Many people that have been working from home recently will be familiar with the concept of "remote desktop" - allowing you to access a machine in your office from another device entirely. Microsoft's latest product, "Windows 365" aims to take that to the next level. What if that remote machine doesn't actually physically exist at all?
There's quite a few advantages to this approach. This connection to your Windows machine could be established on any device, regardless of operating system, size or power of that device. It would be entirely possible to run a fully specced WIndows installation from a £40 Raspberry Pi. The devices would be interchangable too - you would always log into your Windows machine as you left it, even if you chose to connect from a different device every single time.
So far, so remote desktop. However, as the machine you're connecting to is virtual, it's possible to upgrade and downgrade the resources available to it at the click of a button. Hard drive full? Not enough RAM? No need to buy a new machine - just a couple of button presses and that's now assigned to your virtual Windows machine. It also means there's no need to outright buy the machine in the first place - you just get Microsoft to fire up a new virtual machine at their end to connect to for as long as you need it. Once the machine is set up, it's then possible to just connect to it from any web browser for casual work, although the experience will be better via a dedicated Remote Desktop app.
Initial pricing ranges from £17 / month for the most basic machine configuration to £138 / month at the other extreme. This service will initially be made available to business users only, but it seems likely there will be a consumer version in the future.