Windows 365 has made another innovative step forward with the announcement of Windows 365 Switch, now available in public preview. As unveiled by Christiaan Brinkhoff (W365+AVD) on August 8, 2023, this new feature will greatly enhance the user experience by enabling smooth movement between a Windows 365 Cloud PC and a local desktop. The transition is achieved using familiar keyboard commands, mouse clicks, or swipe gestures, all integrated within Windows 11 via the Task view feature. This article dives into what Windows 365 Switch is, its unique functionalities, and how to deploy it.
Windows 365 Switch: An Overview
Windows 365 Switch leverages the Task view feature in Windows 11, creating a more consistent experience when accessing the Windows 365 Cloud PC. This round-tripping feature is of particular value in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenarios, where individuals connect to a secure company-owned Cloud PC from their personal device.
Deploying Windows 365 Switch
Deploying the Windows 365 Switch feature is a straightforward process for those who meet the prerequisites. Below is a summary of the required steps:
- Windows 11-based endpoints (Windows 11 Pro and Enterprise)
- Enrollment in the Windows Insider Program (Beta Channel)
- Windows 365 Cloud PC license
- Enroll in the Windows Insider Beta channel on Cloud PC: Windows 11 endpoints must be enrolled in the Windows Insider Program Beta Channel.
- Enroll in the Windows Insider Beta Channel on your Local device: Same instructions apply as in step 1.
- Install the Windows 365 app: Available via the Microsoft Store, it’s essential to ensure version 18.104.22.168 or newer. The Microsoft Store will handle updates, further simplifying the process.
After waiting a few hours for Switch to be fully enabled on your device, you can start the Windows 365 app and explore the new Windows 365 Switch experience.
The User Experience
Whether new or existing customers, Windows 365 Switch offers guidance to familiarize users with this innovative way of connecting.
- Switch first run experience: Walks through the process of connecting to Windows 365 and notifies the user about the Switch feature.
- Switch login experience: Hovering over the Task view and clicking connect will launch the Windows 365 Cloud PC through the Windows 11 experience. Transition between Cloud PC and local PC will occur in less than a second.
What is Windows 365?
Windows 365 is Microsoft’s cloud-based desktop and app service, offering scalable, secure, and manageable desktop solutions. With two distinct editions – Windows 365 Business and Enterprise – it caters to different organizational needs.
- Scalability: Quick adaptation to changes in demand.
- Security: Hosted in Microsoft’s secure data centers.
- Manageability: Maintenance and updates are handled by Microsoft.
- Powered by Azure Virtual Desktop: Utilizes Microsoft’s cloud-based virtualization service.
- Deployment Models: Includes Multi-session and Single-session.
- Pricing Plans: Varying plans based on edition and features.
Windows 365 Switch represents a significant milestone in enhancing remote desktop experiences. It not only simplifies the connection process but also ensures a consistent and seamless transition between local and Cloud PCs. Especially in an era where business efficiency is paramount, Windows 365 Switch stands as a powerful tool that bridges the gap between on-premises and cloud computing.
The public preview offers an opportunity for users to explore this feature and appreciate its integration into everyday workflows. With Windows 365 already recognized for its scalability, security, and manageability, the Switch addition further solidifies its position as a leading cloud-based desktop service.
Those looking to embrace this new era of remote computing can follow the detailed steps provided to start their experience with Windows 365 Switch. With continued innovations like these, Microsoft demonstrates its commitment to offering unparalleled experiences in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape.