Microsoft said it wouldn’t discuss pricing for its Windows 365 Cloud PC service until the August 2nd launch date. So much for that. Just one day after the Windows 365 reveal, Microsoft confirms that its third-cheapest Windows 365 subscription carries a $31 monthly fee for each user. That might explain why individuals can’t use the service just yet.
Eagle-eyed enthusiasts caught the $31 pricing option during a Microsoft Inspire session, and it was almost immediately verified by Microsoft in conversations with ZDNet and The Verge. So, what do you get for $31 a month? Well, if you convince your employer to pay for this particular package, you will gain access to a Cloud PC with two virtual CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and just 128GB of storage.
In a blog post detailing Windows 365’s capabilities, Microsoft says that the 2vCPU / 4GB / 128GB Cloud PC configuration is best for “short-term and seasonal” work, among other things. That makes sense, as these specs are pretty unimpressive for the price. The main benefit to this plan is that businesses can bring on temporary employees without buying or setting up laptops. New hires can just log in to Windows 365 from whatever computer or tablet they have at home.
Regular people cannot benefit from Windows 365 in this way. Yes, there are some situations where you might want to use a powerful Windows Cloud PC for just a month or two, but in the long term, a high-end computer costs less than Windows 365.
Now, it’s worth noting that Windows 365 is one of the most simple and affordable services of its kind. Its licensing process is virtually identical to that of Microsoft 365 or the Office suite, and competitors like Amazon WorkSpaces charge $35 to $40 a month for plans similar to Microsoft’s 2vCPU / 4GB / 128GB Cloud PC configuration.
Microsoft’s decision to only offer Windows 365 in Business and Enterprise packages may be a good idea. While we don’t still don’t know the service’s full pricing scheme, it looks like it’s too expensive for regular people. Plus, the idea of a Cloud PC is still very new and confusing. It could take years before the average person understands the benefits of Cloud PCs, even if they’re forced to use the technology for their job.
Source: Microsoft via The Verge