Microsoft brought Windows 10 to the iPad a few weeks ago, in what seemed like an extraordinary feat. However, you don’t actually get to install Windows on the iPad, and Apple will never allow that. But you can run the full Windows 10 experience on any internet-connected device that supports an internet browser. That’s because Windows 365 runs in the cloud, allowing businesses to offer their customers virtual Cloud PCs. Admins can customize these cloud computers in real-time, offering the kind of upgrades and downgrades that aren’t possible with real computers. Microsoft made Windows 365 available to businesses earlier this week, and it didn’t take long for the new Windows experience to sell out. Microsoft confirmed as much on social media, noting that the Windows 365 trial is locked for the time being.
It might seem impossible for a cloud service to sell out, but Microsoft ran out of cloud capacity to meet the massive demand. Brand new devices routinely sell out as companies hurry to mass-produce more units. But with a device in the cloud, the buyer doesn’t interact with a physical device. Microsoft could theoretically offer infinite Windows 365 virtual computers. But, in practice, that’s impossible.
Microsoft needs to have the cloud infrastructure in place to support all these concurrent Windows 365 sessions. And the company has run out of capacity less than two days after making Windows 365 available to businesses.
How Windows 365 works
Users added to a Windows 365 trial subscription will consume the virtual PC resources allotted to them. Admins can configure only certain key aspects of a Cloud PC, including CPU, RAM, and storage. They can add and remove resources as needed. They can remove people as well.
That’s a great type of Windows product that some businesses might find very useful. Rather than buying and maintaining new hardware for employees, some companies might want to deploy fleets of virtual Cloud PCs. Each employee gets their unique Cloud PC that’s hooked up to fast internet. And they can access their Windows 365 PC from any device that can connect to the internet. Hence, running the full Windows 10 experience on iPad is now possible.
Best of all, the user’s hardware will not impact Windows 365 performance. The Cloud PC experience is streamed to any internet-connected device. It’s the internet connection that matters here, not how powerful the user’s personal computer is.
Microsoft paused the trial
Microsoft did not disclose full pricing details for Windows 365 in mid-July when it announced the service. But the company opened the trial on August 3rd, revealing that Cloud PC rentals start at $20 per user per month. The cheapest Cloud PC features one CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. The price goes up to $24 per month if you don’t own a Windows 10 Professional license.
That’s a great starting price, but it’s only available to businesses. Regular users who dream of a full-fledged Windows PC in the cloud can’t get on Windows 365. The best part of the service is that businesses get to try it for free for two months. That helps explain why Microsoft sold out all its Windows 365 trial “units.”
We have seen unbelievable response to #Windows365 and need to pause our free trial program while we provision additional capacity. Sign up below to get notified when trials resume. https://t.co/Q05C7cBWMh
— Scott Manchester (@RDS4U) August 3, 2021
Microsoft confirmed everything on Twitter. Businesses that weren’t sure whether or not to get on the Windows 365 trial a few days ago will now have to wait. They can sign up to be notified when cloud resources become available.
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