Microsoft’s new Cloud PC with Windows 10/11 service potentially offers a way for some Linux users to sidestep what could be the last barrier for businesses to adopt the Linux desktop without leaving behind must-have Windows applications.
Windows 365 launched Aug. 2, 2021 as software-as-a-service offering that initially targets business and enterprise users.
But if you lack a company’s backing, for the time being you can expect Microsoft’s new platform to consider you unsuitable. So personal use of Windows 365 is not a real option for all Linux users.
Microsoft so far is silent about expanding that target user base to non-business users. Linux and Chromebook users looking to pay the monthly subscription price — especially if they run a home office-based gig — might be able to sign up for the Windows 365 streaming service.
Microsoft just blew into the smithereens the only reason why we could not use the Linux operating system, offered Alina Clark, co-founder and marketing director at CocoDoc.
Microsoft’s announcement said Windows PC “is a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 (when available) through the power of the cloud across all your devices. We believe this will give organizations of all sizes the power, simplicity, and security you need to address the changing needs of your workforce as you embrace hybrid work.”
“It feels like independence. If anything, a large number of Linux users will now get to enjoy Word and other Microsoft Office tools, which provide the highest amount of consistency in that regard, while still basking in the lightweight, super-efficient glow of the Linux operating system,” the tech expert and growth manager told LinuxInsider.
Windows Cloud PC could lead to an increase of Linux users, she reasoned, since all those who were stopped from using it due to the Microsoft Office compatibility issues may just consider shifting.
What’s the Difference?
Windows 365 is not the same product as the still-existing free and subscription services of Microsoft Office and Office.com. The new service is a cloud computing product that costs users a monthly fee. With it you get a fully functional Windows operating system accessed by streaming the Windows OS from your Cloud PC setup to your local devices. The difference is you do not have to install the cloud-delivered Windows software on every Windows computer you use. Instead, you can access a fully functional Windows OS with full access to whatever Windows applications you use over the internet instead of installing it on your local hardware. You can stream the same access to all your desktop and mobile devices, including smartphone, Chromebook, and Linux-based desktop and laptop computers.
Accusoft PDF Viewer – Try it now! Microsoft’s other Office suite is a web-based platform that only provides the Office apps. You cannot use it to run other the Microsoft OS and Microsoft Windows applications. That is a critical difference that Linux and Chromebook users (and for that matter, macOS users) need to understand.
This new “Windows as a service” is an option for people and businesses who prefer running Linux on their local computers without configuring a virtual machine to access Microsoft Windows and installed Windows applications within Linux. That VM option is not even fully available on Chromebooks. But just as Chromebook users can run Linux apps — just like Android apps — on a Linux partition within the Chrome OS, that capability is coming to Chromebooks via a similar Windows partition.
Windows 365 is going to give Microsoft the ability to compete for market share on a huge variety of new devices, according to Devon Fata, CEO of web design firm Pixoul. It also positions Windows 365 as a complement to those who primarily run Linux or macOS. “I see this cutting both ways. On the one hand, it will be easier to run Linux and supplement with Windows 365 when necessary. But on the other hand, Windows can now compete with Linux on more platforms,” he told LinuxInsider.
Quick ‘n’ Easy Sign Up (Maybe)
Signing up to subscribe to the Windows 365 cloud service is similar to the process Microsoft uses for its Office.com and Microsoft.com offerings. If you have a Microsoft business account already, you should be able to use your same email address to get started. I have an Outlook.com address registered for my web-based access to other Microsoft products. My initial efforts were an exercise in futility. ECT News Network (the parent company of LinuxInsider) has a Microsoft business account, at least that is what the sign-up page confirmed as I cobbled together my user credentials to set up a Windows 365 account.
- For non-business Linux users, Windows 365 is a no-brainer
- Check all news and articles from the latest Security news updates.