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Windows 365 cloud PC is here, starts at $20 per month

Windows
Windows (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Windows 365 was announced at Microsoft Inspire 2021.
  • Certain pricing details were accidentally revealed pre-launch, but most were unknown.
  • Now, the service has officially launched, and all pricing information has been disclosed.

Windows 365, a cloud PC service that will let you take Windows 11 or Windows 10 with you wherever you go via the power of the cloud, has officially launched. It will enable you to bring Windows to just about any device, be they Mac, iPad, or Android tablet, and the minimum price to enter is $20 per month.

But — and there's a big but here — this service is focused on businesses and enterprise customers, so don't go thinking that just anyone can snatch up a Windows 365 plan (opens in new tab) whenever they need Windows for a short stint on a non-native device.

Regardless, if this service sounds interesting to you, here's the rub on prices: At the bare minimum end of the spectrum, you can get 1vCPU, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and 12GB of outbound data for $20 per user per month. However, that requires you to have the Windows Hybrid Benefit (opens in new tab). Without it, the minimum monthly buy-in is $24.

At the high end of the pricing spectrum is the 8vCPU, 32GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, 70GB of outbound data option for $162 per user per month (or $158, if you have Windows Hybrid Benefit). In between the low and high extremes are a wide variety of different configs to suit your business' specific needs. Want to shave off a couple dozen bucks per month by cranking down the gigabyte count of RAM and storage? You can. Check out Microsoft's website for a full rundown of all the different pricing options currently available to business and enterprise customers.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

10 Comments
  • It was reported elsewhere that you can connect to that thing using your standard remote desktop client. Last time I used RDC over LTE from the moving train that was *very* painful. Hopefully, the adoption of the Windows 365 Cloud PC will pressure Microsoft into making RDC usable in the mobile scenarios.
  • As I said before, way too expensive. lowest tier should be at least 2vCPU at a few dollars per user a month. No one is going to be using W365 for an iot or embedded device lol... Also 12 gigs of outbound data? Really?? So, Microsoft has stopped all out bound connections from the o/s that are not user triggered? After one of the recent updates I have WaaS Medic trying to intiate outbound connections every 2 days... *_*. As it stands small to medium businesses are practically priced out. $20 per user ontop of other license costs and monthly operating costs in this current economic market is not feasible for them.
  • Who would use the first tier anyway?
  • I'm sure the pricing and memory RAM for the consumer version will be different . Since this is most definitely going to be the way a surface hololens will be powered
  • Windows 365 does not make any sense for consumers. 1)laptops have windows licenses. 2)pre-builts and system integrators build far more capable systems which can do more than W365 basic tiers without any outbound caps also 99.9% buy with a windows license. 3)No PC DIY enthusiast will build a pc only to use Windows with a subscription. For Mac users, there's bootcamp, parallels and already runs office. Chromebooks cost the same as low end windows laptops. Most people are not buying overpriced chromebooks. Users who bought low end chromebooks aren't going to be using a W365 sub to do the basics. Heck, I don't see anyone who bought a highend pixelbook for instance using W365 either due to outbound connection limit. They'd be better off using a remote desktop or snagging up a second hand ex lease pc - which can be bought extremely cheaply. The only place W365 makes sense is an corporate environment which uses dumb terminals. Hololens will be using WMR not W365 as constantly downloading /uploading data packets uses alot of battery, cpu cycles and thus generating heat from two components. Resulting in subpar experience all around.
  • "For Mac users, there's bootcamp, parallels" That's true if you're using an Intel-based Mac. If you're using an M1 Mac, there is no Bootcamp and Paralles on M1 Macs will only support ARM-based operating systems. As far as I'm aware, MS doesn't sell individual licenses for Windows on ARM, It only come pre-installed on devices.
  • It would have to be a third of the price for consumers. At the prices they are charging now will probably make this fail anyway, so not going to make it to consumers.
  • How are they able to offer 2GB RAM?
    I thought the minimum for Windows 11 is higher than that.
  • Yes I think Microsoft is joking or laughing at us, 2gb ram??? Pathetic
  • Over the top expensive, I think this will be DOA. $162???? $1944 per year. No way. The $20 plan is slower than a 5 year old phone. Very disappointed, I was excited for this.