Microsoft announces Windows 365, a version of Windows you can stream from the cloud

Cloud Pc Render
Cloud Pc Render (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has announced a new, cloud version of Windows 10 and Windows 11.
  • It's called Windows 365 and is launching August 2nd.
  • It's like XCloud, but for Windows.
  • For now, it is only for enterprise and EDU.

Update July 15, 2021, at 1:00 pm ET: The service's pricing model has been partially revealed.

Microsoft has today announced its new Cloud PC service, officially called Windows 365, that allowing customers to create installs of Windows 10 or Windows 11 in the cloud and stream the OS to any device. The service will go live August 2nd, and is designed to bring the best of Windows to any device, including Mac, iPad, or Android devices.

Windows 365 will allow users to install their favorite Windows apps and experiences in the cloud, and access them from any device they choose. Cloud PCs will support "instant-on" start up, and will be available via subscription at a flat rate.

Of course, Windows 365 is not replacing Windows 11 or Windows 10. The local version of Windows is still considered the latest, and will always be available to install locally without a subscription. Windows 365 is merely a service that allows users to stream instances of Windows 10 or Windows 11 via the cloud as if it were your own PC.

Windows 365 is built on Azure Virtual Desktops, and works in a similar fashion to Microsoft's XCloud service, which allows you to stream games from the cloud. Users will be able to choose the size of their Windows 365 install. Microsoft hasn't yet announced plans or pricing for Windows 365, but the company is expected to do so on August 2nd when the service goes live. Microsoft unveiled Windows 365 during its Inspire 2021 keynote.

The service will launch first for enterprises, with no word on when or if Windows 365 will be available for non-enterprise customers. What are your thoughts on Windows 365? Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter and Threads