Windows 365 has a lot of different use cases, and here is a deeper dive into the third part of the personas series, which started here. Today lets talk about the persona employee, the one persona you probably serve the most.
An employee is hired for a fulltime job in your company. Someone you trust, but also someone with a lot of access to information, which means you should aim to protect them just as much as the consultant.
How we usually support employees
Every employee is provided with a device and an identity from the organizations environment.
Usually we can choose from two or three devices, and the difference is usually the size of the monitor in the laptop. Ranging from 13″ to 15″, perhaps a 17″ for some employees. Employees will chose a small, normal and large device during their onboarding process.
Employees are also provided with a desk fully equipped with an external monitor, mouse and keyboard. And a backpack for all of us with a bit of home office or clean desktop at work.
The device is managed by IT, either using SCCM or Intune, which should provide you with a secure device, empowered with applications you need. Later we can request additional access or application which IT will provision for us.
Journey up until today
We have spent the last 5-6 years moving to a modern device management, where devices are joined to Azure AD and identities comes from Azure AD. We have been focusing on using the local desktop, paired with cloud services to do the heavy lifting.
But if you are like me, we live for tomorrow and want to explore what the future can give us, then the next chapter is for you!
Journey moving forward into the future
The future we are embarking on today is giving us the Cloud PC, which is a virtual desktop running in a cloud (external data center).
Sounds familiar? We have done this before yes. Also known as VDI/Terminal Services, but now it is provided as a service within Microsoft 365, where the Cloud PC is called a Windows 365 Cloud PC or more advanced through Azure Virtual Desktop.
A Cloud PC still requires a physical device to connect with, but the variety of devices to connect from is endless. And whichever device you choose, the Cloud PC remains secure. As the physical device is no danger to the Cloud PC today, or compared to mixing business and personal tasks on the same physical device.
We can even consider calling it bring your own device (BYOD) and the local desktop is used for your personal tasks, while you do your business work inside the Cloud PC.
Windows 365 features notable
I wanted to highlight some the features current and announced with Windows 365, that make it even more believable as the future desktop.
Windows 365 will enable offline mode in near future, making it useful even without Internet connection. And when internet connectivity is achieved, it will synchronize the changes to the Cloud PC service.
Microsoft have announced Windows 365 Boot, which will let you boot directly into your Cloud PC and not really use your local desktop interactively.
Windows 365 can be another virtual desktop on your start-menu, very integrated into your local desktop experience.
Choose the right device
You might say the physical device needs as much administration and support, as the Cloud PC itself, so it will only add tasks and not save time for IT. But this always depend on your users self-service ability, which you can accommodate with different type of physical devices.
You don’t have to block certain devices, keep it open for everyone to explore, but provide the right kind of device for the right kind of user. We can actually implement bring your own device, which for some companies can be what employees favor and have desired for a long time.
Now, you might get the idea to use thin clients again, but most customers left them behind a decade ago. Back when we started the journey to bring back the local desktop again (Modern Device Management).
The additional support increase comes if everyone keeps using their regular desktop, without the knowledge to support themself.
And we have different options I’d like to point out, as they are a little different from the most used device we have today:
Igel OS – a OS specially designed for physical devices to access Cloud PCs. Can be very useful to support users with low need for abilities to self-service a regular computer, and not having to change your hardware.
Windows Kiosk Mode – Windows 10/11 only allowing the remote application to access Cloud PCs. It will disable all use of the local desktop, and only allow access to Cloud PCs. You will still need to administrate the locally installed Windows OS, but it will not have any additional third-party applications or interactive use. Making it easier to keep it up to date and secure.
Tablets – Tablets like iPad and Android have supported application for accessing Cloud PCs. They are pretty portable and the OS is locked down to only approved applications. Also supports keyboard, mouse and external monitors.
LG TV Monitor – Supports Windows 365 Cloud PCs with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. I am not saying you should give the option to provide users with an LG TV, but if you have one at home or your looking at monitors for meeting rooms maybe.
The norm or standard device is a 13-15inch laptop today, running an Intel i5 CPU, Intel Graphics GPU and 8gb of memory. All of them can be a base to enter a Cloud PC.
The same goes for Apples Mac users, although they are a bit more expensive, they are also better built and better looking.
Microsoft Surface is also a runner up, considered a father to all ultra portable laptops and tablets with more and more tools for business tasks.
Chromebook is also an OS widely used, perhaps most in educational institutes. Its cheap, decent hardware and supports a lot of applications. Including remote app for Cloud PCs.
Windows 12 – OS for the future of Windows 365?
Last week Intel leaked or informed us of Windows 12 support and that maybe it will be a OS, hosted off-device.
This is an interesting turn of event, can Windows 365 just be the beginning?
Lets discuss this is a future article, a deeper dive into this protentional concept.
Separating work and personal is much more achievable with a Cloud PC for work and the local desktop for personal use. With one local desktop, I believe everyone in this world use that single desktop for bought purposes.
Links to the series about persona benefit and status for using a Cloud PC today: