We hear that the formal release will be around CES 2024 and that pricing (introductory possibly) will be considerably lower than the enterprise offering, while possibly being slightly de-featured (less processor and storage likely)
That being said, I’ve been using the enterprise version since it’s inception on both an iPad Pro 12.9 and iPad Pro 11 and it’s quite usable including trackpad/mouse/pencil support (though to date the pen has noticeable latency).
It is nice but even at the $10 a month price that appears to be shown in the screenshots online, nowadays, you can easily set up your own self-managed Windows 365 for a low one time price of about $100 or so with an Intel N100 mini PC. Then set up ZeroTier (see here: Create a VPN Tunnel on Windows | Paperspace) and Remote Desktop (use this guide to push RDP to its limits: Reddit - Dive into anything) and bam, you’ve got your own cloud while having complete control on the environment. Plus you’ve got near zero pen latency whenever you are on the same local network as your cloud machine.
While some of us here are more than capable of setting up/deploying/maintaining such a setup, most consumers aren’t.
More importantly, reading between the lines, I suspect that Windows 365 will follow the path that Office 365 already has in that while you will still be able to buy a standalone instance of Windows, it will be considerably less featured than the W365 version eg. home and student Office vs Office 365.
I’m not arguing for or against this, just that especially with Wall Street renewed emphasis on profitability, not just generally, but even within product lines, makes this inevitable.
And in reality it’s not fundamentally different from when each upgrade to Windows was a paid one. In other words you pay monthly versus periodically with the benefits? of faster updates and features.
FWIW MS engineers we work with have told us that MS felt forced in to providing updates for free by Apple’s approach, but that the reality is/was Apple can uniquely do this because they make the whole widget.
OTOH perhaps they could/might have that as a “perk” of their Surface devices, though I suspect that they would face litigation including antitrust if they did do that.
Disagreed. ZeroTier takes all of 30 seconds to set up per host/client— RDP as well. The RDP guide I shared is totally optional and just improves the RDP streaming quality. Then plug in the host name or IP on your RDP client of your choice and you’re in business. For users that this is too hard for, Windows was too hard for them anyway. They will continue just playing in their Apple or Android app kiddy pool. They’ll continue to run Office (the most Microsoft-y thing they need) natively in app form because why pay to use it in a remote machine that is far more intimidating and redundant? Windows (365 or not) isn’t remotely appealing to your average tech illiterate person and branding it as 365 isn’t going to change that. Satya Nadella is going to quickly discover that Windows in a cloud suddenly isn’t going to entice Android and Apple users any more than Windows in a local box did. The question is, what problem is Microsoft solving for home users that they actually will want enough to be solved to pay for it? Most consumers have learned to use Microsoft’s Android and iOS apps with great success and have near zero incentive to add Windows to the mix “just because.” The only people I hear clamoring about it are tech gurus who can already install ZeroTier and set up RDP in a few minutes flat.
Obvious to me that you don’t deal with consumers too much. They both generally don’t know that they can even do some of these things until they have a need for them and then end up paying (often through the nose) to their local PC shop (or even geeksquad) to do it.
Agreed that the person that comes here likely is much more savvy, but I hear ALL OF THE TIME about how far behind most consumer systems are in patch and updates etc.
And even those that try often end up in a byzantine state of having multiple “fixes” such as apps like Malware Bytes installed to at least try.
In other words it’s somewhat analogous to lawn care in that it’s certainly within the capabilities of most to do, but all you have to do is drive around any neighborhood and it’s easy to see the DIY versus professional care yards.
I routinely help consumers (people either online or in my community or neighborhood) with tech issues or watch them to see what they use. Windows does not have the consumer strength it used to—not even remotely. Most consumers I deal with live off of their Apple and Android tablets and smartphones and having a home desktop PC is becoming a thing of the past and a redundant relic in their home. They either do not power it or if they do, they use it for all of just one or two things if that on rare occasion. They can browse the web, do basic document work, play games, and all the things they used to need to do on their PC on those Android and Apple devices. Now, there is certainly a plurality of prosumers who do want desktop PCs and have a genuine use for it but that subset of consumers is not the majority any more—no, not by a long shot.
With the current FTC and DOJ, it is an absolute certainty to bring enforcement action and therefore a no go.
I disagree with your disagreement. That is not as “easy peasy” as it sounds, and the real solution for the average Windows user will be to cling to the on prem Windows as long as they can.
Having played in the “kiddy pool” and failed numerous times (about to start another try) that is not the right solution for these users. Hopefully M$ will maintain a viable on device SKU for some time to come…
I am not referring to us as users and I agree for power users like us, going app only is never adequate. I am talking about the lady across the street you see each week at the supermarket that just needs a smartphone for her weekly shopping list or the kid across town that attends school and whose only interaction with a computer is a Chromebook on school days—average everyday people who’ve discovered they don’t really need a Windows PC to live life. Are these people going to now suddenly run out to get Windows 365 when they have not been regularly using a Windows PC already anyway within their context? That is why I think Satya is totally off the mark thinking Windows 365 is suddenly going to become this huge moneymaker in the consumer space because he needs to first define this with brutal honesty: who needs Windows? We might, but most people don’t! Android, iPadOS, and iOS are serving the average person’s wants and needs more than adequately, and they neither want nor need Windows, either locally or in the cloud.
I think we may be talking past each other. I am not claiming that this is anything other than the latest attempt to continue to monetize Windows itself albeit it does have some uses/perks for customers like me.
And MS for the last few years has been acknowledging that IOS and Android are the biggest threat to MS in general.
There are already a significant number of users where their mobile device IS their primary/only computing device, and that they only may be turning to desktops/laptops when their mobile device is not suitable to the task.
Apple figured out long before most that the OS itself no longer has any intrinsic value in itself, but in acting as host for apps and services and thus why Apple stopped charging for OS updates, almost befoer anyone else.
(the cynics also argue that Apple’s steady retirement/obsolescence of older hardware is a major part of that strategy as well).
My point was that while it may not be for you, W365 especially now that it will be more widely available, especially as an app on mobile platforms is a smart and useful (to some like me) decision.
(Hifihedgehog - Waiting for Surface Pro 10!)
Thanks, and I apologize for any misfires in my tone. I do feel it is a great option(more is always good) and it is a fantastic deal for those who do not want to deal with setup and want a “managed instance” of Windows in the cloud. I am speaking big picture in the consumer arena specifically that Windows 365 is not going to be the roaring success that Microsoft feels it is going to be given the demographical shifts over the last decade in consumer device usage paradigms. I completely agree that the enterprise flavor of Windows 365 will be a hit among organizations but I just do not see it taking off in the consumer space.