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What’s The Difference Between Windows 11 and Windows 365

In the world of Microsoft operating systems, there are several choices such as Windows 10, Windows 11, and Windows 365. When it comes to choosing which version of the desktop software to use, the choices are not always easily differentiated but here is a breakdown of your options.

Introduction

Choosing which version of Windows to use depends on many different factors but starting with a basic idea of what you are trying to achieve will help you better understand the best version of Windows for your needs.

To understand which version to utilize for your productivity needs, your first step is to understand your basic requirements. Are you running this on a newer device, meaning it has a quad-core CPU, TPM 2.0 or better, has lots of available storage, or are you using older hardware and need more computing power or improved security?

Windows 10

Of all the versions of Windows that are actively supported and used widely across both consumer and enterprise customers, Windows 10 is the oldest of the options on the table. The operating system was released in 2015 and will be supported by Microsoft until 2025.

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How to Choose Windows 11 vs Windows 365
Windows 10 Desktop

The primary reason you would choose to run Windows 10 is hardware compatibility. Microsoft has drawn a line in the sand and said that if you are using an Intel 7th gen CPU, Windows 11 is not an option for you. This means if you are wanting to run Windows locally and not in the cloud, you only have one option.

Windows 10 is now in the second phase of lifecycle and will not receive new features or significant updates to the core operating system. One reason you may choose Windows 10 is that it will remain nearly the same as the day you install it until it reaches its end of support timeline.

Windows 11

If you want to run your desktop operating system locally and you have what Microsoft considers modern hardware, then Windows 11 is likely the best option for you.

Windows 11 vs Windows 365
Windows 11 Desktop

Released in the fall of 2021, Windows 11 will be supported until at least 2031 and should provide you with the optimal security and performance capabilities for your device. The OS is designed for modern hardware that has at least a TPM 2.0 module and for chips that are Intel 8th generation or newer.

When compared to Windows 10, there are other benefits like simplified servicing models, a UI that is consistent, improvements to touch controls, and the list goes on and on.

For consumers, Windows 11 will likely be the default choice, but if you are working inside a company and looking at ways to modernize your environment, then it may be worth looking into Windows 365.

Windows 365

Where things can get a little confusing is with Windows 365. This iteration of the desktop operating system can be either Windows 10 or Windows 11 but the primary difference is that Windows 365 runs in the cloud and is streamed to your device.

The key is that your “device” can be a Windows device or it can be an iPad, Android phone, or nearly anything that connects to the Internet as long as it has a web browser. And as long as your device meets that requirement, you can choose between Windows 10 or Windows 11 to stream to your device.

Windows 365 Running in Edge Browser
Windows 365 Running in Edge Browser

Windows 365 is a service offered by Microsoft and it is not a traditional desktop operating system that you can install locally. Instead, it is accessed via your browser and you pay Microsoft a monthly fee to access the virtual desktop on nearly any device as long as it is connected to the Internet.

And that’s an important point, if you are not able to connect to the Internet, Windows 365 is not for you.

There are many benefits to using Windows 365 including that it is a managed environment, is always updated, and data stored in your instance of Windows 365 is secure by design. But keep in mind, that only business customers can use Windows 365, consumers must choose between Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Which to Choose

The choice of the different versions of Windows is mostly straightforward; if you have old hardware and want to run Windows, Windows 10 is the only option. If you have new hardware and want to run Windows locally, Windows 11 is your best choice. But if you need to manage desktop environments at scale, with an easy-to-use VDI-like infrastructure, Windows 365 is the best choice for your operation.

And to make it even easier, if you are looking at consumer options only, Windows 365 isn’t a choice (as of now) and you should likely choose Windows 11.

Confusion and Conclusion

The reason I wrote this post is that when you look at the Windows options from afar, it can be a bit confusing. In theory, there are three options available to you, and knowing which to choose can be complicated if you do not follow this segment of the tech market closely.

But the reality is that Microsoft has made the choice relatively easy if you are willing to dig into the weeds and understand the differences between each version of the operating system. If you still have questions about which version to choose, drop a comment below.

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Brad Sams has more than a decade of writing and publishing experience under his belt including helping to establish new and seasoned publications From breaking news about upcoming Microsoft products to telling the story of how a billion dollar brand was birthed in his book, Beneath a Surface, Brad is a well-rounded journalist who has established himself as a trusted name in the industry.

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