What did Nick do when his laptop broke on holiday?


A couple of weeks ago, our MD Nick went on holiday abroad to France, although on arrival, an incident occurred, and Rob had to come to the rescue! Here’s a great cloud success story told in the words of Nick himself…

“As a fellow small business owner, I often find it challenging to make sure all my work is done before I go on holiday. In typical style, I left for holiday with some finance work to complete and told myself that I would do it whilst on holiday when my daughter goes to sleep. I packed my laptop, knowing that all my software and data was cloud-based, I had the confidence I could work from anywhere.

However, here’s one thing I did differently this time – a mistake I won’t make again! I packed my laptop into my suitcase rather than my hand luggage. So, on arriving in France, and unpacking, found that my laptop was completely unbootable, and it wasn’t something that I could fix myself (the irony is not lost on me). This put to bed any chance of getting that work done that I had left for myself. Main moral of the story – don’t bring your laptop on holiday and get your work done beforehand!

However, in this scenario, I knew that it would be in my best interests to work around it. I knew that my wife had brought her iPad Pro, which has a good screen, and I could connect my Bluetooth mouse to it. However, the work I needed to do ideally needed Windows 11 to complete in a time effective way.

I rang up Rob, our Technical Director, and within 1 hour, he spun up a Windows 365 Virtual PC, accessible anywhere worldwide sitting in Microsoft Azure datacentres. It’s Windows 11, running in Microsoft’s cloud, sitting on a very very fast computer and internet connection.

The Cloud PC appeared in my portal (windows365.microsoft.com), and I was able to use the iPad Pro Remote Desktop app to log in and open Windows 11, full screen. It was the first time I had ever logged into this device, so after perhaps 3 – 4 minutes of logging in with my 365 credentials (using Geeks Cloud, so no VPN was required), I was sitting in France, full screen with a mouse and keyboard, viewing Windows 11, connected to our Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, Microsoft Edge with all my passwords, favourites and preferences synchronised and all of my emails accessible just as if I was on my original laptop!

The only thing I noticed, likely because I was using my mobile phone as the internet connection, there was a very small latency, probably not detectable by anyone other than an IT person. Everything else was as if I was working on my laptop, or a PC in the office.

This scenario, however frustrating, meant that with minimum effort, and due to the highly flexible and quick to onboard systems we have in play, I was up and running from a BYOD device, working as if I was on my laptop, with little to no noticeable performance issues.

I got the work done, and then I enjoyed multiple Pain Au Chocolat’s as a celebration.”


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