Windows 365 consumer for Windows 11
Image Courtesy: Microsoft

Windows 365 consumer edition is coming and could be cheaper than the enterprise offering, with Microsoft planning to bundle “multiple Cloud PCs” as part of the “family” edition of Windows 365. Microsoft’s cloud ambition for Windows 11 consumers was previously revealed as part of the Microsoft v. FTC hearing, and our sources have now confirmed it too.

Windows 11 preview builds already have features to configure ‘Cloud PC’ in the consumer edition of the operating system and boot directly into Windows 365. A new consumer edition of Windows 365 could arrive soon, likely in the fall. The pricing of the consumer hasn’t been decided, but it is cheaper than the enterprise edition.

It appears that there’ll be more than one edition of Windows 365 consumer. One could be ‘family’, and another could be individual. While the pricing hasn’t been decided, you can buy a Cloud PC subscription for multiple family members or yourself at a much cheaper cost.

Cloud PC
Windows PC directly booting Windows 365

It is worth noting these are internal plans and are always subject to change, so take it with a pinch of salt.

Windows 365 consumer edition could change computing for good

An affordable version of Windows 365 could change the way we use Windows. For example, it could allow you or your family to access their files and favourite Windows apps from any device with Microsoft Edge and other browsers.

Your PC will live in the ‘cloud’, and you wouldn’t be tied to specific hardware to use your ‘computer’. This move could revolutionize cloud computing, eventually allowing users with low-end hardware to leverage the power of high-end cloud-based systems.

Another benefit of Windows 365 is that it is a cloud-based system managed by Microsoft, so you don’t have to look for software updates, security patches, and system maintenance.

Windows in the cloud isn’t a new project. Windows 365 has been in the work since 2020, and reports of Microsoft’s secret Cloud PC emerged in 2020. Codenamed Deschutes, Windows 365 runs inside Microsoft Azure cloud computers. It is built on top of Azure Virtual Desktop but is much easier to set up as it is.

Windows 365 currently comes in two plans: Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise. The basic plan includes one vCPU, 2GB RAM and 64GB storage, costing $20 per user per month. This package is built for small businesses, frontline workers, or call centre workers.

The consumer edition will likely be cheaper than the business and enterprise plans. Microsoft was internally mulling $10-20 pricing for the cheapest consumer edition of Cloud PC, but we cannot confirm the cost yet as internal plans are always subject to change.

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