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Microsoft suspends Windows 365 trials

Overwhelming demand shuts the door to new users, for now

Windows logo on a laptop screen

Microsoft has suspended its Windows 365 trial just a day after launch due to heavy demand. 

In a tweet, the company said it was experiencing "significant demand" for the service, which offers easy-access virtual desktops in the cloud accessible via a browser or Microsoft's Remote Desktop application. It added it reached capacity for Windows 365 trials. 

This morning, Scott Manchester, director of program management for Windows 365, added that the company saw an "unbelievable response." People should still sign up for the service to be notified when it resumes, he added. 

Microsoft announced Windows 365 on July 14 and took it live Monday, August 2, providing an easy way for smaller businesses to access virtual Windows desktops in the cloud. The service runs on a virtual machine Microsoft calls a Cloud PC, which is available in various configurations up to eight cores with 32GB of RAM. 

Windows 365’s Business Edition is configurable using a self-service portal, and the Enterprise Edition is configurable using Microsoft's Endpoint Manager tool. The latter also features integrations with Azure Active Directory and Defender for Endpoint. 

Microsoft already offers a desktop as a service (DaaS) option in Azure Virtual Desktop, which the company used to call Windows Virtual Desktop. However, Microsoft sells this on a consumption-based pricing model, plus it’s more complex to administer. Windows 365 is available for a flat monthly fee. 

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Initial reactions to the service were mixed. "I've just had it for a day but it's already been useful," tweeted one user in response to Manchester. "Full coding on my iPad." 

Another user was less impressed. "Is this why my Cloud PC refuses to reset? I've been waiting 30 hours for it to reset and no one from support has answered me," they said. 

It's still early days for Windows 365, which will receive more features over time. Microsoft promised support for offline working, along with potential GPU options for Cloud PC power users.

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