boot: With the new function, PCs can be set up so that they start Microsoft’s cloud desktop directly after logging in – at least in a public preview. Previously, users had to call up the service manually from the local system.
Participation in the Windows Insider Program (Dev Channel) is required, and administrators must also activate the boot feature in Microsoft Intune and make some configurations. On the other hand, no complicated settings are required on the local Windows 11 22H2 apart from the link to the Microsoft account and the appropriate license for Windows 365. After a restart, the login screen transparently presents to the user that he is logging in to a cloud PC.
For shared use
And according to Microsoft, this is also necessary, because the Redmond company envisages Windows 365 less for stationary use with the same user and more for systems shared with other users. The reason: the personal data is not stored on the PC, but in the cloud. If you change your workplace spontaneously, the familiar environment is always available. And Microsoft itself also benefits, because instead of one-time license costs, customers have to pay monthly subscription fees for Windows 365.
Administrators can give the affected Windows systems several optional settings: they can specify when updates are to be installed and at what times the system is not allowed to restart so that it does not disrupt the user’s work. Profiles for Wi-Fi access and VPN can also be stored if desired, and the preferred language for Windows can also be specified in advance. Last but not least, administrators can assign their cloud PCs directly to an existing or new group in Azure Active Directory.
There is also an important warning in the small print of the announcement: If system administrators want to use existing Windows computers as cloud PCs, they should completely reset their previous installation remotely after the initial configuration. However, when exactly Windows 365 Boot will reach general availability remains unclear.
Build 2023: Cloud PCs for users and developers
Microsoft announced Windows 365 in July 2021, interest in the official availability shortly afterwards was great – and the company soon promised a direct start in the cloud, with the insider test now being the first sign of life from Boot after a long wait. At the same time, with the Dev Box, Microsoft is offering a cloud PC especially for developers, which has also received a substantial update as part of Build 2023. Technically, both are based on the Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), which offers administrators more options than the versions fully managed by Microsoft.
To home page