Windows 11 vs Microsoft 365 – which one is right for your business?

May 18, 2022

Last year, Microsoft announced two major new additions to its product portfolio – Windows 11 and Windows 365. The updates were designed for business organisations proactively trying to prepare for the new hybrid work era.

Windows 365 is a cloud- and subscription-based version of its popular operating system.

And Windows 11 introduced some exciting new ways of interacting and connecting that combine the power of natural human capabilities with the potential of digital technology to enable more personal, immersive and seamless experiences. At the time, Microsoft described Windows 11 as a ‘calm and creative space’, which aims to bring users ‘closer to the people and things they love’.

As more businesses shift towards flexible working models, including remote working or ‘work from home’, choosing the right platform is essential.

Here, we take a closer look at the differences between Windows 11 and Windows 365 to help you decide which one is right for your business.

What is Windows 11?

Windows 11 is the latest edition of the Windows operating system, which millions of businesses worldwide use.

It has undergone a complete overhaul, debuting a fresher, more minimalist design than its predecessors.

Windows 11 was released in October 2021 and was made available pre-installed on new laptops and PCs from that date. However, it is being rolled out free of charge to existing Windows 10 users throughout 2022.

While Windows 11 aims to offer an enhanced user experience compared to Windows 10, it may cause issues for users with older machines. So, if your business currently uses Windows 10, it’s essential to get ready for the Windows 11 rollout.

You should audit your existing devices and hardware to ensure your machines have the right specs and are capable of running the new operating system. It’s also vital to ensure any other software or apps your business uses are compatible with Windows 11. For a detailed list of system requirements for Windows 11, visit this page and if you’re still unsure whether your ready, give us a call and we can advise.

If your business wants to – or needs to – continue running Windows 10, fear not. Microsoft has pledged to support it until at least 2025.

What are the new features in Windows 11?

With Windows 11, Microsoft has significantly overhauled the Windows user experience to make it more intuitive and easier to use. It aims to make using Windows less complex, to help businesses and their teams work smarter and improve productivity. Here are some of its most notable – and useful – new features:

What is Windows 365?

Windows 365 is the latest version of Microsoft’s popular cloud-based operating system, which allows its users to work from anywhere, at any time, on any device with an internet connection. Similar systems have been available via virtualisation and remote access software in the past, but Windows 365 is Microsoft’s first official service cloud-based product offering.

Changes to the way businesses work because of the coronavirus pandemic cannot be underestimated, and Microsoft 365 was created to make the hybrid cloud more productive in response to this shift. It reduces the privacy and security risks caused by using personal devices or working from home, as data is stored in the cloud rather than on the device itself.

One of the challenges businesses face with hybrid working is balancing security with convenience and enabling staff to switch easily between their office, home and other remote locations. With everything being connected to – and managed via – the cloud, employees can answer emails and access documents no matter where they are.

With Windows 365, users can access their desktop from the cloud, which means they can transition seamlessly between devices. It provides the perfect solution to the new era of hybrid work, which requires increased flexibility. Users can log off from their desktop computer when they leave the office, sign back in on their laptop at home, and pick up right where they left off.

There are two Windows 365 plans available. Windows 365 Business is for growing businesses looking for a simpler way to purchase and manage cloud-based user accounts. And Windows 365 Enterprise is for firms looking to take advantage of Microsoft Endpoint Manager and integrate with other Microsoft services.

Windows 365 is compatible with desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and phones. It’s an always-available, always-connected unified platform available on virtually any modern device with a connection. That means users get a Windows desktop and the Microsoft Office suite of tools and other applications (such as SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Yammer, and Planner) for their Windows, iOS, macOS, Android or Linux device.

One of the biggest benefits of the cloud is how easy it makes it for people to access their information at any time. Traditionally, it would have been difficult for users to switch between devices while having access to all their content, data, apps and settings. Windows 365 makes it easy to migrate from one device to the next.

What’s the difference between Windows 11 and Windows 365?

Windows 11 is an operating system you can install on all your compatible business devices. It either comes pre-installed on devices, or you buy licences for the number of users who need it, and they are yours to keep forever.

Windows 365, on the other hand, is a cloud-based version of the operating system, which your users can access via a secure online login portal. It’s available via a subscription model, where you essentially ‘rent’ each user licence for as long as you need it.

This is useful if you are looking to scale your business, or hire temporary staff, freelancers or contractors, as you can quickly set up – and close or reallocate – user accounts as you need to.

The other main difference between the two systems is that because Windows 11 is installed on your devices, it uses up system resources like RAM and storage space. While Windows 365 doesn’t take up any physical space on your devices, your business and users will need good internet connectivity to run it.

How can Quintech help?

There’s no denying the influence the coronavirus pandemic and the upheaval it caused had on  Microsoft’s new releases. These new products were created with the future of work in mind and will hopefully serve as a beacon of innovation for businesses of any size, shape or industry.

However, choosing the right system for your business can be a challenge, especially if you’re unsure of what you’re looking for. That’s where Quintech can help.

As your strategic technology partner, we’ll work with you to assess your business needs and identify how to solve them. We’ll also review your current IT infrastructure to see how it can be improved and get it ready for the Windows 11 rollout or an upgrade to Microsoft 365.

As an experienced Microsoft Partner, we can help you take full advantage of the benefits offered by tools including Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive, along with a secure, fully scalable and virtual Cloud platform that can be tailored to your budget.

To find out more about how we can support your business, please get in touch.