• Tara Grey

Microsoft is Bringing Out a Cloud PC. What Does That Mean & Should I Consider One?


Over the last 15 years, people have gotten used to accessing things online. The Cloud is used to get to online banking, for storing and sharing photos, business software, email, and more.


But one piece of technology that always remained grounded in the offline world is your computer. When you log into your computer, you get the programs, settings, wallpaper, and files that live on your hard drive. You can access these even if there’s no internet connection.


What are some disadvantages to that?


When you travel, taking along a desktop computer isn’t really possible. You can bring a laptop, but you have to be careful that it doesn’t get damaged.


What if you work from home part-time and at the office part-time? Going between two completely different computers can be a pain. Both typically won’t have exactly the same setup or files.


It’s these types of disadvantages that drove Microsoft to launch its new Windows 365, a cloud-based computer.


What is Windows 365 Cloud PC?


The idea of a cloud-based computer has been around for a while, but it hasn’t really become widely popular in the technology services world. The combination of Microsoft pushing this type of PC and the fact that the pandemic resulted in a remote and hybrid (office/home) workforce makes the timing perfect for the cloud PC to finally take off.


So, what is a cloud PC?


Imagine everything you put on a computer’s hard drive. Your computer stores:

  • The operating system that runs the computer

  • Software applications (like your email program)

  • Folders and Files that you save

  • Desktop wallpaper

  • Settings that you make (such as choosing a high-contrast theme)

Now imagine if all those things were stored in the cloud instead. Much like you might have iPhone photos stored in iCloud or use an application like OneDrive to store your Word documents online.


A cloud PC is just a portion of a server. We call this a “cloud server” because it’s in one location, but it is making the content stored on the server accessible through an internet connection.


When it comes to Windows 365, an entire computer environment, the operating system, desktop wallpaper, files, etc. is stored on a cloud server and the owner of that cloud PC can access it by going online and logging in.


What Do You Use to Login?


To log in to a cloud PC, you would still need a device, such as a computer, laptop, or tablet. But the advantage is that it could be ANY computer, laptop, or tablet and would not need to be the same one every time.


So, if you were visiting your family, you could use one of their computers to log into your own. When on vacation, you could access your PC from your tablet while laying out by the pool.


The physical device you are using is just for accessing your cloud PC environment.


It’s much like how you can use any device to access Facebook or another social platform. Whether you are on a tablet or a PC, you get your same Facebook page, timeline, and have the same functionality of posting and interacting with other posts.


You can think about the Windows 365 cloud desktop computer environment similarly. It’s always going to be the same, no matter where you log in from or what device you’re using.


Windows 365: You use any device to log into your online computer

Should You Consider Windows 365?


Switching to a cloud PC has its pros and cons. For example, having your computer, or your staff’s computers if you run a business, accessible anywhere is a big advantage. No having to take a PC with you anymore, it’s always there online.


A big disadvantage would be that you would now need an internet connection to get to your computer and all the data that it holds. This may be a problem if you have a slow internet connection or often use your PC offline.


Here are some things to think about when deciding:


Where Do You Use Your PC?


Do you use your PC mainly in one place? If so, then having it cloud accessible might not offer enough advantages for you.


On the other hand, if you travel quite a bit or use a PC at home and work doing the same things, then Windows 365 could make your life much easier.


Pricing


Windows 365 is priced for the business world, not really for the individual. The lowest cost version offered is $31.00 per user per month, for a cloud PC that has only 4 GB of ram. This is not a lot if you are multi-tasking or do graphics-intensive work. It also comes with 128 GB of storage.

However, if knowing that all your computer files and entire PC environment are safe and sound no matter what makes your life easier, then it could be worth it for you. The main consideration is where and how you use your computer and your files.


Things that might make the price worth it:

  • If you’re already paying to store your files in a cloud environment.

  • If you use software that isn’t cloud-based, but you wish you could access it from another location (if it’s stored on a cloud PC, then by default it becomes accessible online).

  • You use your computer multiple places and taking it along with you is inconvenient.

Learn More About What a Cloud PC Can Do


As we’ve seen during the last decade+, the cloud is where technology is moving, and your physical PC is one of the last pieces to do that. CompuTara offers expert computer assistance and can help you understand whether or not Windows 365 is a good fit for your needs.


Schedule a computer session today! Call or text me at: 862-368-4893 or Email me here.

 

References linked to:

https://www.computara.com/post/what-exactly-is-the-cloud

https://www.computara.com/services

https://www.computara.com/contact


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