Windows 365: Testing a Cloud PC in Linux
This time were going to try out windows 365, which is a new microsoft service, where you can rent a virtualized cloud windows pc, which you can access from any device with an internet connection and specifically, as youve, probably seen from the title of the video, were going To be accessing windows 365 from a pc running linux, because i think thats a cool thing to do now. I want to stress from the start that windows 365 is currently a fairly expensive business service and im not suggesting for one second, that most private individuals will actually want to use windows 365. But even so, i thought it was interesting to check it out to see whats going on with this cloud version of windows, because you never know in the fullest of time. Something like this might become available for the consumer market, and so with that caveat well and truly noted, lets go and take a closer look. So here we are running the linux distro zorrino s 16, which were going to use to set up and test out windows. 365., this was officially announced by microsoft in july 2021 as ushering in a new category of computing. As i explained, if we looked down here, windows 365 takes the operating system to the microsoft cloud streaming. The full windows experience apps data and settings to personal or corporate devices, as they also noted, windows 365 creates a new hybrid personal computing category called cloud pc which uses both the power of the cloud and the capabilities of a device to provide a full personalized windows.
Experience windows 365 was made available to businesses on august 2nd 2021 and can be accessed from windows365.microsoft.com, where you have to log in using a relevant account. I happen to have such an account as i use microsoft cloud services in my business, although, if i log in like that, you will see that currently, my organization, which is just me, doesnt, have a subscription to windows 365. to get a subscription well head on over. To the purchase services section of my microsoft, 365 admin center, where, as you can see down here, it lists windows 365 as a category of service, and indeed, if we go down a bit further under featured, it says, were showing you the products that it thinks it Might want effectively – and this includes windows 365 – and it tells us here that windows 365 business is for smaller organizations that want a simple way to buy, deploy and manage cloud. Pcs and theres also something called windows, 365 enterprise, which is probably lurking down here there. It is thats for much bigger organizations that will have nothing to do with me. There were also, as you can see, two versions of windows 365 for business, the standard version of the version with a hybrid benefit and if youre wondering what the difference is, because the hybrid benefit is slightly cheaper, hybrid benefit here can only be used if all access Is from a windows, 10 pro device, and so, as here were working in linux, im going to click on details under the standard version of windows, 365 business and there we are its come up, and what we need to do here is to select a plan which Means a machine, a virtual pc specification.
If we go down here, youll, see that these different plans are listed in terms of the number of vcpus ram and storage required. And if youre wondering a vcpu is a virtual processor which, as microsoft explains, represents a portion of the microsoft cloud resources assigned to a users cloud pc, and this signals very clearly how windows 365 is a virtualized cloud service in which customers rent part of a server Blade, which is securely shared with other users, to be clear when subscribing to windows 365, you are not renting a remote standalone piece of hardware with its own dedicated processor memory and storage. Before i select one of these, i think we should scroll down, so you can see all the different plans available and what they cost and, as i said at the start of the video windows, 365 is rather expensive and the range of specs to render plans available Starts with what one virtual cpu two gigabytes of ram and 64 gigabytes of storage – and it goes down to where are we at the bottom here – eight virtual cpus, 32 gigabytes of ram and half a terabyte of storage, which is quite a lot but costs an awful Lot per month, and what im going to select here is something roughly in the middle of this, i think im going to select two virtual cpus and eight gigabytes of memory with 128 gigabytes of storage and ill check. My license. Quantity is one because i dont want to be renting more than one, it could be up to 300 and we can see the cost there.
38 pounds 30 plus taxes a month and everything. I think therefore, is now set up im happy with that. As a little test, so ill now click on buy and of course i wont show you what happens on my screen after that. But we end up here where, as you can see, my cloud pc is being set up or whats, technically known as provisioned, and before i got to this screen, i had to allocate the license from the cloud pc to myself inside my organization, as we can see Over here, weve got various things we can read, as things are being set up well, just click on through all very exciting, and eventually we end up here where the cloud pc is still being provisioned. This takes up to an hour as i understand it, and so ill come back to you when the process is complete greetings here i am back again and its now, a few days later, as ive been building acoustic panels for my new studio anyway, our cloud pc Has been provisioned, it did take just under an hour and if i click on opening browser, itll open it up and id note that, whilst i have been experimenting with this on off across the past few days, ive not changed anything yet so youre. Seeing exactly what you get straight out of the box and as you can see, when you first run things up, you can choose what local resources the cloud pc will have access to im going to allow file transfer.
Here i could tick this box, but i want to show you this initially so well, click on allow and itll launch up the cloud pc we have to put in our password. Everything here does seem to be very secure. It seems to be a big focus on security with windows 365, and here we are running windows in a browser and what were doing here is running a web based remote, desktop client, and i can show you that if i just click up here on about where, As you can see were running microsoft, remote desktop, and if we click in our settings here, we can, if we wish give data on this to microsoft. I happen to have turned that off. Weve also got a full screen icon there well use that weve got an icon for unpinning our controls. If we wish and weve got an icon for uploading files to the cloud pc, if we go down here to the menu you can see, we really are running windows 10. In a web browser. It will be, of course, windows 11 fairly soon, when that is released, and one of the things i find interesting is: if we go down here to power, we only have two options: restart and disconnect slightly different to a standard windows pc, because of course, this is A cloud windows pc, as you might have noticed, weve got the icons here for excel and powerpoint and word, and i do want to stress the office suite – is not included as part of a windows 365 subscription.
So these are the same icons you get with any cleaned installation of windows. If i click on these and i dont have a license, ill have to buy a license or allocate a license across. I havent done that so to be clear, office is not included as part of the subscription, but there are other things here we could run. What should we run up? Lets run up, say the photo application just to show you something running up and there doesnt seem to be a problem with latency. Here things run pretty well, i said ive done nothing to this pc. I have done one thing: ive uploaded some pictures of my exciting panels: ive been building there, we are theres an acoustic panel being built and theres three on the wall and, as you can see, were just running this application perfectly happily over the web. I think weve also got here: solitaire weve got to have solitaire on the system havent. We lets just run that as another little quick application test there we are, we can run the microsoft, solitaire, collection, Music and well just see if its working – yes, it seems to be working, but i cant get out, but anyway weve seen we can run microsoft solitaire In windows 365., its always important to do these critical tests, we go to my pc. We can bring up the file explorer there and there we are, you can see. Weve got various drives here.
Weve got onedrive available, of course, which is one means of getting data to and from your virtual pc, but weve also got here the drive we purchased our c drive here, which has got all the usual windows stuff in it. We just do properties on this. Youll see it is our 128 gigabyte drive about a quarter is used for the installation of windows and the stuff that comes with it and then weve also got here. Our virtual drive for uploading files to and from as you can see here we go and do an about. We can find out whats uh, going on with the computer there we are about your pc. I had that ready and, as you can see here, our processors, our vcpus, are intel xeon, platinum, 8272cl, cores running at 2.6 or maybe 2.59 gigahertz, and an intel xeon platinum 8272cl is a 26 core server processor. So clearly, there was one or more of those processors in the server blade that is serving to us. This cloud, pc and weve got eight gigabytes of ram. As you can see, and we saw, we got our 128 gigabytes of storage as we just had a look at that. If we move down here, you can see that were running windows, 10 enterprise there we are and if we flick down again well, go down to device manager just bring that up and youll see under here. If i just open things up in general, so you can see what is going on.
There is basically a common theme which is were running virtualized hardware, so weve got microsoft, hyper v video, so there isnt a graphics card connected to this cloud pc we wont be doing any high end, video editing or gaming or other graphically intensive things on this cloud. Pc weve got a virtual ata device, virtual cd, rom, etc. So there we are. This is windows 365, and what im now going to do is to configure windows more to my liking, to install some applications and then well run some performance tests right here. I am back again all ready to test out our cloud pc and, as you can see, ive got running here. Passmark 10.1 ive just upgraded to this latest version and so well run all the passmark tests, and this will take a bit of time and it could be tricky on this cloud pc because it hasnt got a gpu but anyway. Well, let it run through see what it comes up with and, in particular ill be very interested to see the relative performance of our cpu cores memory and storage, and here we are weve, hit the first of the 2d graphics test and were getting these error messages Ill just flick through them, where i can and then were getting the same thing for our directx testing in the 3d test. Thats, hardly a surprise and again it cant find the right video adapter, and there we are its finished. Passmark has done its very best to test out hardware.
It was never designed to run and our overall patch mark score is partial, because it wouldnt run everything as we can see, but im more interested in things like the cpu mark, which is not brilliant. Actually either is it a 2 2 20 score there, seven percent thats, not very good at all. No point really looking at the 2d and 3d mark memory mark is a bit better 12 there and a disc mark down the bottom there is, is also not terribly good and granted pass mark is probably not the best thing to use to test out the performance Of a cloud pc, but those i find rather disappointing results, lets move on and just run a crystal disk mark, which ive also installed, as you can see, to give another test of the storage here so well run these tests and its worth pointing out. This is, of course, testing out our virtual storage, its not testing a particular drive connected to our computer, its testing out the 128 gigabytes of storage allocated in a storage array somewhere to this cloud pc – and here we are eight more spectacularly unimpressive results when you consider That modern, sata ssds do several hundred megabytes a second and modern nvme ssds to a few thousand megabytes a second. These results really are very disappointing. I guess this is shared storage. Even so, i think theres, nothing else to say other than these are disappointing results, particularly when you consider the price of renting a cloud pc and a final test i want to do is of the speed of the internet connection and im just going to minimize that, For a second and bring up a broadband speed, checker showing the results of doing a speed check on the broadband connection on the computer im using to access our cloud pc and, as you can see, i have a download speed of about 48 megabits.
A second and an upload of just under 9 megabits, a second and these are pretty good results for an internet connection in the uk. Some people have got better. Some people have got a lot worse. I know it depends where you are in the world. What your view is of this connection speed, but i thought it might be interesting to go back to our cloud pc and to run the same speed checker, because of course, when we run up a browser here and look at web pages, our cloud pc is connecting To the internet, from wherever its located in a microsoft data center, so lets just open up a new tab and go to the same broadband speed, checker and run it here on the cloud pc and hopefully we can start it off down there and there we are. We have our result, which is something which is, i think, impressive, at least to me here in the uk, a download speed of about megabits a second and an upload of about 224. right. I just thought id say a few words about remote desktop as while so far weve been accessing our cloud pc over the web. Using a browser, it is possible to access windows 365 using a remote, desktop client, and indeed, if we click up here, youll see there are four clients we can download one for windows, mac, ios and android, although, as you can see there, isnt a remote desktop client For linux here for windows, 365, and indeed even to access windows 365 from a windows machine, you do need to download the new remote desktop client as using the one included with windows.
10 doesnt work to access a cloud pc. However, with a new client installed on a windows machine, you can copy a subscription url from this page subscribe using that link go through your usual login and authentication process and access the cloud pc, and i found that in windows. This works well and you can get on with some serious computing. Ive also managed to access windows 365 on my android tablet. Although ive had to do this using the edge browser as the android remote desktop, app is only supported by android 7 and above this said, performance in android was pretty appalling. Meanwhile, back here in linux, i have tried to obtain remote desktop access using various clients theres one, for example, called romina included here in a zorin os and unfortunately, in various experiments. Ive had no success whatsoever accessing windows, 365 using a linux, remote desktop client and so right now, linux cloud pc access does seem to be web based only although, if youve found a linux, remote desktop client that can access windows 365 do let us all know down. In the comments section, windows 365 allows businesses to rent, secure, easy to manage cloud windows, pcs and, as weve seen, it really is windows running in a web browser. Now, as a private individual im not going to keep using windows, 365 ill be canceling. My subscription i got a subscription for a month just to check it out to make this video and because i was interested, but this said if the price was lower.
I would very much consider using windows 365 as an alternative to, for example, running windows in a virtual machine or running windows on physical hardware, as i increasingly migrate to linux, but now thats it for another video. If youve enjoyed what youve seen here, please press title like button.