Great Britain

Microsoft shut down its browser-based Windows PC trial after one day because too many people signed up

Microsoft has had to pause its new Windows 365 trial which puts a PC in the cloud because it is too popular.

The software company lets users stream Windows 10 or Windows 11 via a web browser – giving people the neat ability to have a PC on any device, including an iPads.

Unfortunately, the service reached full capacity after 24 hours since launching on 2 August 2021. “We have seen unbelievable response to #Windows365 and need to pause our free trial program while we provision additional capacity”, Scott Manchester, the Windows 365 Director of Program Management tweeted.

Windows 365 is based on Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop, and brings the operating system to PCs, Macs, iPads, Linux, and Android devices.

It comes in two varieties, one costing $20 per month for a virtual device with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and a more expensive version that can go up to 32GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, with eight virtual CPUs, for $162 per month.

The virtual computer does not support apps, but can let users log remotely into any compatible application on Windows 10 or the upcoming Windows 11 operating systems.

Microsoft is pitching this product as a way for those working-from-home to stay flexible, as the coronavirus pandemic delays many workers from returning to offices.

The company’s research suggests that “73 percent of workers want flexible remote work options to stay, but at the same time, 67 percent say they also want more in-person collaboration, post-pandemic”.

It goes on to say that this “creates the hybrid work paradox, leaving organizations around the world to grapple with how to connect in a hybrid world and provide workers access to organizational resources at home, in the office, and at all points between.”

Microsoft has drawn from similar ideas to build Windows 11, which now has its Teams video conferencing tools built-in by default - a move Google has also taken with its Chromebooks and Google Meet, which is now also on computers by default.

However, the company has been criticized for restrictions placed on the operating system which means many will have to buy entirely new computers to get the new software.

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