If you haven’t seen my first blog post on setting up Windows 365 Business, take a look at that to get a brief overview of Windows 365 and to compare the 2 different setup processes. As I mentioned in that blog post, Windows 365 Enterprise is meant for larger organizations (over 300 people) who need more advanced management capabilities and control over there Cloud PCs.
One of the big reasons I haven’t been able to test Windows 365 Enterprise until now is because it required on-premise domain connectivity and an Azure subscription, both of which I don’t have. But now, Microsoft announced the ability for Windows 365 Enterprise Cloud PCs to be Azure AD joined as opposed to only Hybrid Azure AD joined. This tutorial is going to focus on setting up a new Windows 365 Enterprise Cloud PC using Azure AD joined feature.
Purchase Windows 365 Enterprise Licenses
As you can see, I ended up settling on a Windows 365 Enterprise license with 2 vCPUs, 8GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. I wanted to try and mimic a standard enterprise user device. I selected a lower amount of storage because I won’t be storing much locally on this. Windows 365 Enterprise also requires a Windows 10/11 Enterprise license so I needed to purchase that as well. Once those licenses were purchased, I went ahead and assigned them to my user account.
Windows 365 Enterprise Provisioning
After assigning the licenses, I went to the Microsoft Endpoint Manager/Intune portal and went to Devices -> Provisioning -> Windows 365. Initially, I didn’t see the Windows 365 provisioning portal. But after I waited about 5 minutes, it finally showed up like below.
If I click on the All Cloud PCs tab, I could see my Cloud PC type but it’s not provisioned.
In order to get started, I went over to the Provisioning policies tab and selected Create policy.
I can now start to build my provisioning policy which will create my Cloud PC with the chosen settings and assign it to my licensed user. I went ahead and filled out some information for the new provisioning policy. If you are going to have a large Windows 365 environment, you might want to give your naming conventions a little more thought. I am treating mine like a lab so that’s what I centered my name around. Then for join details, I am going to select Azure AD Join, Microsoft Hosted Network and then for my region, I am going to select Central US.
The Join Details section contains the new addition to Windows 365 Enterprise. Instead of having to use an on-premise network connection, I can now select Azure AD Join which you can see is in preview. Then in the network dropdown, I am going to select Microsoft Hosted Network, which is my only option. The closest region for me is Central US so I am going to choose that as my region. Prior to the release of Azure AD Join, Hybrid Azure AD Join was the only supported option and you needed to have an Azure subscription with on-premises network connectivity.
Once that’s complete, I will proceed to select my image. You can choose to upload and use a custom image or a gallery image. I am going to choose Gallery Image.
As you can see, there are a number of different gallery images to choose from. The image you choose depends on what your organization requires. I chose the top selection with Windows 11 Enterprise + Microsoft 365 Apps with with version 21H2 but I could’ve easily chosen the Windows 10 option too. If you want to learn more about the differences between some of the images, Microsoft has a great overview here.
Once I selected my image, you can see it confirms it in the Image type.
On the configuration tab, I can select my Windows settings. As you can see, this includes the Language & Region for this provisioning policy. In this case, I will select English (United States).
Note: If I was provisioning Cloud PCs in another country, I might select one of the other language and region options in the dropdown. As I mentioned earlier, if you are going to have a large Windows 365 environment, you might want your provisioning policy name to reflect a region in it.
The last piece of my provisioning policy is to choose an assignment group. The users in this group will be assigned Cloud PCs with these provisioning policy configurations. I have a group already created called Cloud PC Users with my user in it.
I am shown the summary of my provisioning policy and since everything looks good, I am going to click Create to start the provisioning process.
As shown below, my provisioning policy W365 – IT – LAB was created.
If I click All Cloud PCs tab, it shows my new Cloud PC is provisioning.
After about 30 minutes, my new Cloud PC is provisioned.
Review Windows 365 Cloud PC Access
Now that my Cloud PC is provisioned, I want to go and make sure I can access it. To do this, I can go directly to windows365.microsoft.com or I can go to myapps.microsoft.com and select the Windows 365 app which will take me to windows365.microsoft.com.
Portal at myapps.microsoft.com
Portal at windows365.microsoft.com
Inside the Windows 365 portal, I am going to select Open in browser to launch my Windows 11 Cloud PC. I will be prompted for my in session settings which I will leave as default and then I will select Connect.
Finally, I will be prompted for my credentials and then I can start using my new Windows 11 Cloud PC!
Now that I have my Windows 365 Enterprise Cloud PC setup, I am looking forward to exploring more capabilities around it.