Why You Should Run Windows on Your iPad

Two tech giants meet on a tablet

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft has launched its Windows 365 cloud PC service. 
  • The new service makes it possible to run Windows on almost any device, including an iPad. 
  • Cloud computing is more secure than most desktops, security experts say.
Someone sitting on a sofa, using an iPad tablet.

MoMo Productions / Getty Images

Pigs still can’t fly, but It’s now possible to run Windows on your iPad. 

This week Microsoft opened availability for Windows 365, the cloud PC setup that lets you stream Windows 10 or Windows 11 via a web browser. Although it’s intended for business customers, it can allow you to run Windows on almost any device. 

"It is extremely useful as an alternative when traveling, but not necessarily good for everyday use," Chris Jordan, the CEO of cybersecurity firm Fluency Security. told Lifewire in an email interview. "The experience can be frustrating, such as using the touchscreen is awkward for selecting a range of text."

Windows Everywhere

For $31 per month per user, Microsoft will let you access a cloud PC instance with the equivalent of two CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. The operating system runs in a browser or via a remote desktop app.  

Within the Windows 365 portal, users can access Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Microsoft Teams also will be supported on most plans as well as Adobe Reader, the Edge browser, and Microsoft Defender antivirus software. Keep in mind that a license for Microsoft Office is not included.

"Not only is data safer from ransomware in the cloud. It allows the user to change systems and keep working, avoiding lost productivity."

All you need to do to access Windows 365 Business is launch your browser or use Microsoft’s Remote Desktop app and connect. You can seamlessly switch between devices and pick up right where you left off at any time. 

Jordan said that Windows 365 allows users to share and edit documents together, share large files by sharing links, and collaborate with MS Teams.

"The cloud provides users flexibility in working from anywhere anytime, especially working parents," he added. "Keep in mind you will need to save a local copy if you are going to be offline."

Running Windows 365 on an iPad should be no less practical than running it on any other mobile device or desktop PC, Attila Tomaschek, a researcher at the security website ProPrivacy told Lifewire in an email interview. 

"If a user is out and about, in the field, or traveling and using an iPad for work, Windows 365 would be an ideal solution for that individual because they wouldn’t necessarily need to take a laptop along with them," he added.

The website 9to5Mac recently tried out Windows 365 on an iPad and found that most functions worked well. Microsoft’s Edge browser was fast and smooth running via Windows 365 on the tablet. But the German website Macwelt found it hard to set up Windows 365 on an iPad. The cloud PC had some startup problems and had to be reset via the web interface.

Someone using a tablet computer while sitting in front a window and laughing.

The Good Brigade / Getty Images

Better Security in the Cloud

One advantage of running Windows in the cloud is that it offers better security than your average PC setup, Jordan said. 

"Not only is data safer from ransomware in the cloud. It allows the user to change systems and keep working, avoiding lost productivity," he added. "Another advantage is that sharing is more secure inside the company."

Users can send links to files so that files are not in the email system where they can be exposed to compromise, Jordan said, adding, “The cloud allows for a better hybrid environment, where it is more common for users to be switching between mobile devices, desktops, and laptops.” 

With Windows 365, employees won’t need to store sensitive business data on their own devices while working remotely since they can access everything from the cloud, Tomaschek noted. He said that employees’ personal devices storing company data and communicating remotely with internal business systems could pose substantial security risks for a company, especially at larger enterprises with thousands of employees. 

"In my mind, the security risks associated with thousands of endpoints storing critical company data and communicating with internal networks far outweigh those associated with data being stored in a central location accessible securely in the cloud," he added. 

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