Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 365 pricing sees a lukewarm reaction

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) has released pricing for its Windows 365 operating system. The virtual operating system, which Microsoft says is part of a new category of computing called cloud PCs, is currently available to businesses with up to 300 employees. The company plans to publish another edition aimed at businesses.

Key points to remember

  • Microsoft has released pricing for Windows 365, its cloud PC.
  • Observers say pricing is best suited for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
  • Microsoft has benefited from the move to cloud-based services. Whether Windows 365 will become a success in this trend remains to be seen.

Prices are charged according to the number of users and depend on the hardware configuration chosen for the virtual machine. For example, at the bottom of the scale, $ 20 per month allows a user to have 2GB of RAM, a single virtual core, and 64GB of storage. At the top, the company charges $ 162 for eight virtual cores, 32GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. In addition to including apps from the company’s popular Windows 10 or 11 operating systems, Microsoft said the Cloud PC will also support seamless access to apps from other operating systems.

An unenthusiastic reaction

The initial reaction to the price was not enthusiastic. Some have criticized Microsoft’s pricing, especially the high-end figure, as it comes down to being more expensive than the standard cost of a PC. They argue that it is cheaper for companies to buy a personal computer for their employees than to invest in a cloud solution.

Others have pointed out the similarities between Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), a similar virtual desktop option available on Microsoft’s cloud services. Given the pricing levels, they say Windows 365 is best suited for small businesses with less than 10 employees or businesses that don’t have much experience with remote desktop virtualization and want a solution. simple.

The lukewarm reaction to Microsoft’s latest product reflects the debate around the company’s launch of Office 365 ten years ago. At the time, observers were saying it took a lot of time and effort to migrate to the new cloud-based application for small businesses. After a slow launch in 2011, Office 365 has emerged as one of Microsoft’s top revenues in its Productivity and Business Process segment. Revenue in this segment was up $ 1.8 billion or 15% from a year earlier in the company’s latest quarterly results.

It’s hard to say for sure if Windows 365 will have a similar trajectory. But it taps into the prevailing trends in the workplace. The end of the pandemic has accelerated the shift to remote working, and Microsoft’s products have benefited. A slew of cloud-based products like Google Docs and Sheets, tech giants like Alphabet Inc. (GOOG) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) have helped cloud services replace on-premise software as a productivity tools of choice. In fact, the most popular operating system in the world today is Android, a mobile operating system. Microsoft’s Windows ranks second.

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