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  • Windows Cloud – on beyond Windows 10?

    Posted on February 4th, 2017 at 07:05 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Günter Born has a very interesting post up this morning. He got his hands on a copy of Windows Cloud (possibly named “Windows 10 Cloud”?) and posted numerous screenshots.

    Brad Sams at and Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet have discussions as well. They’re worth reading, but they are heavy on speculation and short on details.

    It looks like Microsoft is creating a new, lighter version of Windows 10 that will go head-to-head with Chromebooks and ChromeOS. Based on warning messages inside the program, we know that Windows Cloud will only run programs from the Windows Store. And that’s about all we know.

    As befits a leaked alpha, there are all sorts of problems. Born has a few details:

    A freshly installed systems comes with desktop apps like Notepad, WordPad, Paint, Explorer and also Internet Explorer.

    (IE? Yes! IE!)

    Windows Cloud comes also with many well known apps from Windows 10, like Photos, Mail, Edge, Camera, Store, Maps, some apps to access Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. There is also a OneNote tile and a tile Get Office (Beta) – but I wasn’t able to launch the Get Office (Beta).

    Martin Brinkmann at gHacks adds:

    Some of these apps are first party applications or games, while others third-party applications. The selection includes Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and on the games side Age of Empires Castle Siege, Asphalt 8, and Royal Revolt among others.

    Most don’t appear to be installed though, but merely links to the application’s Windows Store entry.

    That’s about it. By all accounts, even “Centennial” apps – the ones more-or-less automatically translated from Win32 to UWP – don’t work.

    We don’t know if it’s for Intel architecture or ARM architecture machines, or both. We don’t know how the Store is going to change to accommodate the new version (it couldn’t get much worse, eh?). We don’t even know when WinCloud will appear, how Microsoft will “monetize” it, what kind of effect it’ll have on Windows 10.

    But just about everybody agrees that the term “Cloud” is a red herring: It doesn’t appear to be any more “cloud”y that any other recent operating system. We’re looking at some sort of platform, likely based exclusively on WinRT, that at first glance has all of the appeal of Windows RT.

    You remember Windows RT, yes? It’s the version of Windows that doesn’t run, you know, Windows. Microsoft’s multi-million-dollar Scroogled campaign warned us about Windows RT, although it was ostensibly directed at Google. That was just a few years ago.

    Lipstick and personal trainer for a geriatric pig? Or a spry competitor for ChromeOS? Born took a look at the footprint, and found that WinCloud is three times as big as ChromeOS. Ooomph. He sums it up:

    Why should I buy a cheap system with a restricted Windows 10 Cloud OS, instead of a system with Windows 10 that is able to run also Win32 desktop apps? … The history of Windows RT shows that people don’t like restricted editions of a product, if they can have a fully functional edition. And if a user decided to buy a cheap system, why not a Chromebook with Chrome OS? There are a ton of apps and Chrome OS comes with a much smaller foot print.

    It’s going to be interesting.