Microsoft to intro dedicated mode for Cloud PCs
Latest Insider Build brings new features for Windows 365 Boot
Microsoft has begun rolling out fresh Windows 365 Boot features, starting with its Windows Insider program.
Build 23601 for the Dev Channel – not quite stable, but not quite bleeding edge – includes a pair of notable enhancements alongside the usual raft of relatively minor tweaks and fixes. One concerns the Windows 365 Cloud PC, and the other is regarding Copilot.
Windows 365 Boot allows administrators to configure Windows 11 physical devices so users go directly to their Windows 365 Cloud PC. When a user turns on their device and signs in, Windows 365 Boot signs them in directly to their Cloud PC rather than their physical device.
Build 23601 introduces Dedicated mode for Windows 365 Boot. According to Microsoft: "You can now boot to your Windows 365 Cloud PC from your designated company-owned device." Functionality such as Windows Hello for Business will be available as well as fast account switching. Other tweaks include customizing the login page to use company branding, tools to deal with failed connections, and managing local PC settings.
It's useful stuff but also very enterprise-focused. After all, running a Windows 365 Cloud PC is not for the faint-hearted – something with four vCPUs, 16 GB RAM, and 128 GB of storage will set you back around £60/€66/$66 per user per month.
Running a similar cloud-based PC with one of Microsoft's rivals won't be cheap either, but the cost is worth considering if looking at the pros and cons of such a move.
A little less enterprise-focused – at least for now – are fresh tweaks to Copilot to allow the preview to be unpinned and resized, all in the name of "minimizing disruption to other user activities." In addition, swiping from the right edge of the desktop on a touch display will cause Copilot to be opened instead of notifications.
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Microsoft has also continued to work through issues that cropped up when users attempted to use Copilot with more than one screen. The latest fix will stop full-screen apps on secondary monitors from minimizing when the assistant is launched and stop Copilot from rudely shoving a user's carefully curated desktop icons aside upon launch.
Other changes in this build include new settings to permit more customization of the widgets board, such as changing the account to use for Microsoft Start-powered widgets and feeds. Sharing has been enhanced to support WhatsApp and allow users to give their devices a more "friendly" name. And finally, Microsoft has continued to fiddle with Notepad.
Not content with the auto-saving feature, a character account has been added, and a context menu in File Explorer to open single or multiple files in the text editor. ®