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Microsoft announces Apple Silicon compatible browser-based Windows 365

Windows 365 (Source: Microsoft)

Last updated

As Apple Silicon users continue to wait for Windows virtualization options, Microsoft has unveiled a new service that has virtual PCs working on any platform in the browser.

In its move to the M1 processor, Apple has dropped its longstanding Windows tool, Boot Camp. Although apps such as Parallels Desktop allow Windows to be run alongside macOS, Microsoft has introduced a new service that could render the issue moot.

Windows 365 will be a service that potentially lets users on any platform, with any browser, run a full version of Windows in the cloud.

"With Windows 365, we're creating a new category: the Cloud PC," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a blog post. "Just like applications were brought to the cloud with SaaS [software as a service], we are now bringing the operating system to the cloud, providing organizations with greater flexibility and a secure way to empower their workforce to be more productive and connected, regardless of location."

No pricing has been announced, but when Windows 365 launches on August 2, 2021, it will be a subscription service. It's aimed at businesses, rather than individuals.

Microsoft says that the purpose is to provide tools for people who are now, because of the coronavirus, changing their work situation.

"With workforces more disparate than ever before, organizations need a new way to deliver a great productivity experience with increased versatility, simplicity and security," said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Microsoft 365.

"Cloud PC is an exciting new category of hybrid personal computing that turns any device into a personalized, productive and secure digital workspace," he continued. "Today's announcement of Windows 365 is just the beginning of what will be possible as we blur the lines between the device and the cloud."

According to The Verge, Windows 365 will be offered in Business and Enterprise versions, both via the Azure Virtual Desktop. A Cloud PC will start with a single CPU, 2GB RAM, and 64GB of storage.

There are ultimately going to be 12 different configurations. The highest reportedly has 8 CPUs, 32GB RAM, and 512GB storage.

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