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  • Is your next PC a cloud?

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Is your next PC a cloud?

    • This topic has 61 replies, 20 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago.
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      • #2377822
        Susan Bradley
        Manager

        Alex in the forum posts about Microsoft’s latest announcements about their “Windows 365” product. (yes yet another groaner of a name from Redmond, let
        [See the full post at: Is your next PC a cloud?]

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2377826
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Ghacks : Microsoft unveils its “Cloud PC” service Windows 365

        ..Microsoft highlights advantages of Windows 365 over regular installations of Windows on local systems. Among the advantages are decreased costs, less environment complexity, personalized desktop experiences regardless of device used by a worker, scaling, fast provisioning and deployment (in minutes)

        Windows 365 will be available on August 2, 2021. Different packages are available that range from single virtual CPU systems with 2 Gigabytes of RAM and 64 Gigabytes of storage space to 8 virtual CPUs with 32 Gigabytes of RAM and 512 Gigabytes of storage space. No information on graphics processing units are provided at this point.

        A test base for Microsoft 365 is now in public preview.

        Check out the table below to see which packages are available. Microsoft lists example scenarios and recommended applications for each…

      • #2377829
        doriel
        AskWoody Lounger

        Thanks both for your article. I was thinking about it recently a lot, but I just cant see the purpose of those “weak versions” of the cloud PC. Im talking about the 1vCPU, 2GB RAM, 64 GB storage, for example..
        web-based office? and custom call center application? I just cant see why I should go with this solution instead of buying a PC, that I can buy without VAT for my company and I have some “inventory” at least. And I can open the web-based office on my own. Cause I have a internet connection that is used to connect to the RDP. Stronger VMs look better, they could run some BI on the background, I consider that as usefull.

        These machines should have ZERO patching issues. None. Zilch. In theory at least.

        Cool, now microsoft wants me to pay money for escaping buggy updates, that we did not ask for and that we are complaining about all the time. Very clever.

        I can understand, that someone needs computing power above his available options. Or streaming, or gaming servers. But really Office 365 through the edge? Are they trying to achive something they are not telling, or what?
        Until Microsoft comes with some cheap available terminal (or free with subscription) for end users, it seems like overkill to me and its not much viable.
        My next PC will definately by physical computer.

        Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 20H2 Enterprise

        HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

        PRUSA i3 MK3S+

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2378144
          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          A cheap terminal is exactly what Microsoft seems to be planning. Introducing the C-Version (as in Cloud) of the Surface Pro. Very low price, zero user configuration, no problems with updates, and infinite resources (for a price) in the Cloud. Add a 5G Internet Connection and go! (5G can be used indoors and outdoors, and in moving vehicles, nearly seamlessly.)

          The younger crowd and many businesses and schools will eat them up like cotton candy at the State Fair.  Look how well Chromebooks did, and multiply this by Microsoft’s existing business and government user base.

          It is possible, and it looks like it is happening. Soon.

          -- rc primak

      • #2377831
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        A point to consider : Windows 365 solves the ‘Why Not Windows 11’ compatibility problem.
        Everyone is invited to Windows 11.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2377885
          anonymous
          Guest

          Alex5723 wrote:
          Windows 365 solves the ‘Why Not Windows 11’ compatibility problem.

          Well, yeah, I suppose so, but I think you’re sort of thinking about it backwards…

          Microsoft’s recently announced plans for Windows 11 introduce a compatibility problem that Microsoft hopes will drive Windows 365 subscriptions/revenue.

          Hope this helps.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2378145
          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          Everyone is invited to Windows 11

          You mean, Windows 365. But yes, everyone is invited.

          -- rc primak

          • #2378177
            b
            AskWoody MVP

            Except consumers.

            Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1237 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2378732
              rc primak
              AskWoody_MVP

              Give Microsoft time. They will come up with something for Home and Pro users, like Chrome OS — run through the Browser, but essentially a Cloud Desktop, always-connected option.

              Someone commented below an article on Windows 365 that offering a Cloud Desktop to consumers would be impossible, because we don’t all use identical apps and we would want personalized desktops. The argument was that a personalized Cloud Desktop experience for consumers would be far too costly for MS to offer it for a reasonable per-license cost.  I think that’s short-sighted rubbish. If Chrome OS can do something like this, so can Microsoft 365 or a consumer version.

              Cloud Desktop will come to consumers — it’s just a question of when. And it will be an option, not the only way to get and use Windows.

              -- rc primak

      • #2377832
        Tom-R
        AskWoody Plus

        Is your next PC a cloud?

        Easy answer, one word: NO!

        (I actually wanted to make that “No” two words, but I held back since there’s the lounge rule about no swearing.)

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2377839
        Pepsiboy
        AskWoody Lounger

        Susan,

        Thank you for the “Heads Up”. This sounds to me like just ANOTHER reason to stick with our Win 7 SP 1 machines. They may be a bit OLD and a bit SLOW, but they ARE reliable. No logical reason to get rid of them.

        Keep up the good work.

        Dave

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2377849
          anonymous
          Guest

          I agree with you, absolutely:  100%

           

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2377841
        EricB
        AskWoody Plus

        The “Cloud” was, is, and always will be someone else’s computer.

        I don’t use it and never plan to.  I don’t trust the Cloud with my data.  There’s no way I would ever trust the Cloud to host a PC.

        7 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2377931
          Douglas
          AskWoody Plus

          My thoughts exactly. As inexpensive as hard drives and backup storage devices are these days, there is absolutely no reason why I need or want to use the Cloud to store my data or host any programs that I want to run.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2377853
        HarryH3
        AskWoody Lounger

        I have suspected that this was Microsoft’s long game intention from the very first time that I read about Windows 10 updates being “free” and “the last Windows ever”.  And here we are, instead of buying a copy of Windows and using it for many years, Microsoft will now make it available on a subscription basis, hoovering up money every, single, month.  :-O  ( And if you want to use your online PC from your own PC, you get to use the already-paid-for copy of Windows to open a browser and login to the pay-as-you-go copy of Windows).  Perhaps this will increase sales of Chromebooks and help the adoption of Linux?

        Every company drools at the prospect of a steady stream of income for very little effort, thus the stampede to subscription based everything.  I’ve even read that car companies plan to start offering some of the options on their vehicles on a subscription basis.  Would you like to have heated seats?  They were installed at the factory and really, YOU paid for them already, but if you would like to use them, just sign in and subscribe to our seat warmer service.  🙁

        6 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2377854
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          I’ve even read that car companies plan to start offering some of the options on their vehicles on a subscription basis.

          Off topic, but.. of course, this is very likely to happen in Europe soon. Car sharing 🤦‍♂️
          But to be honest, I really dislike the idea of sharing my seat with someone else. Ppeople do not take care about “shared things” and they behave like they can actually break it. No consequences. If the car is your own, you take care of it. Who will take care about thing, that is public? noone, thats who.

          Perhaps this will increase sales of Chromebooks and help the adoption of Linux?

          Not sure, because people will do what you want them to do, if you scare those people – we all know that.
          Your system might be insecure! Update now!
          You dont want MS account? Really continue with limited fuctionality?
          Still using Windows 7? Your creditcard might be in danger!

          Im trying to use humor here, but I hope you get my idea. No cloud Windows PC for me neither, please.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 20H2 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          PRUSA i3 MK3S+

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2377962
          wdburt1
          AskWoody Plus

          The realization that everyone–producers and consumers, too–wants something for nothing goes a long way to demystifying monopoly theory.  And so Microsoft inches a bit closer to that goal.

          As capital has increasingly been substituted for labor, producers have struggled to deal with the dilemma that they make a large investment up front and then the marginal costs of production are nominal.  Meaning that the competitor can come along, reverse-engineer what was invented, and set off a race to the bottom.  Pushing us all into a subscription model is one way of dealing with the problem.

          It’s an old problem, first explored in mind-numbing complexity by the US railroads and their regulators a century ago.

        • #2378146
          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          Perhaps this will increase sales of Chromebooks

          You are aware that Chromebooks run the most spyware-laden OS around?

          No, those concerned about their privacy will be duped into going for Apple’s version of these Cloud PCs. Linux will remain a backwater dominated by computer-nerds and radical anti-corporate types.

          -- rc primak

      • #2377850
        anonymous
        Guest

        Little by little, day by day, year by year, we are all slowly being trained and conditioned to accept that if you use the internet for anything, for any reason, you give up your right to privacy and your right to choose who and what you share information and data with about yourself and those connected with you.

         

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2377896
          anonymous
          Guest

          “Little by little, day by day, year by year, we are all slowly being trained and conditioned to accept that if you use the internet for anything, for any reason, you give up your right to privacy and your right to choose who and what you share information and data with about yourself and those connected with you.”

          Nailed it.

          Even though I really really *really* do believe Zuckerberg is the anti-christ, he was dead on when he truthfully said that privacy is dead.

          • #2377924
            anonymous
            Guest

            Yes, and he also said that he cares far more about his company than he does about his country, too.

             

            • #2378061
              Paul T
              AskWoody MVP

              As he should. His company pays for him to live, his country does not.

              cheers, Paul

              • #2378147
                rc primak
                AskWoody_MVP

                To paraphrase Mussolini:

                And how many Divisions does Facebook have?

                -- rc primak

      • #2377920
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Susan, quoting from an article: “Another tool is called Project “Orland” and is touted as “…. a new experience in Partner Center to help cloud solution provider (CSP) partners grow their cloud businesses by sharing Microsoft-powered insights about their customers to improve account management. CSP partners will get recommendations from their existing customer base such as customers with trial conversion potential, customers who may need follow-up engagements or customers ready for new workloads to deploy.”  I raised my eyebrow a bit on that description. Okay Mr. or Ms. Consultant, you are explaining to your customer that you are spying on them, yes? It will be interesting to read that eula.

        ” Cloud solution” is a delusion fed by the wish to make lots of money by offering more services that few have asked for, but company bosses might like because they have heard that will save them money and trouble, and believe it – or else don’t want to be regarded as old fogies out of touch with the new and cool “tech”.

        It might be a “solution”, the day that the “tech” providers and “Cloud”-enthusiast wanna-be big-money-makers find a way to make “the Cloud” immune to attacks, so  far repeatedly successful, by various kids of bad actors, some with the full faith and credit of their national governments behind them. Of course, when money, lots of it, are smelled in the wind by many so-called Captains of Industry and their big investors, these just forge right ahead, without letting such petty concerns bother them.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2377975
        Average-Jane
        AskWoody Plus

        Well, as a Home user I’d never do this.  Even as skeptical/cynical as I am of big tech corps taking advantage of us cannon fodder, this plus The Register’s article makes me think this is going to be a corporate product.

        My impression, as a near-layperson, is that this is an extension of the various Office apps in that now you can access all of a corporate Windows OS/desktop environment from the browser.  So to me, that makes me think constant, high-quality Internet connectivity would be essential (and if you live in the sticks, tough luck), and that your ‘desktop’ could experience way more lag, especially if that first criterion isn’t met.

        Is there an equivalent to this Windows 365 in either the Mac or Linux/BSD spheres?

      • #2377988
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        Yesterday my cable modem got fried by a lightning strike.  That was the only item in the house that got hit.  My computer still worked just fine.  My NAS still worked just fine.

        Where would my cloud computer be?  Waiting for a cable technician?  Luckily I have a spare modem, and after three calls and speaking to two different agents (the first one kept telling me my modem was offline), I spoke to an agent who listened to my problem. took the modem ID and MAC address from me for my spare that was already plugged in and showing good lights, but not recognized/activated on their end, pushed the activation, and I was back online.

        If my “PC” was in the cloud, I would have had to wait at least a week for the first available technician.

        No, thank you very much, I’ll keep my PC in hardware, right here.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        5 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2377993
          b
          AskWoody MVP

          If my “PC” was in the cloud, I would have had to wait at least a week for the first available technician.

          Unless you had a spare modem. And you expended considerable effort with those three calls to get your “worked just fine” computers back online anyway. So I don’t see much difference, as most of us find limited use for a computer with no internet connection.

          Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1237 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2377999
            Tom-R
            AskWoody Plus

            …most of us find limited use for a computer with no internet connection.

            Sure, losing Internet access is going to limit your ability to get things done.  You’re not going to be able to do any online banking, online shopping, online forums (like AskWoody here), etc.  But with my locally controlled (non-Cloud) PC, I still have access to all my locally stored data and I have full functionality of all my installed applications.

            I can still run Quicken, and enter receipts and reconcile accounts.  I still have access to all the statements and invoices that I received or downloaded from my credit card companies, banks, Amazon, etc. before losing Internet access.  I can still organize and edit all my photos (which are also stored locally, not in the cloud).  I can go thru my To-Do List in Outlook and compose replies to emails that need a response — even if they just get queued up in my Outbox waiting for Internet access to return.  I can still record broadcast TV shows to my computer’s hard drive via a rooftop antenna.  And I can create tutorials on my computer (recording the screen) to video files, which I can also edit offline without any Internet.  I also have access to all my locally stored client files via a locally stored database; so I’m able to communicate with and support clients by phone even with my Internet connection being down.

            Try doing any of those things without having Internet access if your PC only exists “in the Cloud”.

            3 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2378367
              Noel Carboni
              AskWoody_MVP

              I still have access to all my locally stored data and I have full functionality of all my installed applications.

              I don’t think you fathom how much your OS and software already depend on being online.

              Do you think you would even be able to install an application (notwithstanding that we get them from online sources almost exclusively now) without your computer being able to access online Certification servers?

              I also generally prefer local functionality myself, but I’m sorry to say we have already left complete autonomy behind with operating systems quite a few major versions older than the ones we have now.

              -Noel

              1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2378377
                Tom-R
                AskWoody Plus

                Noel, I don’t at all disagree that we’re very much living in an online world now.  Yes, we need the Internet to download and install software.  And we rely on the Internet for everything — email, banking, shopping, education, etc.  It’s become a basic utility that we all rely on — like electricity and water.  But just like any infrastructure there will always be interruptions in service — sometimes just briefly for minutes, but occasionally for hours or even days.

                My point is that if my PC is only something virtual (in the Cloud) that’s only available to me while the Internet (and the hosting web services) are up and running, then I’m completely dependent on that infrastructure to get anything done.  If and when it goes down, my virtual PC is completely useless — a boat anchor.

                But with an actual “real” PC sitting on my desk with its locally resident software (yes, previously installed and activated via the Internet), and with all my data safely available on local directly attached storage, I can keep getting work done regardless of the state of my Internet connection — or of Microsoft’s W365 servers.  I can still work on my To-Do list in Outlook and compose reply emails to queue up in my Outbox (to send when service is restored).  I can still sort thru previously downloaded receipts and invoices, and enter transactions into Quicken or QuickBooks registers.  I can still create and edit Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and videos, etc. etc.; and sync up those documents with others later.

                Bottom line: I can still be getting productive work done with an actual real PC — even without the Internet or Microsoft’s W365 servers.  With a virtual Cloud PC, I’m completely dead in the water.

                3 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2378448
                wdburt1
                AskWoody Plus

                Two decades ago, when I began equipping my home office with an internet computer and an offline computer, part of the reason was that the latter booted faster and ran better because it wasn’t trying to deal with the internet.  While the difference has narrowed, this is still true.

                Over time, the offweb computer has become the one that does the heavy lifting, with specialized software, large files, and several attached hard drives.  The internet computer–the same model, purchased at the same time–is armed to the teeth with AV and related programs, but otherwise it is comparatively streamlined, holds few large files, and has no attached drives.  It takes about 90% less time to image it.  Nonetheless, the offline computer runs with fewer complications.

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2378489
                Noel Carboni
                AskWoody_MVP

                I have a machine here still running Win 7 that’s got several dedicated purposes, which do not include general purpose “going online” activities, though it IS connected to the network.

                It’s still running Windows 7 because that works just fine for what it needs to do. In fact, it’s been running the VERY SAME edition of Windows 7 at the same patch level since 2017. All is well, and in fact it hasn’t even needed a reboot since early 2020.

                For now it seems we can continue to run these “mostly offline” systems. In my case it’s because Win 7 really doesn’t need any patches or ongoing online connectivity to continue to work. But that was just about the last version of Windows that could really work that way. And in my case at least for this system I have zero need to run any software newer than the time I stopped keeping it up to date. That won’t keep forever, but it should be good for a few years yet.

                I’d be curious to know whether any newer OS than Windows 7 has been successfully set up to work without an online presence. For a while I ran Win 8.1 on my main development workstation that way as well, but that ultimately became unreasonable as there WAS newer software I needed to run that simply no longer supported Win 8.1. Ultimately I had to run a fully up-to-date Windows 10.

                My point here is that we can

                a) exit the mainstream and continue computing with an increasingly out-of-date system, and while it will continue to do what it did (assuming the hardware doesn’t burn out) it will ultimately be more or less useless.

                b) ride the mainstream wave and open the floodgates to cloud computing. We aren’t there yet, but we can all plainly see the writing on the wall.

                Microsoft (or any other commercial OS maker) has no incentive to support a middle ground. Ultimately those of us who want to continue running our own computers will probably have to run operating systems that are not in the commercial mainstream.

                -Noel

                2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2378491
                Noel Carboni
                AskWoody_MVP

                …And you should know I’m no fan of Unix/Linux, but if it’s that or having to use a cloud computer exclusively, you can be sure I’ll get to know Linux.

                My small Win 7 system is now 6 years old. I suspect the hardware will fail at some point. Nothing lasts forever. Then what? I’ll have to either fix it or get a new, small Win 10 system to take its place. I doubt I’ll be able to run Win 10 anywhere near as restrictively as that old Win 7 system, which has been trimmed of any/all ongoing “as a service” type activities.

                Maybe Windows Server?

                -Noel

                3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2378049
            bbearren
            AskWoody MVP

            Unless you had a spare modem. And you expended considerable effort with those three calls to get your “worked just fine” computers back online anyway. So I don’t see much difference, as most of us find limited use for a computer with no internet connection.

            I don’t disagree.  I did have a spare modem, and there’s a reason for that, which came into play yesterday.  I have multiple drive images, and there’s a reason for that, as well.

            I have a full drive image of my NAS OS, and I could restore the EFI partition in a couple minutes if it ever became necessary.

            But how many others prepare at this level?  My wish for home users is not to shield them from Microsoft Bugaboos, but to have them learn how to deal with those issues when they come up, and keep smilin’.

            Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
            "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
            "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2378062
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            most of us find limited use for a computer with no internet connection

            Unless you are a corporate / business user. If that is where the product is aimed it may be a hard sell.

            cheers, Paul

            • #2378072
              Tom-R
              AskWoody Plus

              It’s going to be a hard sell to home users too — or to anyone who’s just plain tired of shelling out more money every month for subscriptions that keep piling on new looks and features that most users have little need for or interest in getting.  And that’s on top of all the other monthly subscriptions for cell service, cable, Netflix, DoorDash, Amazon Prime, etc. etc.  At some point, people are going to say STOP, enough is enough.

              But of course, a Windows 365 subscription to replace every real hardware PC is Microsoft’s ultimate goal with this new “cloud PC” strategy of theirs.  Apparently they’re not getting enough revenue from Office/Microsoft 365.  So they need this new Windows 365 nonsense to try and suck even more users into their subscription-based Nirvana.

              It seems like we’re devolving back to the last century where end users had dumb ASCII terminals connecting thru dial-up phone lines to some big corporate timeshare systems.  Only now, instead of dial-up phone lines, we’ve graduated to high-speed Internet connections and high-res displays.  Big whoop!  What users will end up with at their home or office is going to be basically nothing more than those dumb terminals from the mid 20th century — useless boat anchors when the network connection goes down.  And they’ll be paying a monthly subscription for the privilege of having those boat anchors on their desks.

              5 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2378278
              b
              AskWoody MVP

              most of us find limited use for a computer with no internet connection

              Unless you are a corporate / business user. If that is where the product is aimed it may be a hard sell.

              cheers, Paul

              You think office workers don’t need an internet connection?

              Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1237 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

              1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2378084
            wdburt1
            AskWoody Plus

            I don’t know about “most of us,” but I have long had two desktop computers in my home office, one with internet access and the other offline (air gapped) except to update software now and then.  This arrangement has saved my bacon many times.  A third computer is completely offline and runs a scanner using Windows XP.

            The usual advice regarding backups is to have at least one backup on a cloud service to protect against theft fire, or other disaster at home.  But those backups are secondary to others kept on a local hard drive.  Other than that, I have little use for putting my stuff on “somebody else’s computer.”

            3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2378017
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        The real issue here, as I see it, is not about “connectivity”: it is about not becoming a casualty in the currently hotting up cyber war.

        As anyone paying attention to the epic cyber attacks that happen repeatedly, in quick succession and are often in the news, including in numerous and frequent postings here, at AskWoody, and because of which a great many people have had their personal and business information stolen, or made hostage for ransom, by crooks and by shady military cyber-attack organizations, not to mention the assaults against critical public infrastructure that, these days, are largely controlled and, or run with computer networks that need some Internet access.

        Does anyone believe that somehow, magically, “the Cloud” is invulnerable to such attacks and that, if they place their important stuff in it, it will be kept perfectly safe there?

        This is the world we live in. Given that, should someone who is worried about “connectivity” see “the Cloud” as a practical solution? Really?

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Big Sur & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. also Intego AV and Malwarebytes for the Mac.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2378052
        anonymous
        Guest

        Not a chance in hell I’d ever voluntarily store my personal data in the cloud nor would I ever use a cloud based OS. Given Microsoft’s history of outages, no thanks. Office goes out for a couple of hours, frustrating but livable. The OS goes out… not acceptable.

        And as for patching, I can’t see why they’d treat this any different than the current mess. Preview patches released to the cloud OS and unfixed vulnerabilities and so on. Sounds like a total nightmare to me.

        This is the final nail in the “It’s my pc” coffin. The only control I have left is when I turn the power switch off.

        ** Yes, my email is stored in the cloud for the 10 minutes it takes Thunderbird to check and download it. That’s not what I mean by personal data.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2378067
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Is there an equivalent to this Windows 365 in either the Mac or Linux/BSD spheres?

        No. But Chrome OS was there first.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2378213
          Average-Jane
          AskWoody Plus

          How usable is it without an Internet connection?  I’d imagine you can do offline work in office-equivalent apps that gets synced whenever a network connection is available.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2378252
            PKCano
            Manager

            The Cloud PCs can be accessed from Win PCs, iPhones, iPads, Android devices, probably Linux. So the ” office-equivalent apps” syncing doesn’t apply.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2378741
            rc primak
            AskWoody_MVP

            I’ve tried using Chrome OS offline. That experience convinced me to set up Linux on the Chromebook. (It’s a container or “dual-boot” using the “chrx” method and Gallium OS.)

            Apple’s answer to Chrome OS is iOS (iPad).

            I should say, Chrome OS is Google’s answer to iOS (iPad).

            -- rc primak

      • #2378217
        anonymous
        Guest

        Being a bit open-minded here: I personally do not have a use for a cloud PC, but I can see instances where businesses may find it useful. With work-from-home having become a forced necessity due to the pandemic, a lot of businesses and companies have had to adapt overnight, and this is probably Microsoft’s response to that.

        One benefit I can see, for Windows 365 for businesses, is that it would allow employees to access work computers from home, without the business having to deal with sending work laptops home or having their employees directly manage company information on personal devices. It would also allow employees to use whatever device they want, so employees who would rather not use Windows at home don’t have to keep a Windows machine around for work. I personally use a Mac (having switched from Windows), and this could possibly allow me to use Windows-only programs that my employer needs me to use without having to fire up a virtual machine (mind you, I love my virtual machines, but I can’t say the same for my employer).

        This might be seen as cheaper for businesses if it saves them the maintenance and upkeep costs of work laptops (although Microsoft doesn’t appear to have announced any prices yet, so the jury’s still out on this one), so depending on your job, this may or may not be something you’ll have to deal with eventually. It’s not yet available for home and personal use, so no—my next PC will not be the cloud. At least, not for personal use. I’m quite happy with my Mac and my Windows virtual machines.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2378220
          Susan Bradley
          Manager

          One thing to keep in mind that the $30 a month is JUST the operating system, it does not include Microsoft 365 which would be on top of that.  The price has leaked out on an Ignite slide.  I’ll be signing up for one just to test and to see if I can get just one and only one.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2378233
            Tom-R
            AskWoody Plus

            …the $30 a month is JUST the operating system, it does not include Microsoft 365 which would be on top of that.

            It also doesn’t include a whole lot of cloud storage either.  If my understanding is correct, I believe the low end Windows 365 would only get you 128 GB.  Also for anyone who needs apps beyond the basic Office/Microsoft 365 suite, that would be extra as well.

            So let’s just price out the cost for a hypothetical single user — where he/she can’t split the cost among multiple family members or co-workers.  Here’s our hypothetical test case.  It’s a single user who wants a Windows cloud PC with all the Office apps (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.), as well as QuickBooks, Adobe Illustrator and Acrobat Pro.  And our test case user needs around 2TB of cloud storage for data.  Here’s what the monthly subscription costs might look like:

            • $30 – Windows 365 (with 128 GB storage)
            • $  7 – Microsoft 365 (with 1 TB storage)
            • $10 – Microsoft 365 1 TB storage add-on
            • $25 – Intuit QuickBooks Simple Start (single user)
            • $21 – Adobe Illustrator
            • $15 – Adobe Acrobat Pro

            Add all those monthly subscriptions up, and it comes to $108 per month.  That’s a yearly cost of $1,296.  And the absolute worst part about the whole deal is that after shelling out all that money over the course of the year, the user owns absolutely nothing.  It’s basically all money that has been paid out to his software “landlords” in rent.  Oh, and if the landlords decide they’re not getting enough revenue coming in, they can opt to “raise the rent” at any time with very little advance notice.

            The 20th Century idealistic dream of personal computing is rapidly becoming just a 21st Century nightmare of corporate greed.

             

            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2378275
              b
              AskWoody MVP

              Windows 365 Cloud PC is not intended for families or home users, and does require an Azure subscription and Enterprise E3 license.

              But which corporate position would require QuickBooks AND Illustrator AND Acrobat Pro?

              It seems like you may have chosen those programs just because they are relatively expensive monthly subscriptions.

              Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1237 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

              1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2378298
                Susan Bradley
                Manager

                I saw on a tweet that this is designed for small business.  The “sweet spot” is supposedly 10.  Quickbooks would indeed be in that mix if true.

                https://twitter.com/marypcbuk/status/1415749125744824329

                “W365 Business is designed for ‘very small businesses’; around 10 people is the sweet spot, I was told – but it would work for one person. maximum is 300 users. I talk more about the admin portal W365 Business has instead of using MEM here”

                Susan Bradley Patch Lady

                2 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2378340
                Tom-R
                AskWoody Plus

                …which corporate position would require QuickBooks AND Illustrator AND Acrobat Pro?

                Not your typical home user.  But then, Microsoft (at least currently) isn’t targeting Windows 365 to home users.  On the other hand, I’ve worked with a number of small business owners or self-employed consultants who have setups quite similar to that.  Especially folks like graphic artists, small publishing outfits, and website designers.  I can even point to some less likely users like sole practitioner doctors, who run their own practice but have other outside seemingly unrelated interests as well.  Yes, the software I cited is expensive.  That’s exactly the point I was trying to make.  And Microsoft is just making the situation even worse.

          • #2378260
            anonymous
            Guest

            Just saw the prices as well… and while I haven’t done any math, that’s quite a lot, especially given how this price is per-employee. It might still attract businesses who decide that the benefits outweigh the consequences, but by no means is this a cheap option.

          • #2378266
            PKCano
            Manager

            If the OS is in the Cloud, and access is from WindowsBooks, iPads, Android tablets, etc, so the computing power is actually Cloud-based…..
            And
            All the Windows updating/installing/computing specs are controlled by MS on their servers (and one might guess cloud printing and data storage as well since the access devices don’t have sufficient storage)…….

            Where does that leave IT Depts? Network infrastructure, access device and printer maintenance?
            You could trade off IT employees’ salaries and incurred overhead/benefits and cost of office space for Microsoft365 rental fees. $30/mo + extra $$ for added CPU cores, RAM, storage space, Office365, added special programs, etc.
            Might be a savings for businesses here?

            • #2378273
              b
              AskWoody MVP

              I don’t think a Cloud PC relieves an IT Department from much responsibility.

              The initial provision may be slightly quicker as it doesn’t involve hardware, but it still has to be set up appropriately by someone.

              I think the work from anywhere with anything aspect (without extra VPN and security complications) will be the main attraction to businesses.

              But there seems to be a general assumption currently that Microsoft would be responsible for keeping a Cloud PC updated. I don’t think that has been indicated and I find it highly unlikely.

              Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1237 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

              • #2378276
                PKCano
                Manager

                I really don’t see MS allowing other than up-to-date MS products (at least) on their servers. Windows, Office, etc.
                And I don’t see them giving administrative rights to install anything the customer wants on them either. They will probably charge for installing the extra programs, not even considering the security aspects of customers’ vulnerable, possibly out-of-date, or buggy software.

                4 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2378307
                b
                AskWoody MVP

                Depending on the admin choices, users can rename, reboot and troubleshoot their Cloud PCs from the portal. “If my admin allows me to be a local admin, I could theoretically install software that could put the machine into a bad state. This gives me a low-level Azure Resource Manager restart that puts that machine back into a good state.”

                Windows 365 is the long-awaited Microsoft Cloud PC service

                Windows 10 Pro version 21H2 build 19044.1237 + Microsoft 365 (group ASAP)

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2378352
                Susan Bradley
                Manager

                As I  understand it, it’s just a virtual machine. Microsoft wouldn’t control the install of apps.  I’ll let you know for sure on 8/1 when it opens up.

                Windows 365 vs. Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) – Comparing Two DaaS Products – Nerdio (getnerdio.com)

                Susan Bradley Patch Lady

                1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2378224
        James Bond 007
        AskWoody Lounger

        From this initial announcement it is clear it is designed for business use at this point. In my opinion Windows is (slowly) going the subscription route.

        We may see a consumer version of this “Cloud PC” in the future. However, a consumer version of this probably won’t work unless the user has a “reliable” internet connection, and how many people can say that, even in the US?

        Anyway, for me I will never use any of this. I won’t trust Microsoft (or any other company offering such services) to store my important personal data “in the Cloud” not do I want to pay another monthly fee just for the right to use a “Cloud PC”. Is that Microsoft (or other companies) Cloud never going to be hacked? Is it never going offline?

        No, no thanks. I will trust myself to keep my own data locally and I will never use (never mind pay for) such a product.

        Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

        6 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2378353
          Susan Bradley
          Manager

          I honestly have reliable Internet.  My cell phone is my fallover backup.

          Susan Bradley Patch Lady

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2378361
        Noel Carboni
        AskWoody_MVP

        Somehow I’m reminded of the future portrayed in several films…

        IdiocracyPoster

        ReadyPlayerOne

        -Noel

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2378416
        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        My point is that if my PC is only something virtual (in the Cloud) that’s only available to me while the Internet (and the hosting web services) are up and running, then I’m completely dependent on that infrastructure to get anything done.

        You hit the nail on the head.

        As many moving “parts” as we might say a  modern PC might need in order to work the way we want it, a cloud PC would require two more things on top of all that to function properly: the Internet connection and the servers from the cloud service. It’s two additional points of failure; the system becomes that much more brittle.

         

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2378490
        Ricard
        AskWoody Plus

        Very simply, if it’s in the Cloud, it’s NOT a Personal Computer.

        As others have mentioned, it’s a return to the age of walled-off mainframes and dumb terminals. There might be use cases for that (as there are for Chromebooks), but let’s stop calling such things a “PC”. It isn’t. Period.

        Win 7 Pro, 64-Bit, Group B ESU,Ivy Bridge i3-3110M, 2.4GHz, 4GB, XP Mode VM, WordPerfect
        6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2378752
        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        While Windows 365 currently is not inviting consumers, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the “next Windows” will include an announcement of a consumer Cloud Desktop offering of some sort. It can be done, and if Microsoft doesn’t do it, Google can expand and enhance Chrome OS, and Amazon and Facebook can offer their own versions of a Cloud Desktop with Cloud Apps. Apple’s roadmap would be complicated by some limitations in iOS, but iPad was the original “Cloud PC”, and it will continue to be developed and enhanced.

        Don’t think the Linux Community will allow itself to be left out. I have no idea what they will come up with, and it will not involve dedicated hardware, but some sort of Cloud Desktop for Linux could easily be invented, using open-source software and nonaligned servers. But someone has to pay for Cloud resources, so such services will definitely not be free as in free beer. But rather, federated as in not centrally (corporately) owned and controlled. In other words, Free-Libre, not Free-No-Cost.

        The Linux Fediverse is illustrated in the social platform Mastodon:

        https://www.linux-magazine.com/Issues/2019/227/Tutorial-Fediverse

         

        -- rc primak

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