Microsoft Windows 365 Cloud PC licensing

Late summer 2021 Microsoft introduced their Cloud PC: Windows 365. According to Microsoft customers can stream Windows 10 – and soon Windows 11 – desktop operating system with personalized Apps from the cloud to any device. We take you on a short tour on the licensing.

Read time: 3 minutes

Multiple configurations
Windows 365 Cloud PC is available in 12 different configurations with a choice in virtual processor, memory and storage. The simple ones are great for mobile work through a web browser and you might want the heavy ones if you are a heavy IT user.

What about Azure Virtual Desktop?
Is Windows 365 a Virtual Desktop (Infrastructure)? Yes it is. Even better, it is based on Azure Virtual Desktop. The main difference is that Windows 365 is a ‘ready to go’ solution – Software as a Service – with limited things customers can adjust. Azure Virtual Desktop is the Platform as a Service solution, where customers have more settings, management options and integration with VMWare and Citrix (Windows 365 doesn’t offer that). An article on Azure Virtual Desktop licensing can be found here.

Two editions
Windows 365 comes with two different editions: Enterprise and Business. The Enterprise edition is targeted at larger customers, who need Microsoft Endpoint Management as an example. The Business edition only offers Azure AD management and has a cap of 300 users, but can perfectly fit to Small and Midsized businesses. All information on flavors, settings and features here.

Windows 365 licensing
Windows 365 is an online service which requires a license per user who uses the online service. Users who want u use Windows 365 Enterprise must have the following licenses assigned (individually or as a total in a bundle):

  • Windows 10 Enterprise per user
  • Intune
  • Azure Active Directory Plan 1 or Plan 2

An example of a bundle which contains all of those licenses is Microsoft 365 E3 or Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

Windows 365 Business does not have any licensing prerequisites. Licenses may be assigned to any user at any time (please bear in mind the reassignment rules). However, Microsoft offers a Windows 365 Business with Windows Hybrid Benefit License Assignment Eligibility against a discounted price (minus USD 4.00).
This are the prerequisites for the Hybrid Benefit discounted price:

  • The licensed user must be the primary user of a licensed Windows 10 / 11 Pro device
  • The licensed user must access the Windows 365 PC at least once every subscription term from that licensed device

If customer fails to meet these requirements, the customer will have to pay the full price. An example for a 2vCPU machine with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage (Microsoft Suggested Retail Price per user per month):

Windows 365 Enterprise*                                                                             US$ 50
Windows 365 Business                                                                                  US$ 54
Windows 365 Business with Windows Hybrid Benefits                         US$ 50

*Licensing prerequisites apply

More information
Do you want more information on Windows 365 licensing or need a certified licensing consultant to help you? Please contact us for your appointment.

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