How does Desktop 365 actually work? [A user’s perspective]

The benefits are clear but it's important to understand how Desktop 365 differs.
Benjamin Tomlinson
A woman in front of a monitor, accessing Desktop 365

How to access Desktop 365 – step-by-step

How does Desktop 365 actually work?

When considering Desktop 365, or any kind of Server-Led IT implementation, the benefits are clear but there’s an obvious question: How does the experience differ for users?

The answer is quite simple: not much. In fact, it’s very similar, with one minor difference.

Here’s a simple, jargon-free, step-by-step process of the user’s journey.

Step 1: Turn on computer

It seems like a simple step but it’s worth noting that it takes standard devices many minutes to boot up, particularly to the point where they’re usable. Towards the end of the device’s lifespan, that wait starts to become intrusive on employee time.

With Desktop 365, you can supply low-spec devices that boot up in seconds (literally), not minutes, and have a much longer lifespan – like Google Chromebooks or, where Microsoft Windows is preferred, Thin Client machines.

Why is that? Because, with Server-Led IT, a user’s desktop and all computer processing happens on the centrally located server, not on the device. The device is merely a portal to the desktop, a bit like a remote screen. That means user devices can be low-spec, which means there’s nothing for the device to spend time loading upon boot up (side note: that also makes them much cheaper to buy).

Additionally, because these low-spec machines aren’t really put through their paces during their lifespan, they last much longer and tend not to degrade during their lifespan – meaning consistently fast boot ups.

Step 2: Open an internet browser

This is the bit where it’s ever so slightly different from the user’s perspective.

There’s no real need for passwords or logins on the user’s actual device, so – when using a low-spec device, as discussed above – it’ll have taken about 10-15 seconds to get to this point so far. No passwords at this point might sound unsecure but it’s not; with Server-Led IT, nothing is saved physically on the device, so there’s nothing you need to protect.

The browser will be set to open on the Desktop 365 login page, where the user will see three boxes to fill in. That’s the next step.

Step 3: Securely login to Desktop 365

Laptop with login screen and mobile phone with One-Time-Password

The user inputs their familiar username and password, along with an additional One-Time-Password as an additional layer of security – referred to as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

The MFA code is best accessed from an app on the user’s smartphone but can be configured in other ways, if required. It means that, even if a user’s password was compromised, an attacker still wouldn’t be able to access your systems unless they also had the user’s smartphone and the ability to unlock this phone, which would be very difficult to do.

In other words, it gives you confidence that Desktop 365 secures your systems.

Step 4: Wait 10-15 seconds for Desktop 365 pop up and connection

Sage 50 application accessed on multiple devices – desktop computer, laptop, tablet, mobile phone
Once the correct credentials are input, the user is redirected to their centrally-located Windows 10 desktop – otherwise known as Desktop 365.

They’ll see their familiar desktop in full screen as if it were the device’s desktop. They’ll also see Desktop 365 exactly how they left it last time it was accessed, including any open applications, files and Internet browser tabs. So they can jump right back to where they were when they stopped working.

The whole process took, on average, around 30-45 seconds. And, now, a users’ familiar Windows desktop, and all existing business applications, can be accessed from any device – including tablets and smartphones. 

The of desktop computing

Desktop 365 is a Citrix and Microsoft solution delivered by award-winning consultancy and managed services provider, Atlas Cloud.

Office 365 is the new standard for office apps; Desktop 365 is the same for your full suite of
existing business apps. It makes users more productive, gives businesses a step change in compliance and provides better long-term value for money. 

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About Desktop 365

The new standard of desktop computing, Desktop 365 is a plug-and-play Citrix and Microsoft solution – delivered by Atlas Cloud.

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