Microsoft pauses free trial of Windows 365 following 'unbelievable response'

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,947   +1,133
From a business perspective this makes sense. If you have hundreds of employees that access documents from multiple computers it makes sense. Have stuff in the cloud is very convenient and businesses have different rights than individuals so someone like IBM is safer handing over their information to MS than you or me.

For the few times a year I need type something up or make some type of office document I use Libre Office.
Exactly. Even at $20/mo, there are approximately 0 consumers on earth who are going to pay $240/yr to essentially use Windows. But a business? That's a easy tax write-off, and saves them from having to buy a more expensive depreciating asset.

All this interest is 100% IT departments just checking things out so that they can give the 'yay/nay' to their bosses when inevitably asked about this as an option.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,884   +1,498
Funny thing is this might be seen as a historical moment during the transition away from owning our own computers in a few decades time when absolutely everything we do is on the cloud.
 

Guyver1wales

Posts: 15   +25
Its amazing how many 'tech enthusiasts' are ignorant of the HUGE business use cases of most technology they find *****ic.

My university have probably several hundred desktop machines sitting idle since covid as most staff are working from home and are RDP'ing into our remote desktop gateway or using our VPN on a corporate laptop.

that's tens of thousands of pounds worth of desktop hardware wasting space and money.

Now give all those staff working from home a virtual O365 desktop and they can use their own home PC to connect to a 'corporate' Domain virtual workstation that sits within the corporate network and is controlled with corporate network and infrastructure policies and AV etc and has all their corporate applications, that is available (probably) 24/7 (our VPN and RD gateway is not 24/7)

This means the uni no longer has to refresh physical workstation hardware every couple of years or upgrade windows on those physical workstations as it is now IaaS and Microsoft do all that for us.

we could then downsize our RDS server farm considerably as well off the back of this.

Azure/O365 = Business (in most cases), not tech enthusiast home users/gamers
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,238   +805
OK, let me get this straight: so you have a PC, already running a legit and up-to-date copy of Windows, and then you open a browser, and log in to remote server to....run Windows?
???
And this is so popular that MS can't keep up with demand?
?????
I'm obviously missing something. I understand that may be fun for a few minutes to "run" W365 on my phone or tablet (for instance), but would people really pay $20+ a month for that privilege? What is the popular use case scenario I don't see? Somebody please help me :)
Outsource hardware maintainance and upgrades. Companies will love it. They can supply cheap dumb terminals, not worry about physical hardware and upgrading specs of those machines, they have easy rollout of software with the portability and full control over the hardware and where the data resides. Our company is basically full marching this direction.
 
The problem with this idea for me seems to be I doubt the apps I use will be offered on Windows Servers... I'm not certain how this is going to work out... I don't like the idea of it... I want my own friggin' untethered machine...I might have to move to Linux...
 
Outsource hardware maintainance and upgrades. Companies will love it. They can supply cheap dumb terminals, not worry about physical hardware and upgrading specs of those machines, they have easy rollout of software with the portability and full control over the hardware and where the data resides. Our company is basically full marching this direction.
good for companies but is it good for the individual?... 365 should be called office windows...
 

fps4ever

Posts: 758   +1,003
Its amazing how many 'tech enthusiasts' are ignorant of the HUGE business use cases of most technology they find *****ic.

My university have probably several hundred desktop machines sitting idle since covid as most staff are working from home and are RDP'ing into our remote desktop gateway or using our VPN on a corporate laptop.

that's tens of thousands of pounds worth of desktop hardware wasting space and money.

Now give all those staff working from home a virtual O365 desktop and they can use their own home PC to connect to a 'corporate' Domain virtual workstation that sits within the corporate network and is controlled with corporate network and infrastructure policies and AV etc and has all their corporate applications, that is available (probably) 24/7 (our VPN and RD gateway is not 24/7)

This means the uni no longer has to refresh physical workstation hardware every couple of years or upgrade windows on those physical workstations as it is now IaaS and Microsoft do all that for us.

we could then downsize our RDS server farm considerably as well off the back of this.

Azure/O365 = Business (in most cases), not tech enthusiast home users/gamers
Sounds reasonable until you figure out that money just translates to huge sums of a "rent" basis vs. one time costs of hardware that most likely came win Win 10 includes and a one time Office cost for student edition licenses. Depending on how your US negotiated office licenses that is. Plus your tied to the cloud and can't do jack if the network connection goes down. We've worked on these analyses before and there are a lot of pros and cons but in the end MS gets their money. You just need to figure out how little or much you want to give them.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,318   +534
1. Bill Gates was a bad CEO.
2. Finally he was replaced. His replacement, Steve Ballmer, was much worse. If you searched for a bad CEO, you couldn't find worse than Steve.
3. But they managed. They were searching and searching, and they found Satya Nadella. Who is definitely the worst of all times.

What's next? A trained monkey?
 

tokyojerry

Posts: 16   +4
. I want my own friggin' untethered machine...I might have to move to Linux...

Agreed. For individuals who still want to maintain personal, local control, Ubuntu, Mint and other Linux distros are available alternatives. Corporate entities are the ones who may use such a cloud service for efficiency in numbers vs. performance.
 

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,238   +805
good for companies but is it good for the individual?... 365 should be called office windows...
Yeah I'm not sure the use case for individuals unless you need to work on the go. Use a low spec device and have high spec in cloud? Photoshop etc? It does remove a lot of the burden of backing up your stuff for example by cloudifying that aspect I guess.

For hardcore gamers, it's not applicable yet. They need to prove playing stuff over cloud can give decent performance and it certainly won't be bleeding edge FPS perf for example.
 

TsVkK

Posts: 70   +39
I call this "success" more "improbable", due to the trial being free, just to see what this is about. I don't see anybody wanting to use this nonsense platform, apart from the corporations eager to force this upon their unfortunate workers.
I see criminals wanting to leverage it as well.
 

hk2000

Posts: 168   +89
I don't get why this would be attractive to businesses- especially those with critical services! If anything, the trend should be towards systems being completely isolated from the WWW, not reliant on it. And yes, I'm aware of VPN access, I still wouldn't go that route as a business executive.
 

hk2000

Posts: 168   +89
The problem with this idea for me seems to be I doubt the apps I use will be offered on Windows Servers... I'm not certain how this is going to work out... I don't like the idea of it... I want my own friggin' untethered machine...I might have to move to Linux...
I don't see why MS would abandon their current business model regardless how successful the W365 may be, they will not risk losing a significant market share that may end up going to Apple and Google.
 

hk2000

Posts: 168   +89
1. Bill Gates was a bad CEO.
2. Finally he was replaced. His replacement, Steve Ballmer, was much worse. If you searched for a bad CEO, you couldn't find worse than Steve.
3. But they managed. They were searching and searching, and they found Satya Nadella. Who is definitely the worst of all times.

What's next? A trained monkey?
Oh I don't know, one person's "bad" is another person's genius.
 

hk2000

Posts: 168   +89
As with every MS article, most comments are colored by the masses' dislike - to put it mildly- for Microsoft
 

Gezzer

Posts: 172   +89
Where I work everything is virtualized and done through a browser, just like Windows 365. Well except for some very minor differences. Our company owns & runs the servers and have a team of IT dedicated to keeping everything running and secure. If our servers go down it's amazing how quickly they come back on line. And more importantly only our COO has the power to shut them down permanently. It works extremely well for our 1574 remote locations because they control the QoS. Who knows how well M$ will do the same? More importantly who really trusts them in this regard? Not me...
 
From a business perspective this makes sense. If you have hundreds of employees that access documents from multiple computers it makes sense. Have stuff in the cloud is very convenient and businesses have different rights than individuals so someone like IBM is safer handing over their information to MS than you or me.

For the few times a year I need type something up or make some type of office document I use Libre Office.
Yeah because it's better to pay a premium every month giving them control of your data, which they can black list you like Amazon did too parlor, instead of purchasing volumes of licences once controlling your own data...
 
Who runs Micro$$$oft? Julius and Ethel Rosenberg?

Whenever I set up a new PC or repair an old one, I run a script that I wrote that disables ALL the spyware I've been able to find. I don't want ANY of my personal business to fall into Micro$$$oft's snoopy hands. What I do on MY computer is MY business, not theirs!
 

Guyver1wales

Posts: 15   +25
Yeah because it's better to pay a premium every month giving them control of your data, which they can black list you like Amazon did too parlor, instead of purchasing volumes of licences once controlling your own data...
what data exactly?
its a virtualised desktop, all the data is situated elsewhere on other servers owned by us, all user profiles are roaming in corporate OneDrive, all our sharepoint data is Sharepoint Online or on-premise Sharepoint servers owned by us. All our corporate apps that host our actual 'data' are controlled by us and are web interfaces.
so what is this 'data' that is magically going to appear on corporate windows 365 machines that MS would never touch in a month of sundays as they would get sued to the other side of the universe and back???
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,951   +816
I've worked as an adjuster where I'm only there a couple times a year. Catastrophic. Each time I have to go through the desktop setup routine on the assigned computer. The last time, I wished that they had a virtual desktop that would save my setup. So that after I logged out for the final time on that deployment, it's ready for my next deployment. No matter what desktop I'm assigned to, once I log into my virtual desktop, it's how I left it.. All that would be left to do is to make my account live again and then I can get to work. The only confusion I have about this is what's the difference? I don't see the insurance industry going to this because they're too much of a behemoth to let Microsoft to host their data. It would have to be smaller tiered corporations trying to save as much money as possible. Microsoft being a centralized vector just seems to be too great a risk for some very important industries. If you were say a dry cleaning corporation, that would seem like a good candidate for this, except for customer payment data, which what the hackers are after anyway. I don't know. My opinion is corporations should bite the bullet and host their own virtual desktops for their employees. But the security situation isn't great anyway by any measure.
 

TsVkK

Posts: 70   +39
I've worked as an adjuster where I'm only there a couple times a year. Catastrophic. Each time I have to go through the desktop setup routine on the assigned computer. The last time, I wished that they had a virtual desktop that would save my setup. So that after I logged out for the final time on that deployment, it's ready for my next deployment. No matter what desktop I'm assigned to, once I log into my virtual desktop, it's how I left it.. All that would be left to do is to make my account live again and then I can get to work. The only confusion I have about this is what's the difference? I don't see the insurance industry going to this because they're too much of a behemoth to let Microsoft to host their data. It would have to be smaller tiered corporations trying to save as much money as possible. Microsoft being a centralized vector just seems to be too great a risk for some very important industries. If you were say a dry cleaning corporation, that would seem like a good candidate for this, except for customer payment data, which what the hackers are after anyway. I don't know. My opinion is corporations should bite the bullet and host their own virtual desktops for their employees. But the security situation isn't great anyway by any measure.
Indeed, there is more to the story though. I manage ~200 desktops and and have considered fleet virtualization before, and may well do again when the shocking price of of instance licensing comes down. Already all our servers are virtualized. Thin clients and network upgrades would pay for themselves relatively quickly if self hosted virtualization software licensing wasn't so expensive for desktops... we did the math and it was significantly more expensive even with wages and depreciation taken into account. Finally we ended up setting up fast storage with system image backups. Sure it takes 15-20 minutes to restore a hosed system, but we have a choice of 3 images and our data isn't at the mercy of offsite servers and other peoples screw ups.
But we would virtualize everything if not for corporate greed.
 
Consumers are not the target audience. Ever visited Windows 365 landing page? There are two buttons. Windows 365 Business and Windows 365 Enterprise. Pricing may seem weird to some consumers, but it often makes sense for businesses for the following reasons.

1) Businesses are much richer than individuals: $20-158/mo may seem steep to working class people, but that's basically nothing for UHNWIs. A person with $30m net worth could be considered as rich in almost any country, and they perceive price tags differently, compare to middle class people. However, a company with $30m net asset is still a small time business.

2) Tax deductions: Most individuals don't get any tax deductions when they purchased a new PC, but most businesses do. They could also get the similar deduction, when they purchase it outright, but this deduction coming from asset depreciation works differently than the deduction coming from cloud service fee. Between those two, the latter is preferrable. You have other ways to get the latter type of deduction (such as lease), but those methods also incur additional charge.

3) Maintenance cost: If you only have a few PCs, maintenance is not much of an hassle. However, if you have a several dozens of PCs (which is a rare occasion for individuals), you probably know about the extreme hassle of multi-PC maintenance. Guess what? Businesses often have several hundreds to several hundred thousands of PCs. Those PCs are not maintained automatically, nor by the employees. Well, some employees may be able to do that, but majority of employees (even if the company is relatively tech-savvy) often encounter issues that they couldn't handle it for themselves. You gotta take care of them, and you have roughly two other options;

- In-house: You hire people to handle those maintenance. But a single maintenance guy simply cannot handle 100k computers. You have to hire one for several hundred PCs. If you pay them $50k/y, your actual spending is more like $90k/y. That works out $180/PC/year if that person handle 500 PCs. You don't want them to handle too many PCs, because handling many PC = longer downtime = greater loss of wage (because you also pay the guy in front of the broken computer).

- On-site service packages: You can just pay Dell, Lenovo, or whatever to get on-site service packages (some offers next business day service, while some do 4 hour services). However, you gotta pay at least several hundred bucks for each PC, on top of the price tag which is alreday enterprise-taxed.

See? Both options are not exactly cheap. Cloud services cannot completely eliminate maintenance duty, but you could certainly downscale your maintenance team. If you downsize 5 to 1, you save $360k/y, enough for 1800 PCs at $200/y.

4) Similarly, the cost of backups, security, etc: If your employees do some stupid things and wreck the data they've worked on for a good amount of time, that's your wage down the drain. In order to mitigate this risk, you gotta deploy some sort of backup mechanisms for each PC. It could be based on centralized server or additional storage on each PCs, but either one of those option cost you money, and some workforce (from those maintenance guys). Most cloud services have easily deployable backup systems, so your data is relatively more resilient under the minimal maintenance effort. Likewise, you could control the flow of data more easily on centralized servers, rather than individual PCs. If you want to control the flow of data on individual PCs, then you need to have installed some specialized software for that (which don't usually come cheap) to each PCs, and you also gotta monitor ins and outs of any storage device.

5) Scalable: Most office works don't require big processing power, but when you happened to have one of those power hungry tasks from time to time, you could temporarily scale up your processing power for the job on cloud services. But that's not possible when you purchased PCs and servers. You either have to spend a lot of money on rarely used hardwares just for those rare power-hungry events, or pay for other cloud services from time to time.