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Microsoft boosts its Windows 365 Cloud PC integration with Windows 11

Microsoft Windows
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is aiming to offer much better integration between its cloud PCs (opens in new tab) and Windows 11 desktop operating system, according to the computing giant.

Central to the plan is Cloud PC, the meat and potatoes Windows 365 computer solution that was launched last year.

Making the usability easier will be a couple of new ways of accessing Cloud PCs, with Windows 365 Boot offering the ability to boot directly into one of the machines from a regular PC. Users can then add the cloud desktop to make use of the Windows 11 experience.

Alternatively, Windows 365 Switch will enable users to quickly switch between Cloud PC and a local desktop. The task should be made that little bit easier thanks to a native Windows 365 app that can be used to launch the service from the Start menu or Task Bar areas.

Another new benefit has been designed to get round the issue of losing internet connection while you’re being productive. Windows 365 Offline can let you keep working, even if you’re not connected to the internet, with any changes automatically syncing to the Cloud PC once the machine comes back online.

Related: Best remote desktop software (opens in new tab).

Windows Cloud PC improvements

There’s no definite date for when the new features for Windows 11 will arrive, with Microsoft suggesting that it’ll be in the near future, but they should also work for Windows 10 users too. What is also unclear from the latest Microsoft announcement is how much extra cost will be involved to get the benefit from Cloud PCs monthly fee.

Panos Panay, Chief Product Office for Windows + Devices posted an update (opens in new tab) on the new goodies yesterday. He highlighted the changing needs of workers as one of the key reasons for implementing the additional features.

“Windows 11 is the operating system for hybrid work,” he wrote. “It’s built on a compatible and familiar foundation that’s easy for IT to manage. It’s designed to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving cyber landscape and equipped with experiences that help employees do their best work.

Panay also underlined the ongoing threat to employees, especially those working in a hybrid environment, from cybersecurity (opens in new tab) issues and risks, citing new data from Microsoft‘s 2022 Work Trend Index (opens in new tab)

“With built-in chip to cloud protection, Windows 11 is here to help organizations meet the new security challenges of the hybrid workplace, now and in the future,” he added.

How to find the best email client (opens in new tab).

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.